Cutty Sark Figureheads: Military Figures

Cutty Sark closure

Visitor notice: Cutty Sark will be closed on Sunday 1 March for the Vitality Big Half Marathon. The Park Row car park will also be closed to the public all weekend. On 29 February and 1 March access to the National Maritime Museum and Queen's House will be via the Romey Road or William Walk gates. Our other museum sites will be open as usual. Plan your visit

Under the hull of Cutty Sark is the Long John Silver Collection of Merchant Navy figureheads. These figureheads are from many different ships, many sailing at the same time as Cutty Sark. Within the collection are a number of significant military figures, from the 19th century, both from Britain and abroad.

General Havelock

General Havelock, part of the Cutty Sark figurehead collection

Nothing is known about the vessel this figurehead comes from, but the figurehead itself depicts Major-General Sir Henry Havelock (1795–1857).  General Havelock was a British general who is particularly associated with India. He was noted for his recapture of Cawnpore from rebels during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Omar Pasha

Omar Pasha, part of the Cutty Sark figurehead collection

This figurehead comes from a 225-ton brig built in Nova Scotia by Blythe in 1854. The character represented is Omar Pasha Latas (1806–1871). Of Austrian birth, he later became was an Ottoman general and governor. He was military governor of Lebanon in 1842, and won distinction in suppressing rebellions in Albania, Bosnia, and Kurdistan, but his chief services were rendered in the Russian War. This figurehead is rather unusual in that it has glass eyes.


Garibaldi, part of the Cutty Sark figurehead collection

Nothing is known about the vessel this figurehead came from, but the ship was wrecked in the Orkneys.  The figurehead represents Italian general and politician, Guiseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882).  Garibaldi was a central figure in the Italian Risorgimento, as he personally commanded and fought in many military campaigns that led to the formation of unified Italy during the 19th century.

General Gordon

General Gordon, part of the Cutty Sark figurehead collection

There is no information about the vessel this figurehead came from other than it was a brigantine.  The figurehead represents Major-General Charles Gordon, (1833 – 1885), He saw action in the Crimean War as an officer in the British army, but he made his military reputation in China, and became known as 'Chinese Gordon'. He became a national hero when he died defending Khartoum against the Sudanese nationalist army.

Visit the Cutty Sark Figureheads