Christian's Fleet: A Shipping Tragedy: A Dorset Shipping Tragedy by Edwina Boult

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In January 1795 a fleet of some 200 Royal Navy and merchant vessels left Spithead bound for the West Indies under the command of Rear Admiral Hugh Clobbery Christian. They were sent to challenge French supremacy in the West Indies but two days out from Spithead a huge storm raged and the ships were ordered to make for the safety of Torbay. Many didn't make it. Six were forced onto the beach at Chesil. Another eight heavily crowded sailing ships smashed onto the shore elsewhere in Dorset. Others were wrecked along the South Coast. At Chesil alone, for two miles, bodies of men and animals littered the beach. The survivors were ignored as the locals plundered the wrecks for salvage. Hundreds of men died and British hopes in the Caribbean were dashed for a year and a half. Expertly written, this is the story of the disaster and its aftermath.

Publisher: History Press

Date published: 2003

Format: paperback