Trowbridge descendant involved in final honour for HMS Victory man
A Trowbridge descendant of a man who served on Lord Nelson’s HMS Victory joined in a commemoration at a Wiltshire churchyard.
John Chivers, who served onboard the flagship in 1805, was honoured with a special ceremony at West Overton church, near Marlborough, where he is buried.
About 20 of Mr Chivers’ direct descendants, including Trowbridge-born Peter Marshall, and two Royal British Legion guards of honour attended the commemorative plaque dedication led by the Rev Maria Shepherd- son at the Church of St Michael and All Angels.
The plaque was unveiled by Peter Warwick, chairman of The 1805 Club – a group which commemorates historic events about the Battle of Trafalgar. Three buglers from the Chippenham Sea Cadet Corps played The Last Post and Reveille Mr Marshall, who helped organise the event, said: “We found the service of dedication very moving and are very proud to have a permanent memorial to such an inspirational ancestor.
“Everyone who came to the service and to the presentations afterwards learned a great deal about the events surrounding the Battle of Trafalgar and its link with West Overton and Lockeridge – which now adds something new to the heritage of this part of Wiltshire.
He thanked Rev Sheperd- son and everyone invloved.
Farmer’s son Mr Chivers enlisted in the Royal Marines in 1803 when he was 19 and joined the HMS Victory at Portsmouth on September 3, 1805.
On October 21, 1805 he was involved in the famous battle against a combined fleet of French and Spanish ships in which 57 crew members perished and 102 wounded, but Mr Chivers survived and returned to England on the ship with Lord Nelson’s body.
He lived with his wife in Lockeridge and had seven children. He died in 1850 and was buried in West Overton churchyard, but because the church was rebuilt in 1870 no gravestones remained.
Picture shows: From left back row: Peter Gregory,Royal Navy Marlborough, Dave Hicks (President of Royal Navy Army Marlborough), Kirsty Lambert sea cadets, Peter Marshall and Daniel Phillips all sea cadets. Front Row: James Leigh Sea Cadets, the Rev Maria Shephardson, Alan Jordan (descendant), Lynda Godard (descendant) and Megan Emms sea cadet and inset the plaque