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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Nelson's Caribbean Hell-Hole: an Eighteenth Century Navy Graveyard Uncovered

Published: 1 May 2013

Nelson's Caribbean Hell-Hole is part of BBC Four’s season of programmes exploring our fascination with uncovering the past.

Dr Christer Petley, a historian at the University of Southampton with a keen interest in Caribbean studies featured in this BBC4 documentary that was screened on Wednesday 1 May and to be repeated on Monday 6 May at 7.30. 

Human bones found on an idyllic beach in Antigua trigger an investigation by naval historian Sam Willis into one of the darkest chapters of Britain's imperial past. As archaeologists excavate a mass grave of British sailors, Willis explores Antigua's ruins and discovers how the sugar islands of the Caribbean were a kind of hell in the age of Nelson. This can be currently viewed on iPlayer here.

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