Memory's span in brief, nor has the diffusion of a popular press done much to lengthen it. «Commando raids» are spoken of as if they were something new; and so they are to the present generation who forget, if they ever new, that the very phrase was even more of a commonplace during the Boer war, or that in the navy of Nelson's day they were still more familiar under the guise of «cutting out expeditions».
Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona; there were brave men before the R. A. F. so to say, and one little-remembered hero is recalled by the inscription on a stone at Paço d'Arcos, that pleasant seaside suburb of Lisbon on the north shore of the Tagus. It reads as follows:
«SACRED TO THE MEMORY
CONWAY SHIPLEY, Esqre
aged 25 years
Late Captain of
His Britannic Majesty's Ship
Who was killed in an attempt to cut an enemy's
Vessel of War out of the Tagus on the
22nd. April 1808
«Circumstances which human wisdom could not foresee nor any exertion of courage obviate rendered the attack unsuccessful and closed the short but distinguished career of the gallant leader of it.
«But while his name will long live in the Records of Fame and the Remembrance of his Country it is hoped the Brave and Good of every Nation will venerate his ashes and contemplate with respect the last Mansion of A Hero».
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