After 157 years Portsmouth have a memorial to West Africa Squadron

The Royal Navy West Africa Squadron had close ties with St Helena.  The relationship figures strongly in our history.  The Waterwitch Memorial in Castle Gardens is a good example of this.  The home port for the West Africa Squadron was Portsmouth.  A funding appeal to build a memorial to the West Africa Squadron in Portsmouth is gaining momentum and looks like being successful.

The sculpture recognises the abject plight of the slaves freed by the West Africa Squadron but is primarily a memorial to Britain, the Royal Navy, the Squadron in particular and the sailors of the squadron who lost their lives in military service.

A more balanced account of the part played by Portsmouth Naval Base in the battle against slave trading ships states, “In the initial years of its founding, it was based at Portsmouth. However, the squadron proved to be understaffed, inefficient, lacking in progress and unequal to the task ahead of them.”

When the West Africa Squadron moved more permanently to the West African coast it became more effective.

One Comment

  1. Years ago while living in NZ I looked at applying for a job on StHelena. Didn’t apply in the end but have maintained an interest in your island. Back in England now. More recently met someone who had lived there which was interesting. Would love to find out more about the West Africa Squadrons links to St Helena.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *