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Nelson's Band of Brothers (Hardback)

Lives and Memorials

Maritime > Seaforth Publishing

By Peter Hore
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781848327795
Published: 20th May 2015



Star Review

Nelsons Band of Brothers is a handsome tribute to both Nelson himself and all the officers - BigJules

Click here to check out the BigJules blog and view the review in its entirety

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While there is a perennial interest in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars and in Nelson himself, there is no reference work that chronicles all the captains of his ships, their social origins, their characters and the achievements in their lives beyond their service under Nelson.
This new book, researched and written by distinguished historians, descendants of some of Nelson's officers, and members of the 1805 Club, presents concise biographies of those officers who fought with Nelson in his three great battles, with superb colour illustration throughout.
Nelson first gave the name of 'band of brothers' to the officers who had commanded ships of his fleet at the battle of the Nile (1798). This new volume will include 100 officers, ranging from lieutenants in command of gunboats at the battle of Copenhagen (1801) through captains of line-of- battle ships at the Nile and at Trafalgar (1805), to admirals in command of squadrons in his fleets. Of real significance are the specially commissioned photographs of all the monuments and memorials to Nelson's captains, descriptions with transcriptions of epitaphs, and clear directions to enable the readers to find them.
Part travel book, part biography and moving testimony to Nelson's faithful captains, Nelson's band of Brothers presents the opportunity to rediscover 100 local heroes.

Nelson’s Band of Brothers is well organized and each of the biographical entries contains an overview of the captain’s career, with information on each ship he served on and the battles he fought in. It also provides information on the role he and his ship had under Nelson. It is lavishly illustrated with many colour images of the captains and their ships in those battles. The subtitle of the book is Lives & Memorials. This is not a misnomer, for there are numerous colour photographs of the captains’ graves and memorials that were built in their honour by a grateful nation.

Nelson’s Band of Brothers is a very useful reference for those who study the Napoleonic History. Although its main appeal will be to those who focus on the Royal Navy during the era, those who are interested in the campaigns and battles of the British Army will turn to it frequently. For after Trafalgar, many of the captains in the book went on to support British military operations in the Mediterranean and the Baltic, the Low Countries, and the Peninsular War. And of course, their names would crop up again in the War of 1812.

The Napoleon Series - October 2015 - reviewed by Robert Burnham

Part travel book, part biography and moving testimony to Nelson's faithful captains. Nelson's Band of Brothers presents an opportunity to rediscover 100 local heroes.

Ton Class Association

Have you ever wondered about Lord Nelson's captains in his main naval battles? They were a special group of sailors and their characters and achievements are described in Nelson's Band of Brothers, a title bestowed on them by Nelson himself. Here for the first time is a detailed and highly informative account of their time at sea and their family links ashore.

The author, Peter Hore, is to be congratulated on his editing of the in-depth research involved as the book is both readable and highly entertaining in the best possible way. Of the captains described, Hardy, Collingwood and Bligh all became famous but what about the other 77? Now you can find out for yourself.

This England, Summer 2016

This compilation of biographies is a superb example of what can be achieved through meticulous edition, a generous publisher and a series of splendid subjects. Peter Hore has assembled 80 biographies of the men who served with Nelson and has achieved a very welcome addition to the historiography of naval biography.

International Journal of Maritime History Volume 28(2) - Byrne McLeod

This is an unusual book in that it looks at the various commanding officers associated with Nelson in his three major campaigns - the battles of the Nile; Copenhagen; and Trafalgar, and provides a record of their lives and service both in and after life in the Royal Navy.
Peter Hore does an outstanding job in assembling some 80 individuals, subdivided into the three campaigns.

It is a book to dip into, and to enjoy immensely. Very well recommended.

South West Soundings May 2016

One to be dipped into, savoured and used for reference, and one that should find a place on the shelves of every TNS member.

The Nelson Dispatch Winter 2016

As featured in.

Scuttlebutt Magazine edition 51

Luckily for the modern reader ‘Nelson’s Band of Brothers: Lives and Memorials’ offers new and fascinating material on the people behind Nelson. These men, these Band of Brothers, were perhaps the true artisans of the glorious victories of British sea power and their stories are well worth the telling.

Peter Hore has gathered a fine collection regarding the lives and memorials of those who fought under Nelson’s tactical command at his three great battles – the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar. Each battle is given a short introduction to establish a framework for the lives of each commander. In all there are 80 biographies written by distinguished historians, including ten who are descendants of those who served under Nelson. The surviving monuments to these remarkable lives are also described, some more forlorn than others, standing almost as a forgotten testament to these men of the sea...

... Nelson’s Band of Brothers is an attractive and enjoyable work that is well worth a read. It sweeps you into the world of the 18th and early 19th century. A world of wooden fighting ships, naval actions and command at sea. Highly inspirational. This book is recommended for anyone who enjoys the age of sail – the adventurous and the sea power enthusiast. A must for every anglophile.

Australian Naval Institute - Dr Gregory P Gilbert

Reading this excellent new book, by renowned writer Peter Hore, the reader is drawn into the personal histories of all of Nelson's captains; their trials and tribulations and their undoubted successes...

Horatio Nelson first coined the phrase, "Band of Brothers" to describe his captains and this book is the first time that anyone has brought together all the characters in such detail and detailed it most certainly is. The book is also beautifully laid out with a large number of colour and black and white images as well as stirring photographs of paintings depicting Wooden Walled ships under sail. If you are interested in the history of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic era then this book is most certainly one that you might like to invest it.

Warship World

Peter Hore has created an unconventional book that gets beyond the overly familiar chronology of Nelson's life and leads us to expand our thinking about the naval officers who drove Britain's maritime ascendance, and the institution that cultivated them.

Hore's merging of Nelson's greatest achievements at sea with the backgrounds of the officers he led in his three most important actions challenges us to see Nelson in a broad context. This blends concise and well-crafted descriptions of Nelson's victories at the battles of the Nile, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar with 80 mini-biographies of the naval officers Nelson commanded in those engagements. Hore handles the writing of the battle descriptions adroitly; a variety of authors provide the mini-bios. What emerges is an extensive series of portrayals that provoke thoughts, not only of Nelson, but of the assemblage of naval leaders that was an engine of global change...

... Nelson's Band of Brothers is an apt title for Peter Hore's unusual study. It is not so much about the heroics of the major naval actions of an era as it is about the naval professionals who were linked by understanding and mutual trust, and who gave focus and momentum to a century-long series of pivots in history.

The Weekly Standard

As seen on.

International Napoleonic Society

This is an absolutely splendid book, immediately struck by its glossy quality and the profusion of unusual, colourful and interesting illustrations...

... The 80 biographies included are written by established subject-authors as well as novice writers, all are extraordinarily interesting to read. Well-written and larded with quotes, they paint a superb picture of the times...

You need to buy this book!

The Naval Review

There are legions of books on Nelson and his life and times – and I did wonder what more could be written about this subject. But Nelson’s Band of Brothers is a valuable contribution to Nelsonian scholarship as it contains new information – and overturns a few myths. The book extends the work undertaken by the late Colin White for The Trafalgar Captains, published in 2005. The biographies of some eighty officers that make up this new volume range from lieutenants in command of gunboats at the battle of Copenhagen through captains of line-of-battle-ships at the Nile and at Trafalgar, to admirals in command of squadrons in his fleets...

Nelson’s Band of Brothers, ably edited by Peter Hore, is organised into three main sections: The Battle of the Nile, Copenhagen and the Baltic, and The Campaign at Trafalgar. As well there are several additional sections and an extensive bibliography.

The Royal Navy in Nelson’s time was varied and international in composition, as is attested by the chapter ‘North Americans in Nelson’s Navy.’ It points out that at the height of the wars with France roughly two percent of the British fleet’s personnel consisted of North Americans.

One of the features of the book that I found particularly interesting is the photographs of all the monuments and memorials to Nelson’s captains with descriptions and transcriptions of epitaphs, and directions to enable people to find them. A useful map of the memorials around the UK at the beginning of the book provides an overview of their locations.

Nelson’s Band of Brothers is a handsome tribute to both Nelson himself and all the officers, eclectic and diverse as they were, who commanded ships or squadrons of the fleets which fought under his tactical control at his three great sea battles.



David Saunders

Handsomely presented and well-written, Nelson's Band of Brothers makes for an appealing and absorbing voyage through the fascinating lives of the valiant men who saw action with the greatest ever naval hero. The Immortal Memory of Nelson and his captains lives on.


As featured on.


Historical Naval Fiction

The biographies that make up this title were researched and written by a number of distinguished historians, some of whom are actually descendants of Nelson's officers and are all members of the 1805 Club. All the contributions are under the guidance of Peter Hore, who since he left the Royal Navy has been the associate editor of Warships International Fleet Review.

Following an introduction by Admiral Jonathon Bond, President of the 1805 Club, as well as a map of the UK, showing the locations of nearly 100 memorials, the text is divided into three main sections; The Battle of Nile in which the careers of 15 officers are detailed, Copenhagen and the Baltic (30), and the campaign of Trafalgar (35). The text closes with sections on North Americans in Nelson's Navy and the Class of Captains. In support are acknowledgments, contributors, sources, bibliography, picture credits and an index.

This is a nicely presented and well-produced work, covering an interesting yet often ignored subject. A must for naval buffs generally and also for those interested in an important aspect of the Napoleonic Wars.

Military Modelling - Stuart Asquith

This is a serious but very entertaining book with contributions from a long list of historians, some of whom are descendants of their subjects... This is solid history first and foremost and being receptive to the education, I have loved reading every bit of it...Seriously, guys, I cannot recommend this book enough. It offers history, biography and a travel guide within it's carefully measured chapters.

War History Online

The contributors are to be commended for the depth and breadth of their research and the editor does a fabulous job in collecting their work into a single volume which is neither excessively long nor expensive. Best of all, the information in this book is enjoyable to read and easily comprehended by those unfamiliar with naval tactics and jargon. Aside from being an invaluable introduction to these officers, Nelson’s Band of Brothers is a fascinating glimpse into these men, who resolved not to let down their Admiral, and their heroic, sometimes forgotten and, on occasion, infamous, deeds.

Pirates & Privateers

Peter Hore has tackled a very difficult project and produced an outstanding result. Writing a biographical sketch of each and every captain and admiral that played an important part in the battles and life of Lord Nelson is a mammoth undertaking and to deliver it with interesting insights regarding these men and their relationship with Nelson is just wonderful. Additionally, the subjects of these many sketches are accompanied with portraits of the men which makes this work the central reference for their portraiture. There is much more here than one would expect and as such is an essential addition to any library dealing with Lord Nelson, his battles and the men who helped him gain his fame.


Nelson's Band of Brothers is beautifully produced and is lavishly illustrated. It is a book to savour for its individual entries, to read and compare the remarkable lives of its many heroes, and as a work of reference to keep on the shelves of every student and lover of books about Nelson's Navy.

The Kedge Anchor

About Peter Hore

Captain Peter Hore, RN, now retired, is a former Head of Defence Studies for the Royal Navy. He is the author of numerous books, and is currently Associate Editor of Warships: International Fleet Review. He is also a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a fellow of the Society for Nautical Research. He recently wrote Henry Harwood: Hero of the River Plate.

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