Admiral Sir William Cornwallis was one of Milford’s most distinguished residents.
Since 1066, there have been three times when England has been under serious threat of imminent invasion.
- The first was against the Armada sent by Philip of Spain in 1588
- The most recent was in 1940 when Hitler assembled his forces in the continental ports opposite the English coast.
- It is sometimes forgotten that in 1804/5 we stood alone against Napoleon as he planned his invasion of England.
Napoleon had to gain naval control of the English Channel to enable his invasion plans. “Let us be masters of the Channel for six hours and we are masters of the world.”
It was Admiral Cornwallis as Commander in Chief of the Channel Fleet who frustrated all Napoleon’s attempts to invade Britain.
Bicentenary of Cornwallis’ death
We are preparing to commemorate the bicentenary of his death in 2019. Already the ledger on Cornwallis’ tomb in All Saints churchyard has been repaired and the memorial tablet to Admiral Peyton has been renovated and moved to the chancel.
A church service, a re-enactment of the news of Trafalgar, some events on the village green on the weekend of 5/6th July 2019 are being planned.
Discussions are taking place with St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery to organise an exhibition celebrating the Navy of Cornwallis’ times as well as the three admirals who lived in Milford at the start of the 19th Century: Cornwallis, Peyton and Man.
It is intended also that a history trail may be created to enable a deeper appreciation of the many naval links here in South West Hampshire.
We are hoping to be able to fund the entire project through charities and organisations which have strong ties with the Royal Navy or with Hampshire.
While we have received strong support so far we are continuing to seek funding for the project, especially the exhibition. If you or your organisation would like to contribute to the commemoration, please contact us.
We are particularly grateful for the support we have already received from many individuals as well as from the following organisations: