Monday, March 8, 2021


As our world moves toward the end of COVID many are dreaming of travelling again. Meantime, Barb Lyon has sent us this report of a trip she took in 2019 where she "met" an ancestor.

     My cousins and I planned a trip for September 2020 to travel to Germany, Austria and Italy, travelling by train along the way. Our trip was, of course, cancelled due to Covid 19 travel restrictions but we did manage a trip the previous year to England.
     My cousin Gerry and her husband Ray have visited England previously and were posted there for five years during Ray’s career in the Canadian Navy. I couldn’t have asked for more knowledgeable, kind and accommodating travel companions.
     One of our stops was West Bromwich in the West Midlands area of England. There we visited the grave of our great, great, great, great uncle James Eaton.

Born in London in 1783, Eaton entered the navy in 1799 during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was appointed signal midshipman aboard HMS Temeraire by 1805, and served as such at The Battle of Trafalgar with Lord Nelson on the HMS Victory during the Napoleonic wars.
HMS Victory

The HMS Tremeraire was broken up after the war but we did visit the HMS Victory in Portsmouth.

It was James Eaton, as signal midshipman, who repeated Lord Nelson’s command at the start of the Battle of Trafalgar that “England expects that every man this day shall do his duty”.
     James Eaton is buried at All Saints Church in West Bromwich. The Warden there was very generous of his time and gave us am interesting tour of the Church and its grounds.
This is a picture of my cousin Gerry with the Warden and myself at James Eaton’s grave site.

We visited Hill House in West Bromwich where James Eaton lived until his death in 1857. We knocked on the door hoping for a brief look around but the current owners were not at home
Hill House, Dagger Lane, W. Bromwich


Built in the early 16th century, Hill House became the home of Captain James Eaton in 1839. It is believed Charles Dickens was a visitor to Hill House while he wrote "the Old Curiosity Shop." 

     The next day we travelled from Portsmouth by ferry to the Isle of Wight.There we visited Osborne House which Queen Victoria and Prince Albert built between 1845 and 1951. Prince Albert designed the house himself in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo. The Royal Family enjoyed the House as a change from the stuffiness of Buckingham Palace and the more relaxed atmosphere for their 11 children. The family used it as a summer home and rural retreat.
Osborne House

We greatly enjoyed our tour of the House and the extensive grounds.
     Queen Victoria died at Osborne House on January 1 1901 and even though her will expressed her desire that the House be kept in the Royal Family, Queen Victoria’s heir Prince Edward VII donated the House to the state in 1902. As such it is the first and only royal residence to be enjoyed by only one generation of the Royal Family. 

     We look forward to the day when we can enjoy each other's company again and travel God's magnificent Creation.

Thanks for the armchair tour, Barb. Imagine being the man who passed along the order "England expects . . . his duty."

1 comment:

  1. Great trip and great reporting, thanks Barbara for sharing this with us. It certainly will be wonderful when we can re-book our travels yet again