Who was the man who inspired the Russell Crowe film Master and Commander? Who is known as the 'father' of the modern British Navy? And, who risked live and limb to save his men in Antarctica? Discover all as we explore the lives and legacies of some of maritime history's leaders and heroes.

Grace Darling achieved great fame for the part she played in the rescue of survivors from a wrecked merchant ship in 1838.

Royal Navy officer Thomas Cochrane (1775–1860) was a notorious naval officer and the real-life ‘Master and Commander’.

Captain Robert Falcon Scott was the first British explorer to reach the South Pole and explore Antarctica extensively by land in the early 1900s. 

Sir Ernest Shackleton was an Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer, who made three expeditions to the continent, most famously in 1914 on the Endurance.

Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the most successful generals of the French revolutionary armies. He was emperor of France from 1804-14, and in 1815.

Samuel Pepys, the famous 17th century British diarist, helped to establish the Navy and is often described as ‘the father of the modern Royal Navy’.