Battle of Navarino: the British Monument

The British Monument, Navarino © David Gill

Next week is the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek War of Independence. The Battle of Navarino, in the south-west Peloponnese, took place on 20 October 1827 when the allied fleet of Britain, France and Russia defeated the Ottomans.

The British monument is placed on one of the small islands in the bay. Some of the ships were subsequently based at Nauplion.

For more on the Royal Navy in Greece in this period:

Gill, D. W. J., and C. Gill. 2010. “H.M.S. Belvidera and the Temple of Minerva.” Notes and Queries 57: 199-210. [DOI]

The British Monument, Navarino © David Gill

The Berlin Wall as heritage for the future

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Berlin © David Gill

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the effective reunification of Berlin. Few traces of this symbol of a divided city remain.

But we also remember those who died trying to cross this barrier.

How do we remember the recent past and present it to the public? How do we deal with such sensitive issues? How can this heritage be used to inform future generations?

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Berlin © David Gill

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Berlin © David Gill

Disney, Danbury and the RNLI

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Danbury church © David Gill

Danbury Place in Essex was the home of the Ffytche family. Frances Elizabeth was the daughter of Lewis Disney (1738–1822) and his wife Elizabeth Ffytche (1749–87); they took the family name of Disney-Ffytche on marriage in 1775. Elizabeth was born in Madras.

Frances Elizabeth was born in 1776, and her (surviving) sister Sophia in 1777. After Elizabeth’s death in 1787, the Disney-Ffytche family moved to Paris in 1791, and then fled to Italy in 1793 where they met (Sir) William Hillary (in 1795). Frances Elizabeth married Hillary on February 1800, and they then lived at Danbury. They were granted a divorce in 1812, yet the memorial inscription describes Frances as the wife of Sir William Hillary (and he had remarried in August 1813). Hillary went on to found what became the RNLI. Frances died at Jericho House, Blackmore, her daughter’s home, in August 1828.

Frances’ sister Sophia was married to Dr John Disney, benefactor of the chair of archaeology at Cambridge.

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