Saint Helena Airport
Saint Helena Airport is an international airport on Saint Helena, a remote island in the south Atlantic Ocean, in the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha. The construction of the runway was finished in 2015 and the airport opened in 2016; the inaugural scheduled flight was delayed but general aviation and medical evacuation flights were able to serve the airport from May 2016. The airport began scheduled commercial services on 14 October 2017, when the South African carrier Airlink inaugurated a weekly service from O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, via Windhoek, using an Embraer E190-100IGW, about one and a half years after the expected inauguration date, with a smaller-sized aircraft, because of wind shear problems affecting the airport. Additionally, monthly charter flights operate between Saint Helena. Saint Helena is more than 2,000 kilometres from the nearest major landmass. Prior to the opening of the airport, the island was only reachable by sea, making it one of the most remote populated places on earth, measured as travel time from major cities.
Sea journeys take five days from Cape Town, with departures once every three weeks. The first consideration of an airport on St Helena was made in 1943 by the South African Air Force, which undertook a survey on Prosperous Bay Plain from October 1943 until January 1944, but concluded that, while technically feasible, an airport was not a practical proposition. From the 1960s, there was an idea to build an airport on the Island. In 1999, this was taken up by the island government, it was suggested that an airport would extend the United Kingdom's capabilities to carry out airborne missions in the South Atlantic region, such as maritime patrols in accordance with international fishing agreements, counter-piracy missions along important trade routes, airlift operations notably into Southern Africa. According to analysts, the UK government's decision to go ahead with the airport, after long delays, seems to be driven in part by concerns over a continuing tense standoff with Argentina in the Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute.
The island is about 3,812 miles -- 40 minutes' flight time from the Falklands. But, analysts say, an improvement over the present state of isolation from the UK for both St Helena and the Falklands; the following possible benefits were factors in the decision-making process: Air access would allow St Helena to develop its tourism sector. The new wharf in Rupert's Bay could allow passing cruise ships to land passengers at the island and bring tourists if sized appropriately; the lack of a protected landing facility represents a limitation on the development of cruise tourism. In unfavourable sea conditions, landing is hazardous and potential revenue is lost as many cruise ships refuse to allow passengers to land in such circumstances. In addition, because there is no protected landing facility, many cruise companies do not incorporate St Helena into their itineraries; the sea is roughest in summer. Medical evacuations to South Africa for treatment of serious cases of illness would be sped up significantly: it may take up to one month until transport to South Africa by RMS St Helena becomes available.
The availability of heavy construction equipment would facilitate alternative energy projects, such as the construction of larger wind turbines, a tidal power plant or a dam with a hydro-power station in one of St Helena's valleys. Limitations in cargo size of RMS St Helena and the unavailability of a large crane prohibit construction of larger wind turbines. In contrast to the projected benefits, there were concerns that the proposed construction on the Prosperous Bay Plain would be detrimental to the local environment. Prosperous Bay Plain was one of the few remaining sites on Saint Helena that held significant ecological diversity. According to a 2004 review by Atkins Management Consultants, the survival of numerous endemic species critically depended on preservation and protection of the location, it was an important nesting site for the wirebird, Saint Helena's national bird, listed as vulnerable. Although the St Helena Leisure Corporation was a major force pushing for the airport's construction, its co-founder Sir Nigel Thompson was a former chairman of the environmental charity Campaign to Protect Rural England.
After a long period of rumour and consultation, in March 2005 the British government announced plans to construct an airport in St Helena, expected to be completed by 2010 and funded by the Department for International Development. According to Private Eye magazine, all of the companies tendering for the job of building and running the airport had by late September 2006 withdrawn from bidding for the project; the local Access Office explained that it seemed the bidders considered the DfID was unhelpful by not providing the possibility of on-site investigations in order to complete a detailed design before providing a fixed price for the project. According to the DfID's Director for Overseas Territories, his department remained committed to an airport for St Helena. DfID restarted the procurement process to identify a suitable Design and Operate contractor in October 2006. Capability Statements were received by DfID in March 2007 and four bidders were pre-approved for the DBO contract and a further three applicants have been pre-approved for the Air Service Provider contract.
The applicants for the DBO visited the island for six months from June 2007 before submitting their final proposals, an
Jamestown, Saint Helena
Jamestown is the capital of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha, located on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is the historic main settlement of the island and is on its north-western coast, it is the centre of the island's road and communications network. It was founded when colonists from the English East India Company settled on the island in 1659 and was occupied by the Dutch East India Company in 1673 before being recaptured. Many of the buildings built by the East India Company in the 1700s survive and give the town its distinctive Georgian flavour; the town hosted Napoleon in 1815 during his exile on St. Helena and served as a base for the Royal Navy's efforts to suppress the slave trade, it only played a minor role during the Second World War. Jamestown was founded in 1659 by the English East India Company and named after James, Duke of York, the future King James II of England. A fort named the Castle of St John, was built and, with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the fort was renamed James Fort, the town Jamestown and the valley James Valley.
The fort and associated gun batteries dominated James Bay and were sporadically improved over the years. In January 1673 the Dutch East India Company seized control of the island until the English East India Company recaptured it in May. Since the town has been continuously inhabited under English and British rule. After his defeat in the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815 and the subsequent occupation of Paris, the Emperor of the French, surrendered to the British and was exiled to St Helena, he arrived on 21 October aboard the 74-gun ship HMS Bellerophon and resided at the Briars in Jamestown for several months until he was transferred to Longwood House in a more remote part of the island in December. Jamestown was chosen to host a vice admiralty court and a naval base for British efforts to interdict the slave traffic between Africa and the Americas. Captured slave ships were brought to Jamestown to be sold and their cargos were off-loaded in Rupert's Valley. By the time that the naval station was closed in the 1870s, an estimated 25,000 slaves had been rescued, although about 5,000 died shortly after arrival and were buried in Rupert's Valley.
Long lost, their graves were rediscovered in 2006 in conjunction with preliminary digging for the airport. A team of archaeologists arrived in mid-2008 to excavate the graves; some of the finds from the excavations are on exhibit at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, England. The island was too isolated to play any role in the First World War and only played a minimal one during the Second World War; the oil tanker RFA Darkdale was sunk by the German submarine U-68 in James Bay on 22 October 1941 with only 9 of the 50-man crew surviving. She had been sent to St Helena a few months prior to refuel ships operating in the South Atlantic; the wreck leaked small amounts of oil until its gradual deterioration caused the Ministry of Defence to dispatch a team of divers to pump out all the remaining oil in June 2015. The town is built on igneous rock in sandwiched between steep cliffs, it is therefore rather thin. The walls of the valley are rough and steep, rockfalls have been a problem, although now minimised by netting.
A small stream, the Run, runs through the valley. The town is divided into lower and upper parts, depending on the distance up James Valley. Being the island's main port the town is still the main entrance to the island to visitors. Despite not being connected to Jamestown proper by road, Rupert's Valley, the next valley north, is part of the town, it houses much of the island's infrastructure, such as its power station and associated fuel storage, a one-ship wharf was completed in June 2016. The town has over 100 listed buildings from the Georgian era. Main Street has been described as "one of the best examples of unspoilt Georgian architecture anywhere in the world." Many buildings are built out of local volcanic rock. St James' Church is the oldest Anglican church in the Southern Hemisphere. Another of the town's prominent features is Jacob's Ladder, a staircase of 699 steps, built in 1829 to connect Jamestown to the former fort on Ladder Hill; the ladder is popular with tourists, is lit at night and a timed run takes place there every year, with people coming from all over the world to take part.
The Museum of Saint Helena is situated in one of two museums on the island. Jamestown is formally a city, a status granted by Queen Victoria in 1859, its full name is the "City of James Town", it is one of the 8 districts and is the capital of both the island of Saint Helena and the British overseas territory of Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha. The Castle, one of the oldest buildings in the town, is one of the main government buildings. Jamestown features a tropical hot desert climate with consistent temperatures throughout the year. Despite the fact that the town has a desert climate, its temperatures are moderated by the adjacent ocean and cold currents therein, leading to a cool climate for the deep tropical latitude; as a result, it gets hot in Jamestown. The temperature in the Jamestown area is some 5 degrees warmer than the rest of the island, because of the difference in altitude. While Jamestown receives less than 5 inches of rainfall per year, the higher parts of the island are wetter than the town, which
Longwood, Saint Helena
Longwood is a settlement and a district of the British island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. In 2011 it had a population of 802, compared with a population of 960 in 1998; the area of the district is 33.4 km2. The large district includes the settlement of Hutt's Gate, with its St Matthew's church; the district contains the island's only existing golf course. The district contains Prosperous Bay Plain, where Saint Helena Airport is located. There is a weather recording station in the Longwood district. Readings of temperature, air pressure and visibility are automatically taken and communicated every 3 hours. Since 2017, Longwoods main infrastructure is Saint Helena Airport, it remains to be the only airport in Saint Helena and services Airlink linking the island to South Africa. On leaving the University of Oxford, in 1676, Edmond Halley visited Saint Helena and set up an observatory with a 24-foot-long aerial telescope with the intention of studying stars from the Southern Hemisphere; the site of this telescope is near St Matthew's church in the district.
The 2,230-foot-high hill there is called Halley's Mount. Halley's Observatory was in use from 1677–1678. Having returned to England in 1678, Halley published Catalogus Stellarum Australium in 1679, which included details of 341 southern stars; these additions to present-day star maps earned him comparison to Tycho Brahe. Halley was subsequently awarded his Master's from Fellowship of the Royal Society. In 1686, Halley published the second part of the results from his Helenian expedition, being a paper and chart on trade winds and monsoons. In this, he identified solar heating as the cause of atmospheric motions, he established the relationship between barometric pressure and height above sea level. His charts were an important contribution to the emerging field of information visualisation. In the 19th/early 20th centuries, an observatory was situated in Longwood village and two further observatories were erected in the Hutt's Gate area: one in use from 1892–1924 and the second in use from 1925–1975.
It was the location of Napoleon's second exile from 1815 until his death on 5 May 1821. France owns Briars Pavilion, Napoleon's initial exile residence, Longwood House and its properties, where he lived during most of his time on the island, his original grave, but the United Kingdom retains ultimate sovereignty over these properties. Napoleon's main physician, Barry Edward O'Meara, wrote letters describing the issues of Napoleon and his entourage while in captivity, sent them clandestinely to a friend at the Admiralty in London. Longwood House Main habitations in St. Helena and their occupants
Inaccessible Island is an extinct volcano, last active six million years ago, with Cairn Peak reaching 449 m. The island is 12.65 km2 in area, rising out of the South Atlantic Ocean 45 km south-west of Tristan da Cunha. Inaccessible Island is accessible via a few boulder beaches. Generations of sailors were wary of the difficult inhospitable terrain. Inaccessible Island has been without permanent inhabitants since 1873. Inaccessible Island is part of the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha, part of the overseas territory of the United Kingdom known as Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the Tristan da Cunha archipelago is the world's most remote inhabited archipelago as it is 2,400 km from the nearest other inhabited land, St. Helena. Tristan da Cunha itself is accessible only by sea via a seven-day sail from Cape Town, South Africa, by landing during the 60 days of the year that the harbor allows for access to the island. Along with Gough Island, Inaccessible Island is a protected wildlife reserve and both make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands.
Inaccessible Island is home to the endemic Inaccessible Island rail, the world's smallest extant flightless bird. The island sits 17 nautical miles to the southwest of the main island of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago. Desolate and inhospitable, the island has one small landing site named Port David on the northwesternmost point. Inaccessible Island was discovered in January 1656 during a voyage by ’t Nachtglas, a Dutch ship under the command of Jan Jacobszoon, 146 years after Tristan da Cunha was first sighted by Portuguese sailors. Jacobszoon named it "Nachtglas" island. There are two explanations for the name "Inaccessible" island. One is that on maps the newly found island was referred to as "inaccessible" because the Dutch crew who landed were not able to reach its interior; the other claims that French captain d'Etcheverry renamed the island in 1778 after not being able to land. In 1803, US sealers led by Amasa Delano made landfall on the island; the Stoltenhoff brothers, who arrived on Inaccessible from Germany in 1871, lived there for two years intending to make a living sealing and selling their wares to passing traders.
However, due to the scarcity of food, they were "overjoyed" to be rescued in 1873 during HMS Challenger's visit to examine the flora and fauna there. The South African author Eric Rosenthal chronicled the Stoltenhoffs' adventure in 1952; the nearby Stoltenhoff Island is named after the brothers. In 1922, the Shackleton–Rowett Expedition's ship, the Quest, stopped by Inaccessible and on-board naturalist Hubert Wilkins discovered a bird named the Wilkins finch. In 1938, the Norwegian Scientific Expedition spent three weeks on the island, during which time they managed to gain access to the plateau and extensively catalogued plants and rocks. Another attempt at mapping the island was made during the Royal Society's expedition of 1962 to Tristan da Cunha, which took scientists to Inaccessible Island. Like many other explorers before them, the scientists were not able to reach the interior of the island. Inaccessible Island was declared a nature reserve under the Tristan da Cunha Conservation Ordinance of 1976.
Tristan islanders, were still permitted to harvest seabirds from the island. In a 1982 expedition and faculty of Denstone College in England made detailed maps of the island, studied its flora and geology, carried out a marking programme on more than 3,000 birds. In 1997, Inaccessible Island's territorial waters out to 22 km were declared a nature reserve under the Tristan da Cunha Conservation Ordinance of 1976. Only guides from Tristan are allowed to take visiting cruise ships to Inaccessible. In 2004 Inaccessible Island was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gough Island to create a new site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands, it has been noted on lists of unusual place names. At least three confirmed; the first, most dramatic, was Blenden Hall, a British ship which set sail in 1821 with 54 passengers and crew aboard with destination Bombay, now referred to as Mumbai. Captain Alexander Grieg intended to sail past Saint Helena, but adverse currents carried her to Tristan da Cunha, she got caught on 22 July drifted aground on Inaccessible Island.
All but two of those aboard survived the shipwreck. They spent the next four months subsisting on wild celery, seals and albatross, they managed to build a boat some months later. The first attempt to sail to Tristan failed; the remainder were brought to Tristan, where the brig Nerina arrived about two months and took most to Cape Town, South Africa. The other two shipwrecks are the wreck of Shakespeare at Pig Beach in 1883, Helen S Lea at North Point in 1897; when Corporal William Glass and his family became the first settlers at Tristan da Cunha in 1816, goats and pigs were brought to Inaccessible Island to serve as a source of food. Some domestic animals remained for at least 57 years and helped to keep the Stoltenhoff brothers alive during their expedition, but they have now died out. Cattle and dogs were introduced to the island at various points in the island's history, but none remain. No land mammals, amphibians, butterflies, or snai
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
RAF Ascension Island
RAF Ascension known as Wideawake Airfield or Ascension Island Auxiliary Field, is a military airfield and facility located on Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean. The airfield is jointly operated by the United States Air Force; the facility is home to a USAF ground tracking station in support of the Eastern Range and rocket launches from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Ascension Island forms part of a British Overseas Territory together with Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha. In 1939 Ascension became important as a high-frequency direction finding radio station covering trade routes. Wideawake Airfield was built by the US military in 1942 by arrangement with the British government; the airfield was built using a US task force. The first aircraft to land on Ascension Island was a Fairey Swordfish from HMS Archer in June, 1942 and it went on to be used by more than 25,000 aircraft as a staging point during the war; the airfield fell into disuse. A USAF tracking station was activated as a satellite of Patrick Air Force Base in Florida on 25 June 1956.
The airfield's runway was extended in the Autumn of 1980. It was re-garrisoned by the RAF in 1982 and used extensively as a staging airfield during the Falklands War. A series of long-range bombing raids was carried out from there under the name Operation Black Buck; the Target Tracking Radar Station was a Nike Zeus test facility for tracking reentry vehicles from Cape Canaveral missile launches. Built from 1960-1961 for anti-ballistic missile measurement, the "Golf Ball" radar antenna was on Cat Hill, a collimation tower for radar calibration was towards English Bay; the facility is home to the Detachment 2 of the 45th Mission Support Group, part of the USAF 45th Space Wing. It operates a ground tracking station in support of the Eastern Range and rocket launches from Cape Canaveral in Florida; the NASA Tracking Station at Devil's Ashpit and the Cable & Wireless Earth Station at Donkey Plain were built in the mid-1960s for space operations and communications, including the latter's use for transmitting "microwave borne data via the Early Bird Satellite back to the NASA facility at Andover, Maine".
The station comes under the overall jurisdiction of the Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands, an officer of one-star rank. As of December 2018, the incumbent is Brigadier Nick Sawyer; the RAF airfield on Ascension Island is run on a day-to-day basis by around 19 RAF personnel, headed by a wing commander. RAF Ascension Island is the refuelling point for the Ministry of Defence's South Atlantic air bridge flights to RAF Mount Pleasant, on the Falkland Islands, from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, in the UK. Beginning in November 2017, the Ascension Island Government has contracted South African Carrier Airlink to conduct scheduled charter flights between Saint Helena Airport and Ascension Island on a monthly basis. Flights are scheduled on the second week of every month, arriving at Ascension on Saturday afternoon and returning to Saint Helena on Sunday morning; the first of these flights are scheduled for 18 and 19 November 2017. Ascension serves as a diversion airport for ETOPS aircraft crossing the Atlantic.
In January 2013, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200LR en route from Johannesburg to Atlanta diverted to Ascension as a result of engine problems. The site is home to a high frequency radio station forming part of the Defence High Frequency Communications Service; the station is operated by Babcock International Group on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Potholes on the runway led to the suspension in April 2017 of all Ministry of Defence South Atlantic Air Bridge Flights between RAF Mount Pleasant and RAF Brize Norton until at least 2019/2020. An Airbus A330 aircraft operated by AirTanker Services on behalf of the Ministry of Defence carried out those flights although a limited number of commercial passenger tickets were available; those flights now travel via Cape Verde. Planes for emergency medical evacuation flights and the newly established monthly charter flight to Saint Helena Airport are not impacted given the size of aircraft used. Essential personnel and equipment are exempt from the suspension.
While A330s are for now unable to land at the airport, the United States military continues to maintain a weekly flight between the island and Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, only for the use of its personnel, while the MV Ascension supply ship services US facilities. A C-17 for the UK's MoD lands there at Ascension once a month for its own personnel. On 18 November 2017, SA Airlink started a scheduled weekly charter from Jamestown St Helena to the island. Saint Helena Airport List of Royal Air Force stations This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/. Media related to Wideawake Field at Wikimedia Commons RAF Ascension Island James Rogers and Luis Simón; the Status and Location of the Military Installations of the Member States of the European Union and Their Potential Role for the European Security and Defence Policy. Brussels: European Parliament, 2009. 25 pp
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory located in the South Atlantic and consisting of the island of Saint Helena, Ascension Island and the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha. Its name was Saint Helena and Dependencies until 1 September 2009, when a new constitution came into force giving the three islands equal status within the territory. Despite this change, the whole territory is still referred to as Saint Helena after its main island; the demonym Saint Helenians and the derived name for the local nationality is understood to include Ascension Islanders and Tristanians, as well. Of volcanic origin, the islands of Saint Helena, Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha were all separate colonies of the English crown, though separately discovered by several Portuguese explorers between 1502 and 1504; the Portuguese found. They imported livestock, fruit trees and vegetables, built a chapel and one or two houses. Though they formed no permanent settlement, the island became crucially important for the collection of food and as a rendezvous point for homebound voyages from Asia.
English privateer Francis Drake probably located the island on the final lap of his circumnavigation of the world. Further visits by other English explorers followed, once St Helena's location was more known, English warships began to lie in wait in the area to attack Portuguese carracks on their way home from India. In developing their Far East trade, the Dutch began to frequent the island and made a formal claim to it in 1633, but did not settle the isle and by 1651 abandoned it in favour of their colony at the Cape of Good Hope. In 1657, the English East India Company was granted a charter to govern Saint Helena by Oliver Cromwell, the following year the Company decided to fortify and colonise the island with planters; the first governor, Captain John Dutton, arrived in 1659, it is from this date that St Helena claims to be Britain’s second oldest remaining colony, after Bermuda. A fort was completed and a number of houses were built. After the Restoration of the British monarchy in 1660, the East India Company received a Royal Charter giving it the sole right to fortify and colonise the island.
The fort was renamed James Fort and the town Jamestown, in honour of the Duke of York and heir apparent King James II of England and VII of Scotland. The Kingdom of England became part of the new Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 and the United Kingdom in 1801; the most important and first settled, the island of Saint Helena, had been governed by the East India Company since 1659. It became internationally known as the British government's chosen place of exile of Napoleon Bonaparte, detained on the island from October 1815 until his death on 5 May 1821, it was made a British crown colony in 1834 by the Government of India Act 1833. Unoccupied Ascension Island was garrisoned by the Royal Navy on 22 October 1815, shortly after which the end of the Age of Sail made its difficult location in the equatorial doldrums less important relative to its strategic importance as a centrally positioned naval coaling station. For similar reasons Tristan da Cunha was annexed as a dependency of the Cape Colony on 14 August 1816, at the settlement of the Napoleonic wars.
For a short period just Tristan da Cunha had been inhabited by a private American expedition who named the territory the Islands of Refreshment. The political union between these colonies began to take shape on 12 September 1922, when by letters patent Ascension Island became a dependency of Saint Helena. Populated Tristan da Cunha today little more than an outpost with a population of less than three hundred, followed suit on 12 January 1938; the three island groups shared this constitutional relationship until 1 September 2009, when the dependencies were raised to equal status with St. Helena and the territory changed its name from "Saint Helena and Dependencies" to "Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha". During the Battle of the Atlantic of World War II and the following several years of U-boat warfare in the Atlantic, both Saint Helena and Ascension Island were used by the Allies to base patrolling anti-surface-commerce-raider and anti-submarine warfare forces against the Axis powers' naval units.
Long range naval patrol flying boats were used in the effort, in the war during the struggle to improve air coverage over the commercially important sea lanes, air strips were built to support land based aircraft which supplied and complemented the PBY Catalina patrol planes in the vitally important ASW mission. The United Kingdom and the United States still jointly operate the airfield on Ascension, which serves as a space-based communications, signals intelligence, navigation nexus and hub. One of only four GPS satellite ground antennas is located there; the territory stretches across a huge distance of the South Atlantic Ocean with the northern-most island, having a latitude of 7° 56′ S of the equator and the southern-most island, Gough Island, at 40° 19′ S. Between Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha is the Tropic of Capricorn; the distance between the northern tip of Ascension Island and the southern tip of Gough Island is 2,263 miles. The whole territory has the same time zone: Greenwich Mean Time.
Daylight saving time is not observed. Although all three parts of the territory were formed by volcanic activity, only the Tristan da Cunh