HMS Invincible

HMS Invincible

HMS Invincible, a Third Rate 74 gun, who sailed out of Yarmouth in March 1801 to join the Baltic Fleet under Admiral Sir Hyde Parker with Lord Nelson Second in Command, shortly before the Battle of Copenhagen. A strong tide and fresh wind forced her off course, and she struck Hammonds Knoll, a sandbank just east of Haisbro Sand. The crew laboured all night to save her, cutting away the masts and pumping continuously, but at daybreak on 17th March she went down.

A smack fishing for cod rescued some of the crew, but out of 590 men, some 400 perished, including her Captain - the last to leave his ship. During the next few days many bodies were washed ashore, and at Happisburgh cart loads were gathered up and taken to a mass grave in the churchyard. The loss of lives from HMS Invincible was greater than the casualties at the Battle Copenhagen.

For many years no memorial marked the place, but on 24th July 1998 a simple stone given jointly by the Ship's Company of the present HMS Invincible and the Parochial Church Council was dedicated to the memory of all from the earlier Invincible who died at sea.