Tell us where HMS Victory lies - Alderney States President
By James Varley
Alderney’s President of the States has called for HMS Victory’s exact resting place to be revealed.
In a letter to The Times, Sir Norman Browse, pictured, said independent confirmation was needed to say whether the 265-year-old wreck lay in British, French, international or Alderney waters.
Sir Norman also suggested that the site be protected and asked the Ministry of Defence to ensure that professional archaeologists, working to archaeological rather than profit-seeking strategies, assessed the wreck.
Earlier this month, Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it found the wreck of Victory last May. It had become separated from escorting vessels as they returned from fighting the French fleet off Portugal in 1744.
According to Odyssey, the 175ft wooden man-of-war’s final resting place is around 100km from the Channel Islands. Before the announcement, however, it was thought that Victory sank off Les Casquets, west of Alderney.
Victory, which went down with the loss of all 1,100 officers and ratings, provided the inspiration for the ship commanded by Admiral Lord Nelson several decades later.
Sir Norman, who is chairman of the Alderney Maritime Trust, wrote: ‘Some years ago Alderney established a maritime trust to protect and excavate any wrecks discovered in its waters. The non-profit making trust hoped that one day it would find, study and excavate Victory.