George Westcott was born in 1753, the son of a baker in Honiton Devon. He joined the Navy as a masters mate in 1768, but by 1773 had been accepted as a midshipman. He passed lieutenant in 1776 and fought at the battle of Ushant (1778) and the relief of Gibraltar (1781), He served on HMS Victory under the command of Admiral Kempenfelt at the second battle of Ushant and shortl;y afterwards was promoted Commander of HMS Fortune. He was appointed Captain of HMS London in 1790 and in 1793 was appointed Flag-Captain to Rear Admiral Caldwell on HMS Majestic.
He was Killed by a musket ball at the Battle of the Nile in August 1798 and buried at sea. He was a man who it could be truly said rose through the ranks from humble background to a senior navy position. After Admiral Nelson had visited Westcott’s Mother in Honiton , he commented
‘poor thing, except from the bounty of government and Lloyd’s, in very low circumstances. The brother is a tailor, but had they been chimney-sweepers it was my duty to show them respect.‘
Westcott had not received the Nile medal, so Nelson gave his own medal to Westcott’s mother.
2 memorials were erected to him, both by Thomas Banks. This one in St Paul’s Cathedral and another in Honiton Parish Church.