UK and Chile honor a shared naval hero: Admiral Thomas Cochrane
The First Sea Lord and head of the Chilean Navy have renamed a building inside Portsmouth Naval Base in tribute to a shared naval hero. Admiral Sir Philip Jones and special guest Admiral Julio Leiva Molina unveiled on Sunday the HQ Portsmouth Flotilla as the Cochrane Building.
It is in honor of the adventurous and mischievous Royal Navy Officer Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane, who after falling out with the Admiralty, founded the Chilean Navy.
The dedication marked 200 years since the creation of the Chilean navy which helped under Cochrane's steering, win the country's independence. Admiral Cochrane has become a folk hero, forging together the unique bonds with the UK and Chile.
Head of the Chilean Navy, Admiral Julio Leiva Molina said: “It is unbelievable that two countries so far away, with a big distance in miles, but in our hearts we are very close.”
Also at the celebrations was a descent of Cochrane, the Hon Michael Cochrane; “It's really wonderful to see and it means something. You say to a young sailor you have this history and they're not going to say 'yes, it's marvelous' but inside they feel it.
”It's really there and it's alive and it's great to see it being continued in this way.”