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Although many of the young gentlemen who served aboard the Indefatigable during the Droits de l’Homme engagement in 1797 went on to have distinguished naval careers, only two served at the Battle of Trafalgar and, curiously, it was the two Scots, John McKerlie form Glen Luce, Wigtonshire and Alex McVicar from Leith. Both were merchant seamen of some experience at the time they joined the Indefatigable, and both went on to serve as lieutenants at Trafalgar, McKerlie as lieutenant of the Spartiate, and McVicar as lieutenant of the Minotaur. Both ships were in the rear of Nelson’s line and came into the battle late in the day when they arrived in time to intercept the threat posed by the French van under Rear Admiral Dunamoir. John McKerlie lived on until 1848 and in 1847 became the only recipient of the Naval General Service Medal with clasps for both the Droits de L’Homme engagement and Trafalgar.

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