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NGS Syria Royal Marine HMS Cyclops

Naval General Service, bar Syria, Robert Hudson, Royal Marines on board HMS Cyclops, 21 years of long service from 1823-44. HMS Brittania Greek Civil War 1830.

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Origin: United Kingdom
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Naval General Service, bar Syria, Robert Hudson, Gunner, Royal Marines on board HMS Cyclops, 21 years of long service.


Officially impressed: “Robt Hudson”


Confirmed on the roll as the only man by this name. Served as a Gunner 1st Class of the Royal Marine Artillery on board HMS Cyclops for the Syria Jean D’Acre operations.


Only about 91 Syria Clasps were claimed for the Cyclops, out of about 6872 in total, about 7 were to Royal Marine Artillery.


Provenance, Seabys December 1856.


With full copy service papers from his service spanning 21 years from 1823-1844.


One of the best ships to serve in the Syrian War, having been first tasked with being the messenger to deliver the ultimatum to Alexandria, which was refused as expected, leading to the beginning of the many battles.
HMS Cyclops shelled Beirut in support of the Ottoman landing to capture the Fort at Gebail, and landing her marines and further troops at Jouna on 12th September to capture Batroun on 15th September 1840.


Private and Gunner Robert Hudson, was born in Newball, Lincoln. He was a Blacksmith before he enlisted with the Royal Marines on 3rd December 1823 aged 24.


He was described as 24 years old, 5 foot 9 inches, fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair, when he claimed his £3 enlistment bounty, being given his 2 shillings and sixpence once he signed on at Woolwich.


He saw the following service on board HM Ships:


HMS Britannia, 30th June 1828 – 12th September 1828
Britannia, 2nd September 1829 – 8th August 1831
HMS Tyne, 27th July 1832 – 12th January 1837
HMS Cyclops – 22nd February 1840 – 18th May 1843.


Total of 9 years 10 months and 5 days afloat.
With 11 years 1 months 29 days on shore.


He was finally discharged on 6th December 1844 after 21 long years from the 2nd Artillery Company in consequence of his length of service and at his own request.


With his retirement he remained near the coast, settling in Portsea, Portsea Island, Hampshire, at 2 Durham Street.

Living with his wife Arabella (Born 1803 in Hambledon, Hampshire) and children.


Worked as a Dairyman in 1851, and a Coal Dealer in 1861.

1871 Census, he was retired, described as a 72 year old “Pensioner Marine Artillery.”

He died at Portsea during 1873.


Death announced in the Hampshire Telegraph: 25th January 1873.

“HUDSON – On the 20th Inst, at Durham Street, Southsea, Robert Hudson, aged 74 years.”



His first real ship’s posting was HMS Britannia when she was posted to the Mediterranean Station from 1829-1831.

She was under the command of Captain William James Hope Johnstone, as Flagship of Vice Admiral Sit Pulteney Malcolm, Mediterranean Station.

She arrived in Vellata Habour, Malta for refitting through Christmas 1829.

Cruising around Malta, Zante and Corfu through 1830.

Near Christmas in November and December, they passed Napoli di Romania and stayed at Salamis through Christmas, until the Acropolis was given up to the Greeks as the War of Independence was wrapping up.

Britain did not want to get too involved in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, who were their friends at the time, so they had to watch from the coast, but the Britannia seems to have been there to ensure the handing over of the Acropolis back to Greece and provided intelligence reports from the coast.

She set off to Malta afterwards, cruised around Gibraltar before landing back in Portsmouth in August 1831.


London Courier, Naval Intelligence 31st Dec 1830 records:

“Lastest accounts from Greece were brought on the 2nd inst from HM Ship Philomel, which arrived from Napoli in 12 days.

Sir P. Malcolm was there in the Britannia, with the Blonde, Scylla, and Hind Cutter…”




He was on board HMS Cyclops when he was sent to fight in the Syrian War of 1840.

The Cyclops was the ship detached from Patrolling to carry the ultimatum into Alexandra on 9th August 1840.

Unsurprisingly this was refused and the battles began.

HMS Cyclops was very active during the campaign, arriving at Beirut on 7th September 1840 to fire shells in support of the landing of Ottoman Troops, attempting to capture the Fort at Gebail on 11th September, and landing Marines and further troops at Jouna on 12th September, capturing Batroun on the 15th.

On 25th September, she arrived at Sidon, the Main Egyptian Supplies Depot, along with a few other ships, they bombarded the citadel and surrounding fort on 26th September before a force of 500 Ottoman troops were landed.

The 2700 strong defending force had continued to resist so the bombardment was resumed and reinforcements of 750 British marines and 100 Austrian Troops landed, alongside a few British Sailors.

The Fort was then overrun and the entire garrison captured, Cumming was mentioned in despatches for his bravery during the action.

The Cyclops remained in the Mediterranean sea until leaving for Malta in October, seeing further action at Tsour, as the Syrian War continued into November 1840.

Hudson returned home on the Cyclops when she was paid off on 18th May 1843.