This is a memorial not to the poet Thomas Hardy, but to Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy (1769-1839). Hardy is most famous as Lord Nelson's flag captain abroad "HMS Victory" at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. During the battle the French and Spanish fleets were defeated but Nelson was fatally wounded. It was here, below deck, that Nelson uttered those most famous words " Kiss me Hardy", although it has been suggested that he actually said " Kismet (fate) Hardy". When not at sea Hardy lived in the nearby village of Portesham.
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