War History Battle Honours 

HMS Newcastle’s

Honours Board




4 April

Porto Farina, on the Tunisian coast of Africa, was the scene of this battle in 1655. An English fleet of twenty-four ships under the command of General-at-Sea Robert Blake wearing his flag in the George was dispatched to the Mediterranean to conduct reprisals against Barbary pirates for their attacks on English shipping.

The Bey of Tunis rejected Blake's demands for redress. Blake replied by bombarding the Bey's forts before locating nine Algerian ships in nearby Porto Farina. He led a force of fifteen ships, forced the entrance to the harbour, silenced more batteries and destroyed all nine Algerian ships before withdrawing.

Battle Honours:

Amity                  Andrew               Bridgewater             Foresight                   George

Kent                   Merlin                 Mermaid                 Newcastle                  Pearl

Success               Unicorn              Worcester


20 April

War With Spain 1655-60

Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands was Robert Blake's swan song. He was the General-at-Sea commanding a powerful squadron of ships which was blockading the port of Cadiz when he received intelligence of the Spanish treasure fleet from the West Indies having arrived at Santa Cruz. His ships weighed anchor and twenty-three men-of-war set sail for the Canaries. On 20 April the fleet arrived off Santa Cruz, a strongly fortified harbour where sixteen galleons carrying Spanish treasure could be counted

Blake forced an entry into the harbour, under the well-positioned guns of the fortress and the galleons, in a finely executed operation. He then destroyed the Spanish fleet in a fierce battle, before extricating his own fleet in a fine display of seamanship. Sixty men had been killed, and the 64-gun Speaker was severely damaged and had to be towed home. Five Spanish ships had been taken and eleven more burnt or blown up. Rear-Admiral Richard Stayner who had led the offensive into the harbour received a knighthood.

Battle Honours:

Bridgewater                    Bristol                  Centurion                Colchester

Convert                           Fairfax               Foresight                  George

Hampshire                      Jersey                  Langport                   Lyme

Maidstone                      Nantwich             Newbury                    Newcastle

Plymouth                        Speaker              Swiftsure                   Unicorn.

Winsby                          Worcester


3 June

Second Dutch War 1665-67

Lowestoft was one of the classic battles of sail, fought on an enormous scale between an English fleet of 109 ships commanded by James, Duke of York (the King's brother) and 103 ships of a Dutch fleet commanded by Admiral Opdam (or Obdam) Jacob vail Wassenaer, off the Suffolk coast about 40 miles south-east of Lowestoft.

The Dutch fleet was marauding near the Dogger Bank at the end of May, capturing a convoy of twenty English merchant ships, when James, Duke of York received intelligence of the enemy activity. James, in his flagship the Royal Charles (80), led the English fleet in weighing anchor from the Gunfleet and proceeding to Southwold Bay. James had with him, commanding two of the enormous squadrons, the Earl of Sandwich (Montagu) and Prince Rupert, two of the famous generals-at-sea.

Two days of manoeuvring these vast fleets preceded the battle, which was joined at 4 am on 3 June, each fleet passing the other on opposite tacks, each ship engaging as the enemy ships came into range. Soon the battle had degenerated into a melee on a grand scale.

In the centre the two flagships Royal Charles and Eendracht (76), fought a bitter battle, the latter just failing in an attempt to board James's ship

At one stage a chain shot killed many officers and men alongside James, who was spattered with their blood. A chronicler (probably James's flag captain Sir William Penn) wrote: "At 12 came A shot from Opdam yt killed ye Earl of Falmouth [Charles Berkeley] Lord Musgrave [Muskerry] and Mr Boyle [younger son of the Earl of Burlington]."

Eendracht then received a shot in her powder room and exploded with devastating force. Only five of her complement of many hundreds were rescued. With the death of Wassenaer, Vice-Admiral Jan Evertsen took command. Another demoralizing blow to the Dutch was the death of Vice-Admiral Kortenaer aboard the Groot Hollandia.

The English gradually gained the upper hand and the Dutch began to give way. Ships fouled each other, and no fewer than seven Dutch ships were lost by fire in this way.

With great skill Evertsen and Cornelis Tromp marshalled the Dutch fleet into a controlled withdrawal towards the Texel and Maas estuary ,which was reached by the late evening. They had lost thirty-two ships, only nine of which were taken as prizes; their casualties amounted to about 4,000 killed and 2,000 taken prisoner.

The English losses were amazingly light by comparison. The Charity, captured early in the battle, was the only ship lost. In terms of seamen, 283 were killed and 440 wounded.

Battle Honours:

Adventure                    Amity                   Anne                   Antelope

Assistance                   Assurance           Bear                   Bendish

Blackamore                  Merchant            Bonaventure       Breda

Briar                            Bristol                 CastleFrigate     Colchester

Constant                      Katherin              Convertine         Diamond

Dolphin                        Dover                 Dragon              Drake

Dreadnought                Dunkirk               Eagle                 Fame

Forester                       Fountain             Garland             George

Gloucester                   GoldenLion        Guernsey           Guinea

Hambro'Merchant                                 Hampshire          HappyReturn

Henrietta                       Henry                Horseman           Hound

Jersey                      John and Abigail   John and Katherine

John and Thomas        Katherine             Kent                   King

King Ferdinando         Leopard               Lion                   London

Loyal George              Loyal Merchant    Maderas             Marmaduke

Martin                         Mary                   Maryland            Merchant

Mary Rose                  Milford               Monck                Montagu

Newcastle                  Nightingale (?)      Old James          Oxford

Pembroke                    Plymouth             Portland             Portsmouth

Providence                  Princess               Prudent Mary     Rainbow

Reserve                       Resolution           Return                Revenge

Royal Charles          Royal Exchange    Royal James     Royal Katherine

Royal Prince            St Andrew            St George              Sapphire

Satisfaction                 Society                Success              Swallow

Swiftsure                    Tiger                    Triumph             Uniform

Vanguard                    Yarmouth             York                  Young Lion


ORFORDNESS 1666 (North Foreland)

25-26 July

Second Dutch War 1665-67

This battle was fought between an English fleet of eighty-nine ships and seventeen fireships jointly commanded by Prince Rupert and the Duke of Albemarle, and a smaller Dutch fleet of eighty-five ships, twenty fireships and ten smaller vessels, all under the command of Admiral De Ruyter -the Dutch Nelson. The result was a brilliant victory for the English, particularly important because it came so soon after the defeat in the Four Days' Battle.

The long-drawn-out battle began at about lOam on St James's Day, 26 July, in the North Sea about 40 miles south-east of Orfordness in Suffolk. After two hours' battling Admiral Cornelis Tromp's rear squadron sailed out of line, broke through the English line and became locked in combat with the English Blue Squadron, the rear squadron, under Admiral Sir Jeremy Smythe in Resolution(74).

 Smythe gained the upper hand and this battle-within-a-battle became a pursuit of De Ruyter, progressing westward in a confused melee, while the main battle between the opposing vans and centres headed nearly due east. The Dutch van was in full flight by 3 pm and an hour later the center gave way too, three flag officers, including Jan Evertsen, being killed. But by then the English were too exhausted to take advantage.

Although retreating, De Ruyter handled the situation in a disciplined and masterly fashion, even after his own flagship had been severely damaged.

Sporadic skirmishing occurred throughout the night and action flared up briskly in the early daylight hours, but the Dutch continued their retreat to the shoals of their coastline. The battle and pursuit were over.

The Dutch losses were considerable: twenty ships were lost, with 4,000 men killed or drowned and 3,000 wounded. The only English ship lost was Smythe's Resolution, and the casualties in men killed and wounded were considerably lighter than the enemy's.

Battle Honours:

Abigail                   Adventure                Advice                Aleppine                 Amity

Anne                     Antelope                  Assistance             Assurance             *Baltimore

Blessing                 Bonaventure            Breda                   Briar                       Bristol

Cambridge            *Castle                    Centurion              Charles

Charles Merchant   Coronation              Crown                              Defiance

Delph                     Diamond                 Dover                   Dragon                  Dreadnought

Dunkirk                   Eagle                   *East IndiaLondon

*East India Merchant                             Elizabeth              Expedition              Fairfax

Fanfan                   Foresight                 Fortune                Fox                        *George

Gloucester               Golden                  Phoenix               Great Gift                Greenwich

Guilder de Ruyter                                 Guinea                  Hampshire

Happy Return Helverson                       Henrietta               Henry

House of Sweeds                                  Jersey                    *John and Thomas

*Katherine                                             Kent                   Land of Promise        Leopard

Lion                       Lizard                   *London Merchant

Loyal London        *Loyal Merchant                                  Marmaduke                Mary

Mary Rose             Mathius                  Monck                    Montagu                    Newcastle

Old James              Paul                        Plymouth               Portland                     Portsmouth

Princess                 Providence              Rainbow                Resolution                 Revenge

Richard                Richard and Martha                              Royal Charles            Royal James

Royal Katherine                                    Royal Oak             (Royal) Sovereign

Ruby                      Rupert                   St Andrew             St George                   St Jacob

Samuel               SanctaMaria                Slothany               Swallow                      Tiger

Triumph                 Turkey                *Turkey Merchant                                         Unicorn

Unity                      Vanguard                Victory                  Virgin                         Warspite

Welcome                Yarmouth               York                     Zealand


Third Dutch War 1672-74

28 May

The Schooneveld is (or was) a long basin guarding the entrance to the ScheIdt estuary.

Two battles were fought here: the first between an Anglo-French fleet commanded by Prince Rupert, with Admiral Sir Edward Spragge as second-in-command, and a Dutch fleet commanded by the redoubtable Dutch Admiral De Ruyter.The composition of these two fleets was as set out:

                                                ANGLO-FRENCH                NETHERLANDS

Ships of the line                             54 British                                52

                                                     27 French                                       

Frigates                                         11                                           12                                                                    

Fireships                                    35                    25

Flags                                     Prince Rupert (van)                  Tromp (van)

                                             d'Estrees   (centre)                   De Ruyter (centre)

                                            Spragge (rear)                           Banckerts (rear)

After days of reconnoitering and manoeuvring Prince Rupert determined to attack De Ruyter's fleet on 28 May, but the Dutchman emerged from the shoals with a favourable wind to meet the Allied combined fleet approaching in line abreast. For nine hours a fierce battle ensued, in the course of which De Ruyter broke the French line but had to fall back to help the hard-pressed Banckerts. Tromp (junior) also got into difficulties with the English van and was obliged to transfer his flag three times during the day.

The fleets disengaged during the evening and anchored within sight of each other. It was largely an inconclusive battle. The French lost two ships during the day, while the Dutch Deventer (70) was so badly damaged that she foundered during the night. But strategically few would argue with the Dutch who claimed it as a victory.

Battle Honours:

Advice                          Anne                Assurance              Bonaventure              Cambridge

Charles                        Constant           Warwick                Crown                       Diamond

Dreadnought                Dunkirk             Edgar                     Falcon                       Foresight

French                         Ruby                Gloucester              Greenwich                 Hampshire

Happy Return              Henrietta            Henry                     Lion                           London

Mary                           Mary Rose         Monck                   Newcastle                 Old Hames

Prince                          Princess            Providence             Rachel                       Rainbow

Resolution                   Revenge         Royal Charles        Royal Katherine               Ruby

Rupert                         St Andrew         St George              St Michael

Samuel and Anne                                 Sovereign              Stavoreen                    Sweepstakes

Swiftshore                   Triumph           Truelove                 Unicorn                      Victory

Warspite                      Welcome         York

TEXEL 1673

Third Dutch War 1672-74

11 August

The Texel was the scene of the last battle of the Third Dutch War with the same adversaries: Prince Rupert, Admiral De Ruyter, the Frenchman D'Estrees, Banckerts, Sir Edward Spragge, Tromp - they had all fought each other a couple of times earlier that summer of 1673. Once again the brilliant De Ruyter thwarted an AngloFrench invasion of the Netherlands.

The Allied fleet was commanded by Prince Rupert. It numbered ninety-two ships (the numbers are difficult to establish with certainty), plus thirty fireships. De Ruyter marshalled a fleet of about seventy-five ships of the line and frigates, plus about thirty fireships.

On the Allied side Prince Rupert commanded the centre, D'Estreesthe van and Spragge the rear division.

On the Dutch side, De Ruyter commanded the centre, Banckerts the van and Tromp the rear

Action was joined on 11 August when De Ruyter, having the weather gage, attacked the superior Allied force. The whole of D'Estrees's van division was separated from the main fleet by Banckerts' van and thrown into confusion, so that it gave no support to the English

Thus the brunt of De Ruyter's attack fell upon the English centre and rear divisions; both suffered hours of fierce fighting and dreadful damage.

Spragge and Tromp had a desperate duel. Each shifted his flag three times during the day. Sadly, Spragge was drowned when the boat in which he was transferring took a shot and sank

Eventually the two exhausted fleets drew apart, the English abandoning the attempt to land troops, and licking serious wounds. No ships had been lost but the damage suffered was enormous and the loss in men about 2,000..

De Ruyter's fleet also suffered serious damage, but no ships were lost and his casualties were about half the English.

Prince Rupert was quick to give as the reason for defeat the lack, 1) of French participation, but the real reason was the brilliance of De Ruyter's tactics and his skilful handling of huge fleets in action.

Battle Honours

Advice                       Anne                  Assurance                    Blessing

Bonaventure              Bristol                Cambridge                   Charles

Crown                       Diamond           Dolphin                        Dreadnought

Dunkirk                     Edgar                Fairfax                          Falcon

Foresight                   FrenchRuby      Friendship                    Gloucester

Guernsey                                Hampshire       Happy Return                 Hard Bargain

Henrietta                    Henry               Katherine                       Leopard

Lion                          Lizard               London                         Mary

Mary Anne                Monck               Monmouth                    Newcastle

Nonsuch (?)               Old James        Pearl                             Plymouth

Portland                    Portsmouth       Prince                            Princess

Prudent Mary            Rainbow           Resolution                     Roe

Rose                       Royal Charles  Royal Katherine                 Ruby

Rupert                      St Andrew         St George                     St Michael

Society                      Sovereign          Stavoreen                      Success

Supply                      Swallow            Sweepstakes                  Swiftsure

Triumph                   Truelove            Unicorn                        Victory

Warspite                   Yarmouth          York



10 March

War of the Spanish Succession 1702-13

This action resulted from a French attempt to land troops for the recapture of Gibraltar. It was fought between a squadron of French ships of the line under the command of Commodore Baron de Pointis, and a similar squadron commanded by Vice-Admiral Sir John Leake.

The French squadron arrived in Gibraltar Bay, but a rising gale drove the French force to leeward towards Marbella.

The British squadron layoff Cabrita Point 9 miles south-west of Marbella. Leake had with him five ships of the line. At daybreak on 10 March Leake surprised de Pointis.

The British Admiral had every advantage and he pressed home his attack with speed and vigour. In a swift and skilful action the British took the 66-gun Ardent, the Marquis (66) and Arrogant (60). Two more of the line, the flagship Magnanime (74) and Lys (66), were driven ashore and burnt by their crews to avoid capture.

Leake had not only scored a remarkable victory but had saved Gibraltar from attack and had enhanced his already high reputation.

Battle Honours

Antelope                 Bedford                  Canterbury               Expedition

Greenwich(?)         Hampton Court        Lark                         Leopard

Newcastle             Nottingham             Pembroke                 Revenge

Swallow                 Tiger                       Warspite (List incomplete.)


29 April

Seven Years' War 1756-63

This was hardly a battle, more like a scrappy indecisive encounter, with some damage to both sides.

The French had a naval base at Pondicherry on the Coromandel coast of SE India, and the British had one at nearby Cuddalore, south of Madras fronting on to the Bay of Bengal. The French Admiral Comte D'Ache in his flagship Zodiaque (74) and Vice Admiral Pocock in his flagship Yarmouth (64) commanded the respective light squadrons Each sighted.the other at about 9 am as Pocock was preparing to leave Port St David Roads. It was afternoon when contact was made and each squadron of ships were in line. Seven British and nine French (one was a 36 gun frigate) opposed each other. Away to leeward the French had another 74 and a frigate.

Pocock opened fire at a range of "half a musket shot" of the flagship. The British rear failed to give good support and later three captains were court-martialled. The French line gave way but Pocock's ships were unable to catch the fleeing ships.

The inconclusive nature of this encounter was attributed to the strict adherence to the Fighting Instructions.

Battle Honours:

Cumberland                          Elizabeth                        Newcastle

Protector                               Queensborough              Salisbury

Tiger                                     Weymouth                      Yarmouth


3 August

Seven Years' War 1756-63

Three months after the indecisive encounter off Cuddalore in SE India (see SADRAS 1758), another inconclusive action occurred between a British squadron commanded by Vice-Admiral George Pocock and a French squadron commanded by Admiral Comte D' Ache off nearby Negapatam. It could well have been named Pocock's Pursuit.

Pocock, in his flagship Yarmouth (64), and with another six of the line, chased the Comte's nine of the line for several days before the Frenchmen were finally brought to action at noon on 3 August.

A shot from Yarmouth carried away Zodiaque's (74) wheel which caused the French flagship to collide with the Duc d'Orleans. Both survived the experience. D' Ache managed to disentangle, and later to disengage his ships. Under cover of darkness he thereupon retired to the north.

No ships had been sunk, but casualties on both sides were heavy.

Battle Honours:

Cumberland                 Elizabeth                  Newcastle               Protector

Queensborough            Salisbury                   Tiger                      Yarmouth



10 September

Seven Years' War 1756-63

The scene of this battle was 25 miles south-east of Porto Novo on the Coromandel coast of India near Cuddalore in a position 110 03' N 79° 45' E. It was fought between a squadron of ten British ships commanded by Vice-Admiral George Pocock with his flag in Yarmouth and the French Commodore D'Ache in Zodiaque with eleven ships.

This was the third battle in these waters and was in itself inconclusive, but the final outcome was to Britain's advantage. The nine ships of the line and Queenborough, the single frigate, were awarded the battle honour.

Battle Honours:

Cumberland                Elizabeth               Grafton               Newcastle

Queenborough             Salisbury               Sunderland         Tiger

Weymouth                  Yarmouth


27 November

World WarII 1939-45

Admiral Sir James Somerville, commanding Force H in the Mediterranean, was entrusted with the passage of a convoy of three.important merchant ships carrying tanks and other mechanical transport to the Middle East. With his flag in Renown (32,000 tons, 6 x 15") he had in company Ark Royal (22,000 tons, 36 aircraft), two cruisers and nine destroyers. Four corvettes gave close escort to the merchantmen.

Off Cape Spartivento an Italian squadron commanded by Admiral Campioni was encountered. It comprised the two battleships Vittorio Veneto (35,000 tons, 9 x 15") and Guilio Cesar (23,622 tons, lOx 12.6"), seven heavy cruisers and sixteen destroyers.

An hour's engagement in which the heavy cruiser Berwick (9,750 tons, 8 x 8") and the Italian destroyer Lanciere (1,620 tons, 4 x ., 4.7") were damaged proved inconclusive on both sides and Campioni broke away.

Because Somerville failed to pursue, a Board ", of Enquiry arrived in Gibraltar even before Somerville had returned to port to question the correctness of putting the safety of the convoy as the prime consideration. Cunningham, C-in-C of the Mediterranean Fleet, objected at this iniquitous action by the' Admiralty. The Board's finding was totally in favour of Somerville.

Battle Honours:

:Ark Royal                         Berwick                 Coventry               Defender               Despatch

Diamond                            Duncan                 Encounter              Faulknor              Firedrake

Forester                             Fury                      Gallant                   Gloxinia               Greyhound

Hereward                           Hotspur                 Hyacinth                 Jaguar                   Kelvin

Manchester                        Newcastle            Peony                    Ramillies              Renown

Salvia                                Sheffield                Southampton          Vidette                 Wishart

FAA SQuadrons: 700,800,808,810,818,820

BURMA 1944-45 October

1944 -April1945

May -August 1945

World WarII 1939-45

This Campaign Honour dates from 1944, more than two years after the initial Japanese assault on the country. The occupation had been effected with the speed and brutality associated with Japan's entry into the war. British troops were driven back to the Indian border and the Japanese rested on the Chindwin.

December 1943 saw a second Allied campaign launched on the Arakan, and the Japanese launched an assault on India, investing Kohima and Imphal and suffering horrendous casualties, estimated at 65,000.

The Arakan campaign down the coast was decisive. Ramree Island was assaulted in January 1945. The Royal Navy and Royal Indian Navy gave full support. Guns sited in caves overlooking the landing beaches were silenced by Queen Elizabeth (32,700 tons, 8 x 15") supported by the cruiser Phoebe (5,450 tons, 10 x 5.25") and the carrier Ameer (11,420 tons, 24 aircraft): the bombardment was the heaviest of the campaign. The battleship fired 69 15" rounds.

Ramree became a springboard for the advance on Rangoon which was captured in early May 1945, within days of peace being declared in Europe. As if to mark the occasion the monsoon rains flooded the country. In three months the Japanese in Burma were totally destroyed.

Campaign Honours: 1944-5:

Ameer                   Barpeta                    Barracuda

Cauvery                Eskimo                                  Flamingo                 Haitan

Jumna                   Kathiawar                 Kedah                     Kenyo

Kistna                   Konkan                    Llanstephan Castle

Napier                   Narbada                   Nepal                      Newcastle

Nguva                   Nigeria                      Norman                  Nubian

Paladin                  Pathfinder                            Phoebe                 Queen Elizabeth

Raider                   Rapid                                       Redpole                  Rocket

Roebuck               Shoreham                  Spey                       Teviot

White Bear

FAA SQuadron: 815 ~


KOREA 1950 –51

Korean War 1950-53

The area covered by this campaign award is the whole of the Korean coast.

North Korean forces launched an assault on South Korean positions at the end of June 1950, precipitating a frustrating three-year war. The attack was condemned by the United Nations, and fifteen member states, led by the USA and including units of the Royal Navy, went to South Korea's aid. The Commonwealth Task Force included RAN, RNZN and Canadian units as well as RN: four store ships, twelve fleet oilers and the hospital ship Maine were included. In a near-perfect amphibious operation at Inchon an invasion force was thrown ashore covered by four carriers, two escort carriers, seven cruisers, thirty-four destroyers and a great number of frigates and minesweepers. North Korea had no navy and was thus vulnerable to sea-borne attacks. These landings and subsequently the Inchon evacuation were the two main features of the naval war. The objective of the landings was to capture the capital, Seoul, and cut lines of supply. In 1950 70,000 men of the US 10th Corps were landed from 550 landing craft. British naval support was given by the cruisers Jamaica and Kenya (both 8,000 tons, 12 x 6"). During the operation Jamaica fired 1,290 rounds of 6" and 393 rounds of 4": Kenya fired 1,242 rounds of 6" and 205 rounds of 4". Jamaica also has the distinction of being the first UN ship to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Red China's involvement in the Korea War took place on 31 December 1950 and the war dragged on till an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. British ships took part in the evacuation -Kenya and Ceylon and the two Australian destroyers Bataan and Warramunga.

Battle Honours:

Alacrity                    Alert                      Amethyst                   Anzac

Athabaskan             Bataan                  Belfast                       Birmingham

Black Swan            Cardigan Bay        Cayuga                      Ceylon

Charity                   Cockade               Comus                      Concord

Condamine             Consort                 Constance                 Cossack

Crane                     Crusader                Culgoa                      Glory

Haida                      Hart                       Hawea                      Huron

Iroquois                  Jamaica                 Kaniere                      Kenya

Modeste         Morecambe Bay        Mounts Bay                   Murchison

Newcastle              Nootka                 Ocean                       Opossum

Putaki               St Bride's Bay             Shoalhaven                Sioux

Sparrow                  Sydney                 Taupo                       Telemachus

Theseus                  Tobruk                 Triumph                   Tutira

Tyne                       Unicorn                Warramunga          Whitesand Bay

Royal Fleet Auxiliaries:     Wave Premier    Wave Prince

FAA Squadrons: 800,801,802, 804,805,807,808,810,812,817, 821, 825, 827, 898.