Hull sheathing nails from HMS Bounty

Contributed by Michael Bird

Hull sheathing nails from HMS Bounty

In January 1974 I visited and Pitcairn Island and I was able to stay ashore for a few days. I met Norris(Noggy)Young who was as endlessly fascinated by my tales of the outside world as I was by his tales of life on his remote island. We became firm friends and when I was leaving he pressed these artefacts into my hand.
These relics of HMS Bounty are sheathing nails that were used to fix protective copper sheathing to hull. After Fletcher Christian and the mutineers arrived at Pitcairn they stripped the Bounty of its useful materials and, to avoid detection from a vengeful Royal Navy, burned the hulk to the waterline.
The remains of the ship lay undisturbed on the bottom until 1957 when a National Geographical Society diving expedition led by Luis Marden located them. (I Found the Bones of the Bounty, National Geographic Magazine, December 1957.) As a youngster Noggy attached himself to the expedition and the source of my nails is from those brought up by Luis Marden.
When I hold these nails in my hand I have a curious feeling of connection with what is surely the hoariest of hoary tales in the history of the Royal Navy.

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