Occupation: Naval Officer
Frank Abney Hastings was a British naval officer who fought in the War of Greek Independence and was the first commander to use a ship with auxiliary steam power in naval action.
The leader of the Mediterranean
Frank Abney Hastings was born on February 14, 1794 in Leicestershire and died on June 1, 1828 in Zacynthus of Ionian Islands in Greece. Born to a noble British family, he served in the Royal Navy. In 1819 he was discharged from the Royal Navy, and a few years later traveled to Greece to aid the Greeks in their struggle for independence. To remedy the shortcomings of the outmoded Greek navy, he obtained the financial backing of Lord Byron and the London Greek Committee to buy six steam-powered warships in 1824; but only one was completed, which was the fastest and the most modern ship in the Mediterranean at that time. Hastings sank seven Turkish ships in the Bay of Salona, off the Gulf of Corinth, an act that forced the Egyptian-Turkish fleet to break through the allied naval blockade resulting in Egypt’s withdrawal from the war. Hastings’ operations in the islands and along the coastline of the Greek mainland enabled the Greeks to expand their territory and gain important strategic points. On 25 May 1828 he was wounded in an attempt to reclaim Missolonghi, and he died a few days later from his injuries in Zakynthos.
Hastings was laid to rest beneath the arsenal of Poros, which is today a Hellenic Naval Academy, and his heart is preserved in the Anglican Church in Athens. Multiple monuments in Greece have been built in his honor and several streets have been named after him.