It was a much needed wake-up call; and what is fascinating for me is how from the ashes of this disaster rose a new Royal Navy: larger, stronger and more professional than before

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC

Admiral Jones joined his Dutch counterpart, Rear Admiral Rob Verkerk, the ships' companies of HMS Richmond and HNLMS Holland, the Dutch Ambassador to the UK Simon Smits, Lord Lieutenant of Kent Viscount De L'Isle, the combined band from the two nations - now staunch allies - in Chatham's Historic Dockyard for 350th anniversary celebrations.

Rear Admiral Verkerk said the fruits of the Anglo-Dutch wars were "a long and enduring partnership".

He continued: "And the rest is history, and a great history it is. I could talk for hours about it. Your history, however, is a bit more glorious than ours."

Admiral Jones told those gathered in Chatham that while the RN rightly celebrated Trafalgar or Taranto, it was right to remember the humiliation it suffered on its own doorstep in 1667.

"It was a much needed wake-up call; and what is fascinating for me is how from the ashes of this disaster rose a new Royal Navy: larger, stronger and more professional than before," he said.

"Most importantly of all, we must never lose our fighting edge. The world is full of instability and uncertainty and for maritime nations like our own, a strong navy remains our most important line of defence."