24 Feb: How Not To Invade Britain

The ‘Last Invasion’ of Britain was not, as most people assume, The Battle of Hastings – but actually a farcical French attempt to conquer the Pembrokeshire town of Fishguard on 24th February, 1797. 

Windy weather had already scuppered the first two prongs of this failed three-pronged attack, which was ultimately overthrown by a rag-bag militia of volunteers, a shipload of discarded booze, and a Welshwoman with a pitchfork.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly ask if the French had any realistic chance of success; explain why their soldiers seemed quite so unmotivated by the task at hand; and pay tribute to the pub at the heart of the surrender… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Battle of Fishguard: The Last Invasion Of Mainland Britain’ (HistoryExtra, 2022): https://www.historyextra.com/period/georgian/last-invasion-britain-french-battle-fishguard-what-happened-jemima-nicholas/

• ‘Jemima Nicholas, a Fishguard Heroine – People of Pembrokeshire’ (coastalcottages.co.uk): https://www.coastalcottages.co.uk/inspiration/heritage/jemima-nicholas-a-fishguard-heroine/

• ‘The One Show: The French Invasion of Fishguard’ (BBC Wales, 2011):

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