H.M.S. Implaccable Cigarette Box, 1949
H.M.S. Implaccable Cigarette Box, 1949
H.M.S. Implaccable Cigarette Box, 1949
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, H.M.S. Implaccable Cigarette Box, 1949
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, H.M.S. Implaccable Cigarette Box, 1949

H.M.S. Implaccable Cigarette Box, 1949

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9cm (3.5in) x 17.5cm (6.8in) x 13cm (6in)

Oak cigarette box constructed from the Battle of Trafalgar 74-gun ship of the line Duguay-Trouin applied with a silver plaque bearing crossed Union Jack and Tricoleur, the plaque inscribed ‘1800-1949 / French 74-gun Ship-of-the-Line / Duguay - Trouin / Fought at Trafalgar 1805 / Captured and renamed / H.M.S. Implaccable’. 

The Admiralty’s scuttling of the Battle of Trafalgar survivor in 1949 was met with public protest and outrage, but led to lasting efforts to save other historic vessels. Implacable was the second oldest warship in the Royal Navy after Victory and had survived the Second World War on a mooring in the Solent, where on Trafalgar Day 1943 she flew Nelson’s famous signal ‘England Expects …’ Her sinking by explosive charge off the Isle of Wight marked the end of preservation attempts dating back to Edward VII in 1908.

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H.M.S. Implacable, 74-guns, was built as the French Navy's Téméraire-class ship of the line Duguay-Trouin, and was launched in 1800. On 21 October 1805, she took part in the Battle of Trafalgar, where she was part of the vanguard of the French fleet under Contre-amiral Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley, but was one of four French ships that escaped that day. However on 3 November 1805 she was taken at the Battle of Cape Ortegal by a squadron under Captain Sir Richard Strachan. Her captain Claude Touffet was killed in the action and her masts shot away. In British service, under the command of Captain Thomas Byam Martin, she participated in the capture of the Russian 74-gun Vsevolod in a prolonged and bloody action in the Baltic in 1808. She returned to the Baltic in 1809 to drive home Byam Martin’s intention ‘to impress these Strangers with that Sense of Respect and Fear, which His Majesty's other Enemies are accustomed to show to the British Flag’ by capturing assorted merchantmen, and cutting-out a Russian convoy and her escorts. For this action, the Admiralty issued in 1847 the clasp ‘7 July Boat Service 1809’ to the Naval General Service Medal.