HMS Erebus – the Welsh connection


There is great excitement here in Pembroke Dock, the town where HMS Erebus was built 188 years ago and a display has been planned following the discovery of the vessel in Canadian Arctic waters.

HMS Erebus was built at Wales’ only Royal Dockyard,  and launched in June 1826 as a bomb vessel. It was later converted to a survey ship for polar exploration.

At Pembroke Dock’s new Heritage Centre, which was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in April this year, historians are creating an exhibition on Erebus, one of the two vessels which were lost on the ill-fated Franklin Expedition in the 1840s.

Naval author and historian Ted Goddard, a Volunteer at the Heritage Centre, said: “This is an amazing discovery and a remarkable story. Erebus is the only survivor of over 260 ships built for the Royal Navy at Pembroke Dockyard between 1814 and 1922.

Erebus and the 'Terror' in New Zealand, August 1841
Erebus and the ‘Terror’ in New Zealand, August 1841

Erebus was the 28th vessel launched at what was the premier royal dockyard and went on to play a central part in one of the world’s maritime mysteries which only now is being unravelled.”

“This is a major development in Welsh and international maritime history and we wish to develop special links between Canada and Wales. We are sending a letter of congratulations to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.”

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