Figurehead of the HMS Nile

Basic Information

Figurehead type
Figurehead of the HMS Nile
Vessel name
HMS Nile
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Copyright owner
© UK MoD Crown Copyright 1983
Copyright notes
Current location
HMS Nelson, HM Naval Base Portsmouth
Location date

Physical Information

This half length figurehead of Nelson shows him in the uniform of a rear admiral, his rank at the time of the Battle of the Nile-and, while the upper half is a traditional bust, the lower half has a modern look to it with the naval crown and Nelson's signal at Trafalgar. He has no hat and his left hand is holding a telescope. Below the figure is placed a naval crown and ‘ENGLAND EXPECTS …’ on a ribbon.
Carter Preston
Date made
Place made
Object history
Carved for the training ship in 1938 by Carter Preston. The original figurehead was lost in a collision in 1918, the new one was commissioned by former cadets belonging to the Conway Club. In 1851 during the ship's conversion to steam her figurehead was found to be rotten and Frederick Dickerson carved a replacement for the sum of £35. The ship was renamed Training Ship Conway in 1876 but the figurehead was carried away when the ss Bhamo collided with her in June 1918. In 1937 the Conway Club of former cadets commissioned sculptor Carter Preston to carve a replacement
Vessel history
A 2nd rate, 92 guns built at Plymouth and launched in 1839. In 1852 she was converted to a screw ship and finally commissioned. She served in the Baltic during the Crimea was and afterwards on the North America and West Indies station. From 1876 she was renamed and became the training ship HMS 'Conway' at Liverpool. She ran aground while under tow in the Menai Strait in 1953. The wreck was burnt in 1956.
David Pulvertaft 'Figureheads Of The Royal Navy' (Seaforth 2011) p.100 and p.101

Ownership Information

Owner type
Public Institution
Owner name
Ministry of Defence (MoD)
Contact details
HM Naval Base Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 3NU
Ownership can be cited online
Accessible to public
By appointment
Data verified by owner
Date verified

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