International symposium at Waterfront UCs to celebrate an Ipswich navy hero

Captain Philip Bowes Vere Broke RN by Samuel Lane (� National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London)

Captain Philip Bowes Vere Broke RN by Samuel Lane (� National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London) - Credit: Archant

A major global conference celebrating the life, times and achievements of a true Ipswich naval hero is taking place at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) on Ipswich Waterfront on Saturday, October 12.

The International Symposium is celebrating the bicentenary of Admiral Sir Philip Broke and HMS Shannon and USS Chesapeake engagement of 1813.

The event itself is sold out but tickets are available for a concert at Nacton Church on the Sunday, which has been organised by the Old Ipswicians (he studed at Ipswich School).

Historians and maritime experts from around the world will converge on UCS to examine the life of the “Ipswich Nelson”, Admiral Sir Philip Broke.

The symposium, hosted by the Ipswich Maritime Trust has managed to get some of the world’s leading maritime historians to attend and give presentations.

Professor John Hattendorf is coming from Boston, USA, and professor Chris Madsen is flying in from Canada to take part.

Des Pawson, a director of the Ipswich Maritime Trust, said: “It is a very important event. The speakers will give a full and varied view of our local hero.

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“I feel that getting such important international speakers to the Waterfront is something Ipswich can be proud of.”

Sir Philip, of Broke Hall, Nacton, attended Ipswich School before embarking on his naval career.

While taking part in the Royal Navy blockade of the USA he took on the USS Chesapeake, won the gunnery battle and took the American ship, leading the boarding party and sustaining a cutlass wound to the head. It ended his naval career but he soon became recognised as a national hero.

Historian and author Tim Voelcker is one of the driving forces behind the event.

His new book Broke of the Shannon and the War of 1812 is now being published

He said: “He deserves to be made something of. Although he was greatly honoured in his own time he has largely been forgotten.

“It came to me we ought to do something to recognize Broke.

“The symposium is recognising Broke and the battle for which he was famous.”

The concert, is at Nacton Church at 3pm on Sunday October 13.

The event will celebrate OI’s Philip Broke and his brother Charles (Wellington’s Adjutant-General at the Battle of Waterloo) with a concert at their home church of Nacton.

OI President Richard Edgar-Wilson will be joined by Radio 3 presenter Louise Fryer, a choir, orchestra and soloists under the direction of Andrew Leach to tell their stories using contemporary words and music including songs, Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory at the Battle of Vittoria and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War.

Tickets for the concert are priced at £10 and are available in advance from Lindy Hacker, Development Office, Ipswich School, Henley Road, Ipswich, IP1 3SG or on the door.

Parking is at adjacent Orwell Park School.

For further details email Lindy Hacker ( or telephone 01473 298961.

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