Lieutenant Commander Douglas Oscar Whild of the British Royal Navy has a very unique naval command. He is the 99th Commanding Officer of the world’s oldest warship, the H.M.S. Victory. His crew consists of both naval and civilian members because H.M.S. Victory is still active in the Royal Navy. It is also a museum, open to the public.

 

         Oscar Whild with two of his crew. H.M.S. Victory in the background.

 

The Victory is a 100 gunship of the line launched in 1765. It was Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafa where Nelson won England’s greatest naval battle against the combined French and Spanish fleets which saved England from Napoleon’s invasion. The battle that took place October 21, 1805, a date every British schoolboy knows, was Nelson’s greatest triumph and his last. He was wounded by a French sniper who was in the rigging of the French battleship Redoutable. Nelson lived long enough to know he had won England’s greatest sea battle.

 

Seaman Kelly Stone with Captain Whild inspect the setting on Nelson’s dining table
 

The Victory is 227 feet long and a breadth of 51 feet 10 inches, top masthead is 220 feet tall and can hold up to four acres of canvas which gives the ship a top speed of 5 knots if you have the wind. The H.M.S. Victory took an estimated five thousand oak trees and six years to build, with a crew of 850. The cost was 63,136 pounds – about 55 million pounds today.

 

                       Ropes securing the six anchors used on board ship
 

Douglas Oscar Whild joined the Royal Navy as a boy seaman in 1981 and saw action in the Falkland war. He and his wife, Nicky, have two sons. Douglas’ favorite sport is jumping out of planes and, in his own words, “I have the best job in the Navy”.

 

                       Looking over the gun deck of H.M.S. Victory
 

The Victory has two roles: it is the flagship of the Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command and it is a museum. Whild is kept busy looking after the daily upkeep as well as entertaining guests in the Great Cabin and showing V.I.P.s around this historic vessel. The most asked questions: “where was Nelson standing when he was shot by the musket ball, and how much of the ship is still the same as when it was built”, are difficult to answer because the ship has been repaired so many times.





One Response to “Best Job In The Royal Navy Captain Of The H.M.S. Victory”

  1. antony scudder | 02.05.15 at 4:23 PM said…

    Hello, I’m looking for either L C J A Barker or Lt T B Dale or maybe anybody else connected to HMS Victory perhaps around the 80’s and 90’s that knows my father William (Bill) Scudder who sadly passed away on 4-2-15.He thought VERY highly of HMS Victory and all of the crew that he knew. I would very much appreciate any contact from anybody that knew my Father. My e-mail address is; tonyscudder@hotmail.co.uk and my tel.no is 07947 504 666.
    Many thanks .

 

 


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