Admiral Lord Collingwood comes home

A life-like bronze bust of Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood was unveiled recently at its new home in the base that proudly bears his name.

He was second-in-command to Nelson during the Battle of Trafalgar, assuming full command upon his death on the deck of HMS Victory.

After the battle, Collingwood moved to Menorca and retained control of the Mediterranean Fleet with distinction until his death in 1810.

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of his death, Asociacion Menorca Brittania commissioned Devon sculptress Helen Ridehalgh to create a life-size bust of Admiral Collingwood.

Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood has now taken his rightful place in the foyer of the Wardroom where he casts a paternal eye on the establishment that now bears his name.

This is displayed at Port Mahon in Menorca looking towards his old home, now the Hotel Almirante.

The Admiral and his family also had a home in Morpeth, in Northumberland, where in 2013 a second bust was unveiled at Morpeth Town Hall’s Butter Market by the then Commanding Officer of HMS Collingwood, Commodore Mike Mansergh.

It was here that the bust was spotted by the Chairman of the HMS Collingwood Officers’ Association Adrian Whyntie, who felt that the Base that bears the Admiral’s name should have a copy of its own.

The death of the Officers’ Association founder, Bill Legg, in 2017 prompted the Committee to approve procuring the bust to commemorate both Bill and other deceased members.

Money for the bust and plinth was raised within weeks, through donations from Members and families, often in memory of their own loved ones.

Meanwhile, sculptress Helen Ridehalgh had carried out her own research into Admiral Collingwood and modified the medals he wears so, although the HMS Collingwood bust is the third edition, it is actually unique.

Mess member Paul Sutton was honoured to be asked to produce the mount for the bust and Fareham firm Hillcrest Engineering Limited provided the plaque.

It was unveiled at the Officers’ Association AGM on 9th June 2019 by Bill Legg’s daughters Sonia and Karen, before the Admiral, Bill Legg and deceased Members of the Association were duly toasted.

Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood has now taken his rightful place in the foyer of the Wardroom where he casts a paternal eye on the establishment that now bears his name.

Photographs courtesy of Adrian Whyntie.