Thought for the day

"Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman, and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness." -- John F. Kennedy

This photo shows a sailor removing a manacle from a newly freed slave. This photograph is part of a small collection donated by Samuel Chidwick to the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth. His father, Able Seaman Joseph Chidwick, who was born in 1881, was aboard HMS Sphinx.


The Africans shown in the photographs fled in a canoe from a slave-trading village on the coast, upon hearing that a Royal Navy ship was in the area.


In its report dated 15 October 1907, Commander Litchfield wrote that the ship found 'six fugitives' on a cruise off the Batinah coast of Oman between 10 and 14 October. One of the fugitives had been hounded for three years and ran away with his leg iron still on.


Samuel Chidwick said: "The photographs were taken by my father, who was serving on the HMS Sphinx during an armed patrol off the Zanzibar and Mozambique coast in about 1907. He captured some of the slaves and the particular slaves that are in the pictures, While he was on guard, a dhow (sailing ship) set off that night and all the slaves were chained together.