Foreigners in Battle of Trafalgar

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ABOUT a tenth of the sailors who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar were foreign.

The study, by the National Maritime Museum and the National Archives, involved an analysis of the personal records of the 18,000 men - and at least one woman - who served on the 33 British ships involved in the battle.

The results show the nature of Lord Nelson’s fleet, which set sail from Portsmouth, and it suggests that around one in 10 of the sailors was born overseas.

Of around 13,000 people whose birth is registered, at least 1,260 were born outside Britain or Ireland.

The research sheds new light on the make-up of the men under Nelson’s command during the 1805 naval battle.

Some were from countries allied to Britain during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, but there were at least 54 Frenchmen and 24 Spaniards.