Thursday, August 06, 2020

August 6th in stamps Tjerk Hiddes de Vries, Alexander Fleming

Here are some events that happened on August 6th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1622 Born: Tjerk Hiddes de Vries, Dutch admiral (d. 1666)

Tjerk Hiddes de Vries (Sexbierum, 6 August 1622 - Flushing, 6 August 1666) was a naval hero and Dutch admiral from the seventeenth century. The French, who could not pronounce his name, called him Kiërkides. His name was also given as Tsjerk, Tierck or Tjerck.

During the Northern Wars Tjerk was appointed captain of a troop transport, the Judith, that in 1658 was part of Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam's expeditionary fleet against Sweden to relief Copenhagen. In the Battle of the Sound the sea soldiers of the Judith boarded and captured three Swedish vessels. He was rewarded for this by being appointed extraordinary captain with the Admiralty of Frisia, one of the five autonomous Dutch admiralties.

During the Second Anglo-Dutch War Tjerk was appointed full captain on 27 March 1665. He commanded d' Elff Steden in the Battle of Lowestoft, managing with great personal courage to free his ship from an entanglement with several other burning Dutch vessels, set alight by an English fireship. This fight was a severe defeat for the Dutch and those who by their bravery set a contrast to the general incompetence shown during the battle, were hailed as heroes by the populace. Tjerk in a written report severely criticised his fallen supreme commander Van Obdam. The Frisian admiralty board, in need to replace the also killed Lieutenant-Admiral of the Frisian fleet, Auke Stellingwerf, and sensing the public mood, appointed Tjerk Lieutenant-Admiral of Frisia on 29 June 1665. He thus jumped two ranks, not an uncommon occurrence for the Dutch navy in that century.

Normally the Frisian fleet was rather small, but in view of the emergency the province made a strong war effort, building 28 new vessels, Tjerk supervising the formation of the strongest naval force Frisia would ever send out.

In the Four Days Battle of 1666, Tjerk, now calling himself De Vries ("The Frisian"), was second in command in the squadron of the Zealandic Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Evertsen the Elder. When the latter was killed on the first day, Tjerk became the squadron commander, still using as flagship his Groot Frisia. He specially fought well on the last, fourth, day, strongly contributing to the Dutch victory. Six weeks later during the St James's Day Battle he was second in command of the van under Lieutenant-Admiral Johan Evertsen. When this squadron failed to reform a proper keel line after a calm, and was mauled by the line of Admiral Rupert of the Rhine. Tjerk had an arm and a leg shot off; yet still in vain tried to rally his force. His crippled ship drifted away, only discovered by the Dutch rear under Cornelis Tromp the next day. The wounded Frisian admiral was speedily brought ashore in Flushing by a yacht - but died from his wounds on his birthday, 6 August 1666.

Dutch and Sint Maarten stamps depicting Tjerk Hiddes de Vries

Zeehelden Tjerk de Vries

St. Maarten 2016 Tjerk Hiddes de Vries Navy Admiral Friesland




1881 Born: Alexander Fleming, Scottish biologist, pharmacologist, and botanist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955)

Sir Alexander Fleming (6 August 1881 – 11 March 1955) was a Scottish biologist, physician, microbiologist, and pharmacologist. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the world's first antibiotic substance benzylpenicillin (Penicillin G) from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain. He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy.

Fleming was knighted for his scientific achievements in 1944. In 1999, he was named in Time magazine's list of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century. In 2002, he was chosen in the BBC's television poll for determining the 100 Greatest Britons, and in 2009, he was also voted third "greatest Scot" in an opinion poll conducted by STV, behind only Robert Burns and William Wallace.

Stamps issued in Great Britain to commemorate Alexander Fleming 
Great Britain FDC Patients Tale Alexander Fleming St Marys Hospital Paddington 1999

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