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Captain The Hon Henry Keppel RN

1809 - 1904

Sir Henry Keppel was born on 14 June 1809 and attended the Royal Navy Academy, rising from Lieutenant to Commander and finally to the rank of Captain by 1837. Keppel developed a fine reputation for his role as Captain of a ship of the Royal Navy during the Carlist War in Spain. He went on to serve in China to suppress the Malay pirates in 1841 and in 1847 repeated this role when he commanded HMS MAEANDER.

During the Crimean War, Keppel was in command of HMS ST JEAN D'ACRE and later HMS RODNEY. After the war, Keppel was sent to China again and he commanded HMS RALEIGH, which hit an uncharted rock near Hong Kong. Despite this, he and his crew sailed in three small vessels in pursuit of Chinese pirates, which culminated in the Battle of Fatshan Creek on 1 June 1857. Keppel and his crew destroyed the Chinese fleet before capturing the city of Canton.

Keppel was pardoned for his loss of HMS RALEIGH and took command of HMS ALLIGATOR until his promotion to Rear Admiral. He retired in 1879 having achieved the rank of Admiral of the Fleet. Keppel died on 17 January 1904.