The Drum of Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake was considered to be the greatest explorer of his time, finding far off lands and distant shores. He plundered Spanish gold ships, bringing back riches and gems to lavish upon queen Elizabeth. Whenever he travelled around the world, however, he always brought one thing. His drum, encrusted with the crest of his noble ancestors, the house of Drake. He used to place it on the deck while he captained his vessels around the globe. It became part of his boat, never leaving port at Plymouth without it. On one of his voyages, however, he fell dreadfully ill. He ordered the boat to dock at nearby panama. He was taken ashore, and treated by the doctor aboard the ship. He soon died due too this mysterious illness, never reaching home again. His final order to his men was to sail home, and to bring his drum with them, for it shall beat again when England is in most need. Confused by this odd choice of last words, the sailors set of home.  His drum was placed in his manor, just outside Plymouth.

For over 20 years, his drum stayed silent, locked in his dusty manor. However on 6th September, an odd sound could be heard echoing in the streets of Plymouth. The beating of a drum. The people of town looked around, astounded by this odd noise. Soon a rumour began to spread, that drakes ghost haunted his manor, warning them all that something bad was about to happen. None of the townspeople knew, of course, that this was the date the Mayflower set sail for America, trying to start a colony. Then the drum once again stayed silent, until almost 200 years later, when napoleon was brought to Plymouth aboard the Bellerophon, as a prisoner. The entirety of Plymouth now knew the legend of drakes drum, and the stories of his ghost continuing to look out for Britain, even after his death. The drum again then fell silent, and the rumours died away, falling into myth and legend. But then, the people of Plymouth, now 200 years after the last time, once again heard the beating of the great drum, echoing from the manor. This time however they knew why it beat, for a great war had been declared that very day.

At this time, the British navy was the greatest navy in the world, and to emphasised that, the grand admiral ordered the drum to be brought upon the HMS Royal Oak, to show Britain’s naval history. On November 11th, the day that Germany surrendered, a loud beating could be heard echoing from the inside of the ship. It was drakes drum, warning the people of Britain they where in great danger. It was then brought back to his home in Plymouth, where it stayed, silent for another 22 years.

Then, in 1940, it could be heard beating again, during the evacuation of Dunkirk. Later that year it could also be heard during the battle of Britain, booming through the streets of Plymouth. It was heard again in 1982, the day Britain declared war on Argentina over the Falkland’s. The last time the drum was heard was in 2005, during the London terror attacks, where it has stayed dilent since, ready to warn people when Britain is in danger.

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