|Jun 18 2012
The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, will be celebrating the bicentenary of the declaration of the 1812 war with a dinner on the Lower Gun Deck of HMS Victory hosted by their Chairman of Trustees, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, and preceded by a drinks reception on the Upper Gun Deck.
On June 18th 1812, the United States stunned the world by declaring war on Great Britain. Held by many at the time to be unnecessary, the War of 1812 was provoked by mutual misunderstanding and prosecuted with little conviction by Britain and America.
The war proved to be one of surprises – the Royal Navy, held to be omnipotent, suffered a series of humiliating defeats at sea, whilst America’s invasion of Canada was soundly defeated. The war ended without either side obtaining a clear strategic victory, but was not without significance; both Canada and the United States were defined by the conflict, which marked a coming of age for the United States Navy. Importantly, the end of the war ushered in two centuries of peace and cooperation between Britain and America. It is in this spirit that the NMRN looks to commemorate the conflict.
The War of 1812 saw the birth of the legend of the USS Constitution, earning her the nickname ‘Old Ironsides’ and ensuring her place in history. Constitution remains the oldest commissioned warship still afloat. She is no doubt the United States’ equivalent of HMS Victory, famous for her exploits at the Battle of Trafalgar, and the oldest commissioned warship in the world.
The similarities between the lives of the two ships, launched 30 years apart, are many and they symbolise the present relationship between the British and US navies.
The NMRN is very fortunate to have Professor Andrew Lambert, Britain’s premier naval historian as guest speaker for the dinner. Andrew is Laughton Professor of Naval History at King/'s College London, and an author and speaker of great renown, whose latest book is entitled /'The Challenge, America, Britain and the War of 1812/'.
The principle object of the dinner is to raise funds for the NMRN, whilst at the same time paying tribute to the events of 200 years ago.
The dinner is an exclusive affair with only 90 places available, where guests will be seated amongst the guns at mess tables as the sailors would have dined. Tickets are sold at £1200 per table of 6, or individually at £200 each.
It promises to be a superb evening in an outstanding location and site visits can be arranged in advance.
For further information, to arrange a site visit, or to discuss any aspect of the event, please contact:
The National Museum of the Royal Navy
HM Naval Base (PP66)
Hampshire PO1 3NH
Tel: +44(0)23 9272 7583
Reception will be 7pm, dinner at 8pm and dress code is black tie.