HMS Duncan was the last ship that my 4x great-uncle James North (1848 – 1885) sailed on-board and he was present on the ship for only a short time between 1st July 1884 and 8 August 1884. At the time Duncan was used as a saluting ship and it’s very likely that James was placed on-board due to ill-health. He contracted Phthisis whilst serving on HMS Champion and Duncan would have been an easy commission to work on. in 1884 she retained only a small crew and based at Sheerness headed by Captain John D’arcy.
James probably deteriorated very quickly on-board and although there are no records explaining his leave he finally settled as a Beer Retailer in Landport, Portsea Island, Hampshire for the last few months of his life.
He died on the 20th February 1885 aged only 36. His sister travelled from Fulham, London to be with her brother or at least to complete arrangements for his funeral, a sad end to an incredible and adventurous life lived.