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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

For Nelson's Sake

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For Nelson's Sake is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Daily Chronicle on 22 september 1892.


For Nelson's Sake

Sir, — I had waited in the hope that some one else would have answered "R.N.'s" letter, but I prefer to intrude upon your space a second time rather than to leave it unanswered. If your correspondent's signature means that he is an officer of the Royal Navy, we may be allowed to hope that his seamanship is better than his logic. He states that our desire to save Nelson's flagship for the nation shows that we are ignorant of naval history. Most people would have thought that it proved the contrary. If, as he states, others of Nelson's ships have been sold in days gone by, surely the obvious deduction is that it is the more important that this one, almost a last survival, should be retained. As to Nelson's mental or moral state during the time he commanded her, that is quite beside the question. The point is that we have only two ships that ever carried his flag, and that one of them has been sold for an insignificant sum to a foreign nation.

The talk of the expense of keeping the old ship up will not bear discussion. We must, as long as our Navy lasts, have store and depôt and receiving ships in our harbours. The Foudroyant can always earn her keep as one of those. Supposing that it takes £10,000 to give her a fresh lease of life. If we can afford £70,000 for an old master, we can also find money to preserve our national relics.

Yours faithfully,

A. CONAN DOYLE
12, Tennison-road, South Norwood.





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