The old timbers of the world’s most famous warship witnessed another slice of naval history today.
For, in the Great Cabin in the stern of HMS Victory, the great old ship’s 100th boss took command.
Signing the handover book on a table used by Nelson before the Battle of Trafalgar, Lieutenant Commander Rod Strathern<CORR> took the helm.
The 46-year-old, who lives in Winchester, said: ‘Command of HMS Victory is a huge privilege for any CO, but to be the 100th adds a particular significance and I am conscious of following in some very illustrious footsteps.’
He added: ‘HMS Victory is a priceless national treasure and I intend to ensure she is well looked after.’
Saying farewell as commanding officer, and to the Royal Navy, was Lt-Cdr Oscar Whild<CORR>, 50, who took command of Victory in September 2008.
The Falklands war veteran said the past three years had been the highlight of his 30-year naval career.
‘It is without doubt the best job in the Royal Navy that someone of my rank can undertake.
‘The ship certainly gets under your skin and although it is time for me to move on, it will still be a wrench for me to go,’ he added as he prepared to leave his Portsmouth home for retirement in the south of France with his wife Nicky<CORR>..
Victory was launched in 1765 at Chatham and was commissioned into the navy in 1778.
Nelson’s flagship went into dry dock in Portsmouth Dockyard in 1922 - 117 years after Trafalgar.