Codrington Mansion off Brighton’s busy Western Road is one of those rather anonymous buildings you might pass hundreds of times without really noticing it.

Yet, a blue plaque unveiled last month by the Greek Ambassador close by in Western Road reveals it was the home to one of the great war heroes of the 19th century – although Turks might not agree.

The Codrington family owned Hampton Lodge and a terrace of houses which stood behind Western Road.

Most of the houses, then called Codrington Place, disappeared a century ago when Western Road was widened and a few more went for the Waitrose supermarket in the 1960s, but the mansion survived.

Admiral Sir Edward Codrington was born in 1770 and entered the Royal Navy as a boy. His ability was quickly recognised and he achieved rapid promotion.

He was made a captain in the 1790s after distinguishing himself in several naval actions and in 1805 took part in the battle of Trafalgar where he aided Nelson to victory.

Napoleon kept men like him busy over the next few years but in 1814 he was sent out to America where he became captain of the fleet and later a vice-admiral.

In 1826 Codrington was appointed commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, and was shocked by the horrors in the war of Greek independence.

He became involved in a political dilemma because many Britons backed the Greeks, but the government was loathe to take action.

Prime Minister George Canning, anxious to avoid war, gave instructions to Codrington to keep the peace in partnership with Russia and France while covertly restricting supplies to the Turks.

But when Turkish forces moved towards Greece, Codrington and his fleet went to Navarino in south west Greece where the fleet was anchored.

He sailed provocatively into the harbour and, when a nervous enemy ship fired at him, the battle of Navarino began.

Although the Turks had many more men and ships, their fleet was inferior to the combined navies of Britain, France and Russia under admirals including Codrington.

The Turks lost 4,000 men in the bloody battle and the Allies 650. Their victory assured the survival of Greece as a country.

Codrington received many awards, including the grand cross of St Louis from France, the second class of the order of St George from Russia, and the gold cross of the Redeemer of Greece.

But the government was more ambivalent about Codrington and recalled him to Britain for a few years. It was at that time he moved to Brighton.

Many ministers felt sinking the Turkish fleet had destabilised the eastern Mediterranean, so during his time ashore, Codrington prepared a memoir of his part in the proceedings and why he acted as he did. At first circulated privately, it was later publicly published.

He lived in Brighton for at least four years and his wife died there. The properties remained in the Codrington family until 1899.

Later he became a Liberal MP and he died in London in 1851 at the age of 81. There is a memorial to him at St Peter’s Church in Eaton Square and in St Paul’s Cathedral.

In Greece, Codrington is a national hero and there is a white marble statue of him overlooking the now peaceful Navarino Bay.

Thanks to the Montpelier and Clifton Hill Association and the city council, he has now been recognised in his home city.