THE great-great-great-nephew of an historic ship’s captain has been unveiled as the new president of the vessel’s trust.
Colonel Euan Houstoun OBE has taken over the reins as champion of the HMS Trincomalee Trust – with a 160-year-old link to the famous frigate.
The retired Colonel’s great-great-great uncle, Wallace Houstoun, was Commander of the historic warship when it sailed in the Pacific from 1852-1857.
Sitting at the captain’s table onboard, Col Houstoun, who is based in Surrey, said: “It feels like coming home.
“I have the privilege of being invited to become the president of the HMS Trincomalee Trust, I feel hugely honoured and very flattered.
“The family connection is my best credential.”
The 67-year-old said his priority now is to raise the profile of the ship locally and nationally.
Plans are now in place to help associate the vessel with other Royal Naval ships and for Hartlepool to become a “northern off-shoot of the Royal Naval Museum”.
The Colonel said the trust’s patron The Duke of Edinburgh is launching a campaign involving the family of the ship’s builder, Jamsetjee Bomanjee Wadia, raising its profile in India, where it was built.
The former member of the Grenadier Guards, who served with the SAS, is already a trustee, having become involved with the organisation in 1984.
He added: “We have got to fight to keep her in the condition she is in now.
“We brought her up her in 1987, when I was based at Catterick, as the Hartlepudlians brilliantly restored HMS Warrior and there was a workforce capable of this fantastic restoration.
“Hartlepool turned its attention to this piece of our national maritime history, and we want to keep it up.
“She is the second oldest warship afloat and has an international, and almost global appeal.”
He took over from his father Lindsay, who served with the Royal Navy.
Col Houston, who landed in the Falklands almost 130 years to the day after his ancestor and the Trinc arrived in Port Stanley, the Falklands’ capital, takes over as president from Captain David Smith, who died in Malta in March aged 86.
David McKnight, the trust’s general manager, said: “The Colonel’s appointment gives the whole trust and trustees a sense of authenticity.
“Someone of Euan’s charisma,standing and experience is great for us and he will lead the trust well.”