October 7, 2017

3161 UNITED KINGDOM (England) - HMS Victory

3161 Starboard side of H.M.S. Victory

HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, and one of the most famous warships ever launched. Ordered in 1758, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765, she was placed in active service after France joined the American War of Independence in 1778. Over time she served as Keppel's flagship at Ushant, Howe's flagship at Cape Spartel, and Jervis's flagship at Cape St Vincent, but she is best known for her role as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Victory had been badly damaged in this last battle, and being considered too old, was relegated to second-rate ship. She was recommissioned as a troopship between December 1810 and April 1811. In 1812 she was relocated to the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour off Gosport, for service as a floating depot and, from 1813 to 1817, as a prison ship. Major repairs were undertaken in 1814, and active service was resumed from February 1817 when she was relisted as a first-rate carrying 104 guns. 

In January 1822 she was towed into dry dock at Portsmouth for repairs to her hull. Refloated in January 1824, she was designated as the Port admiral's flagship for Portsmouth Harbour, remaining in this role until April 1830. In 1831 the Admiralty issued orders for Victory to be broken up and her timbers reused in other vessels. A public outcry against the destruction of so famous a ship led to the order being held in abeyance and Victory was left, largely forgotten, at a Portsmouth mooring.

In 1889, Victory was restored to a military function by being fitted up as a Naval School of Telegraphy, which she hosted until 1904. In 1903 she was accidentally rammed by HMS Neptune, a successor to the vessel that had towed her to Gibraltar. Emergency repairs prevented her from sinking, but Admiralty again proposed that she be scrapped and it was only the personal intervention of Edward VII that prevented this from occurring. .

On 12 January 1922, her condition was so poor that she would no longer stay afloat, and had to be moved into No. 2 dock at Portsmouth, the oldest dry dock in the world still in use. She was restored and preserved as a museum ship. The decision to restore Victory to her Battle of Trafalgar configuration was taken in 1920, but the repairs was not achieved until 2005, in time for the Trafalgar 200 celebrations. She has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord since October 2012 and is the world's oldest naval ship still in commission.

About the stamp

The stamp is part of the series Images of England (Code UK0080), issued in 2013 by UniversalMail UK Ltd, a competitor to Royal Mail. The six stamps are for international postcards only.
• Buldog
• Cricket - It's on the postcard 3161
• Pint - It's on the postcard 3192
• Deck chairs
• Cream tea

HMS Victory - Wikipedia

Sender: Marius Vasilescu
Sent from Southampton (England / United Kingdom), on 27.07.2017

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