Trafalgar ceremony keeps Nelson’s legacy alive

Vice-Admiral David Steel, the Second Sea Lord, lays a wreath before an oil painting showing Admiral Nelson's death. Below, he lays a wreath at the spot where Nelson fell All pictures: LA(Phot) Alex Knott
Vice-Admiral David Steel, the Second Sea Lord, lays a wreath before an oil painting showing Admiral Nelson's death. Below, he lays a wreath at the spot where Nelson fell All pictures: LA(Phot) Alex Knott
Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

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With the laying of wreaths and the famous signal, ‘England Expects’, the Royal Navy remembered its most famous hero today.

Sailors gathered on board HMS Victory this morning to mark 209 years since victory at the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.

Today the 21 Oct 2014 saw the Annual Trafalgar Day Ceremony onboard HMS Victory, with the Second Sea Lord Admiral David Steele leading the ceremony and laying the reef at the spot where Admiral Lord Nelson Fell and against the Painting depicting the scene during the battle of Trafalgar. *** Local Caption *** Pictured, The Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steele CBE lays a reef at the point were Lord Admiral Nelson Fell during the Battle of Trafalger, in the service of Remembrance on the 21 Oct 2014 in HMNB Portsmouth

Today the 21 Oct 2014 saw the Annual Trafalgar Day Ceremony onboard HMS Victory, with the Second Sea Lord Admiral David Steele leading the ceremony and laying the reef at the spot where Admiral Lord Nelson Fell and against the Painting depicting the scene during the battle of Trafalgar. *** Local Caption *** Pictured, The Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steele CBE lays a reef at the point were Lord Admiral Nelson Fell during the Battle of Trafalger, in the service of Remembrance on the 21 Oct 2014 in HMNB Portsmouth

Scores of naval officers, junior ratings and civilians packed onto the lower gun deck, taking shelter from the blustery autumn day in the gloomy half-light on board.

Lieutenant Commander Rod Strathern is the 100th commanding officer of HMS Victory.

He said: ‘This was my third and final Trafalgar Day and I will try and hold on to every moment of that ceremony as it was pretty special to me.

‘I find the service very poignant, when we remember the courage of Nelson, the greatest of leaders but also the many hundreds of men on both sides who lost their lives

Today the 21 Oct 2014 saw the Annual Trafalgar Day Ceremony onboard HMS Victory, with the Second Sea Lord Admiral David Steele leading the ceremony and laying the reef at the spot where Admiral Lord Nelson Fell and against the Painting depicting the scene during the battle of Trafalgar. *** Local Caption *** Pictured the reef laid By Admiral David Steele where Lord Admiral Nelson Fell During the annual Trafalgar Day Ceremony on HMS Victory on the 21 October 2014

Today the 21 Oct 2014 saw the Annual Trafalgar Day Ceremony onboard HMS Victory, with the Second Sea Lord Admiral David Steele leading the ceremony and laying the reef at the spot where Admiral Lord Nelson Fell and against the Painting depicting the scene during the battle of Trafalgar. *** Local Caption *** Pictured the reef laid By Admiral David Steele where Lord Admiral Nelson Fell During the annual Trafalgar Day Ceremony on HMS Victory on the 21 October 2014

‘That day, the Royal Navy made history and it’s important to remember the navy continues to deliver for this maritime national daily.’

Lt Cdr Strathern read the general order issued by Lord Collingwood after the battle and Nelson’s personal prayer from the eve of the conflict.

Vice-Admiral David Steel, the Second Sea Lord, laid a wreath on the upper deck of Victory at the spot where Admiral Nelson fell wounded.

He said: ‘It is extremely important the Royal Navy continues to mark the significance of the Battle of Trafalgar.

‘Not only must we remember Admiral Nelson himself, but also those sailors who fought with him and the many others at sea at the time of the battle around the world.

‘While commemorating the Battle of Trafalgar it is important that the servicemen and women on operations today all across the globe, protecting the nation’s interests, are also not forgotten.’