The Battle of Pacocha'; Action between HMS 'Shah' and 'Ameth
Engraving showing the battle between HMS 'Shah' and 'Amethyst' and the Peruvian Ironclad turret ship 'Huascar' on the 29th May 1877. The 'Huascar' had been taken over by some Peruvian revolutionaries and declared a 'pirate' by the Peruvian government. The 'Shah' and 'Amethyst' were ordered to protect British Merchant Shipping and after the 'Huascar' had stopped several British merchant ships, the Royal Navy decided to hunt down the 'Huascar'. In the action depicted, the 70 guns of the British ships were unable to do much damage to the 'Huascar' as she was an heavily-built ironclad. In return the gunnery crew of the 'Huascar' was not well drilled enough to hit the British ships much. In desperation the 'Shah' launched a Whitehead torpedo at the 'Huascar', but the Peruvian ship was able to dodge it with some ease. The battle became a stalemate and the two sides slipped away after the fall of darkness. Reputedly this was the last action by a wooden warship, firing a broadside of muzzle-loading guns and the first use of a torpedo in anger.
© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans
Queen Mary Ocean Liner crisis stops work
'Tragedy comes to Clydeside'. On 10th December 1931, almost exactly a year after signing of the contract for the construction of 'Hull Number 534', know as 'Queen Mary' Ocean Liner, the board of the Cunard Company wrote to the shareholders notifying them that the directors have reluctantly decided that it is necessary to suspend the construction of the vessel pending some changes in prospects. The Cunard Company tried to secure financial backing from banks and business, with unsuccess. Finally obtaining a loan from the British Government, in 1934, one condition was that Cunard would merge with the White Star Line, 'Hull Number 552' which became Queen Elizabeth, Cunard's chief British rival at the time and also had been forced by the depression to cancel construction on its Oceanic. Date: 1931
© Mary Evans Picture Library
Belgian King Albert 'stopped the barbarian hordes'
Belgian King Albert 'stopped the barbarian hordes' - propaganda postcard from Belgium dating from WWI. At the outbreak of war Belgium was granted neutrality under the terms of a 1839 treaty and King Albert refused passage of the Kaiser's soldiers through his nation. When Germany subsequently invaded, the King (as prescribed by the Belgian constitution), took personal command of the Belgian army, and held the Germans off long enough for Britain and France to prepare for the Battle of the Marne. He led his army through the Siege of Antwerp and the Battle of the Yser, when the Belgian army was driven back to a last, tiny strip of Belgian territory, near the North Sea. Here the Belgians, took up a war of position, in the trenches behind the River Yser, remaining there for the next four years. During this period, King Albert fought with his troops and shared their dangers, while his wife, Queen Elisabeth, worked as a nurse at the front. Date: circa 1910s
© Mary Evans / Grenville Collins Postcard Collection