Jack Crawford

  • Description

    Jack Crawford was born on 22nd March 1775 at Pottery Bank, which was then called Thornhill’s Bank, in the East End of Sunderland. Pottery Bank would have started at about the eastern end of High Street East today. In 1796, he was press-ganged into the Royal Navy and served on “HMS Venerable” under Admiral Duncan. During the fierce fighting in the Battle of Camperdown HMS Venerable was badly damaged and the main mast was broken. Jack Crawford climbed the broken mast and nailed the flag to it, whilst under heavy fire. The Union Flag (the original Union Jack without the red saltire of St Patrick) was the command flag of Admiral of the Fleet. In a time without electronic communication systems this flag was a very important identifier, and a proud symbol of British power. The loss of the flag could be a great blow to morale and could affect a battle. The phrases to “nail your colours to the mast” and “show your true colours” refer back to the original use and meaning of these flags. After the battle there was a great victory procession in London. Jack’s action was said to have helped win the battle. In March 1798, the people of Sunderland presented Jack with a silver medal in honour of his daring act. The medal is now in Sunderland Museum. In January 1806, Jack was formally presented to King George III and granted a pension of For more details of Jack Crawford please see out factsheet http://www.sunderland.gov.uk/public/editable/themes/Lifelong-Learning/Leaflets/Jack" >www.sunderland.gov.uk/public/editable/themes/Lifelong-Lea... Crawford.pdf
  • Owner

    Sunderland Public Libraries
  • Source

    Sunderland Public Libraries (Flickr)
  • License

    What does this mean? Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
  • Further information

    Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33844814@N06/4194155035/
    Resource type: Image
    Last modified: 7 years, 2 months ago
    Viewed: 1174 times
    Picture Taken: Unknown
  • Co-Curate tags


Add a comment or share a memory.

Login to add a comment. Sign-up if you don't already have an account.


Co-Curate is a project which brings together online collections, museums, universities, schools and community groups to make and re-make stories and images from North East England and Cumbria. Co-Curate is a trans-disciplinary project that will open up 'official' museum and 'un-officia'l co-created community-based collections and archives through innovative collaborative approaches using social media and open archives/data.