The Hardy Oak

Hardy Oak

Alan Snith, Denise Hyland and Richard Upton - picture by Warren King

An oak tree planted in memory of Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy was unveiled in Greenwich on Tuesday, 17 June. The planting of the English Oak marks the 180th anniversary of the appointment of Hardy as the Governor of Greenwich Hospital in 1834. He was the flag captain to Lord Nelson and it was to he that Nelson famously said, “kiss me, Hardy” as he lay dying.

The tree, planted by the Nelson Society, is close to the old hospital mausoleum in thegrounds of Devonport House under which Hardy was buried following his death in 1839.

"The unveiling was carried out by Paul Ganjou, Chairman of the Nelson Society. The new leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Denise Hyland and the deputy mayor of Lewisham, Alan Smith joined Richard Upton, CEO of Cathedral Holdings at the event. Cathedral Hotels is the owner of Devonport House, a De Vere Venue   who provided the hospitality. Guests enjoyed a light lunch of food with a historical and maritime theme.

Richard Upton commented: “I am delighted Cathedral has been able to plant the Hardy oak tree near to his burial place. It was a pleasure to welcome the new leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the deputy mayor of Lewisham to Devonport House. I look forward to there being a closer working relationship between the two neighbouring boroughs.”

Local MP Nick Raynsford and St Alfege’s Vicar, Chris Moody were also in attendance, along with representatives from the Nelson Society, Greenwich Hospital, the Greenwich Foundation, the Greenwich Society, the 1805 club, Visit Greenwich, SE London Chamber of Commerce and local businesses. The blessing of the oak was carried out by Rev’d Susan Blackall from the Old Royal Naval College chapel.