Thursday, July 3, 2014


It's been a couple of weeks since I have posted anything on my blog.  I haven't been doing nothing in that time, in fact I have written three articles for our Community magazine all of which have been accepted and I have submitted one photograph for the cover.  I thought you might be interested in at least one of these articles, so I have reproduced it here.  I am quite limited in how long the articles may be -- no longer  than 450 words which for me is next to nothing as the articles I'm used to writing are usually 2,500 words !  Quite a difference.

This is the first one:


Chris Jones
When I was in my teens, I lived in the little fishing village of Flamborough on the east coast of Yorkshire.  It is located on a headland that juts 6 miles out into the North Sea.  Little did I know then that I would end up becoming an American citizen and living in Southern California.
Something else I didn’t know then was that in September of 1779 there was a major naval battle during the American War of Independence fought just 3 miles off our headland known as the Battle of Flamborough Head.  The battle was between John Paul Jones on the Bonhomme Richard and the captain of the British frigate, Serapis
The fierce battle lasted many hours, and could be clearly seen by the local population from the cliff tops on that bright moonlight night.  John Paul Jones’ ship took debilitating fire and it is said that the captain of the Serapis relayed a message to Jones asking if he was ready to strike his colors and give up.  Jones’  feisty reply, with shattered timbers and burning sailcloth falling around him was, “Give up?  I have not yet begun to fight!
Eventually it was the Serapis who had to surrender having lost large numbers of men.  Jones made an attempt to tow the Serapis  over to Holland as his bounty, but his own ship was so devastated by the battle that his men had to board the Serapis  and allow the Bonhomme Richard to sink somewhere off Flamborough Head and Filey Bay.
In recent years, there have been a number of attempts to find her, but the sea floor is  littered with so many wrecks off the headland, that there has not been any success.

Jones was originally a Scotsman but ended up fighting for the Americans after he had joined his brother who owned a plantation in Virginia. He developed an intense aversion to slavery so with his sharp mind  and head for strategy the military made sense for his future.  Brought up in Scotland, he had a good education and a strong sense of duty and integrity, although like any hero of yesteryear he has had his share of criticism from the history revisionists.  

Even so, having read his records of various naval activities and his account of the Battle of Flamborough Head, I’m inclined to consider him the father of the American Navy as many do today.
So while enjoying the fireworks on July 4th, spare a thought for John Paul Jones and the Battle of Flamborough Head, without whom America would not likely be as she is today.


In addition to writing articles I have done a little art work.  As usual, when I haven't done a lot of 
drawing I nearly always start again with some form of doodle or tangle.





snafu said...

An interesting artcle, I had no idea about that event. I knew that JOhn Paul Jones had attacked Whitehaven on the West coast with the intention of setting fire to England's coal berges moored there, but it rained so much they could not get them to burn and ended up in the local pub. The English version is they got drunk before the attemt but the American version is that they simply took shelter from the rain after failing to set the fires.

Terra said...

Great article about a period of history I am interested in, and the sea battles of the time were often hard fought between two ships and two captains. I like the Patrick Obrian series set in 1800, realistic fiction with lots of sea battles.

Alan Burnett said...

The wonder of world wide blogging is that I discover an interesting facet of the history of my own county reading a blog which was written halfway around the world.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Your talents in the arts have such a wide range of skills. Whether you are investigating the fascinating life of John Paul Jones (imagining that scene, just 3 miles from your birthplace, must have been quite an experience for you) or recording the colours in your mind through doodles, you leave us with the feeling of having been enriched by spending time at your blog.

photowannabe said...

I always love your tangles and thank you for reposting your history. I find it fascinating.
Have a wonderful weekend Chris.

jabblog said...

Very interesting, Chris - I had never heard of the Battle of Flamborough Head.

I really like your colourful, detailed illustrations. Some author 'out there' is looking for your work I'm sure.

Susan Moore said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I was wondering where is Flamborough Head? So now I know and I learned a little history as well.
ps I love your art work!