An Admiral’s mysterious visit after his death.

The HMS Victoria is slowly sinking near Tripoli while the HMS Nile continues to rescue as many as possible.
The HMS Victoria is slowly sinking near Tripoli while the HMS Nile continues to rescue as many as possible.

THE GUESTS AT THE LAVISH PARTY in 1893 at Eaton Square were graced by the striking figure of Admiral George Tryon striding across the floor. A few of those who knew him personally struck up short conversations with him as he passed through the room. Then he was gone.

“Yoo-hoo, yoo-hoo, Lady Tryon!” Mrs. Cogswell called out softly to the hostess when she re-entered the room. She waved to Lady Tryon. “I must be going, but I wanted to thank you for inviting me to this lovely party. I couldn’t lay my eyes on you for several minutes, but I was sure you would return.”

Admiral George Tryon
Admiral George Tryon

Lady Tryon smiled and replied, “Why, of course you were invited. I have been giving a tour of the side rooms to an out-of-town guest. Then, I went out in the kitchen to make sure they have more trays of food and drink to bring in. Are you sure you can’t stay a little longer? Please? They are bringing in some sweet surprises.”

“No, I am sorry I must go. I must check on Mother. She has not been well. I was so glad to get to have a short chat with The Admiral when he came through,” Pansy Cogswell continued.

“The Admiral? Admiral who?” Lady Tryon was taken quite aback and it showed on her face. She had not invited any admirals to this party.

“Why, your husband. Admiral Tyron. He just walked through here moments ago. He stopped and talked to several of us. It was at about 3:30 p. m. I would estimate.”

With this, Lady Tyron looked around for the closest empty chair in which to have a seat. She found one and sank down in it. “Not possible, Mrs. Cogswell. You see, my husband is still at sea,” she said in a sort of whispery voice. “He is not expected to return any time soon.”

“Oh.” Mrs. Pansy Cogswell navigated her way to the door, slowly. She looked back over her shoulder a few times. She felt she had made some kind of a grave error but did not know how to handle such social situations. Perhaps Lady Tryon would talk some of the other guests that had also chatted with The Admiral and not think her to be so rude, or even daft. Perhaps the Admiral had come home after all, and could not find his wife immediately. Maybe he had gone into some of the nearby rooms looking for her and they would soon have a joyous reunion. Pansy decided to call on another party-goer in a few days and see exactly what had happened after she left the party. She was anxious to find out and it was the only thing she knew of to do, tactfully.

*     *     *

     At the time of Lady Tryon’s lavish party at Eaton Square in London, Admiral George Tryon was actually going down with his ship, HMS Victoria. He was heard saying “It’s all my fault,” as the ship went down, by some who had survived and been rescued. It was 3:34 p. m. when the flagship of the Royal Navy, Victoria, went beneath the waves off the coast of Tripoli. It was accidently rammed by another ship in its squadron, the Camperdown. This freakish accident happened during a tricky maneuver ordered by Admiral Tryon, himself. Naval experts still wonder why an admiral of his experience would order such a move with many ships so close together. It is a mystery to this day.

There are those who are willing to believe that as the life ebbed from the Admiral’s body beneath the Mediterranean Sea, his spirit made a short side trip to the drawing room of his beloved home at Eaton Square. It then left for parts unknown.

Please click the book cover image to read more about Sara Marie Hogg and her books.

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