Sad end for old lady of Trafalgar

Implacable and Foudroyant moored in Portsmouth Harbour
Implacable and Foudroyant moored in Portsmouth Harbour
Lieutenant Colin Churcher

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Another pair of even older ships, Implacable and Foudroyant are shown left, moored in the harbour.

They were used as holiday training facilities for the Society for Nautical Research.

Implacable (left) was originally the French vessel Duguay-Trouin which had been captured at Trafalgar after exchanging fire with HMS Victory.

After Nelson’s flagship went into dry dock in 1922, Implacable held the mantle of the oldest warship afloat.

She was brought to Portsmouth in 1932 where she was joined by Foudroyant, originally the French ship Trincomalee.

Implacable finally paid off in 1947 and, in what was considered by many to be an act of vandalism, she was towed out to the Owers lightship, off Sussex, and sent to the bottom.

As she was leaving harbour the company of her old adversary, Victory, stood to attention.

Her partner, Foudroyant, remained a familiar sight in the harbour until she was taken to her new home at Hartlepool to be restored.