As we know, or I hope most in Portsmouth do, this Saturday is Trafalgar Day.
It’s the day on which we remember the Battle of Trafalgar when the British fleet fought and beat the combined French and Spanish fleets.
After their defeat, peace in this country was assured and kept the nation safe from danger until the First World War.
Sadly, England’s greatest hero Viscount Lord Nelson died a few hours after being shot by a sniper from the mizzen top of the French ship Redoubtable. He clung to life until he knew the battle was won.
The Nelson Monument on top of Portsdown Hill was raised from funds contributed by survivors who fought in the battle. This year marks 210 years since its foundations were laid.
Portsmouth historian Jane Smith has asked me to remind you that this year’s ceremony at the monument is tomorrow, Friday, (not Saturday 21st). Everyone is welcome and the times are 10.30am for 10.45pm.
Refreshments will be available in Fort Nelson afterwards. Parking is available in the Fort Nelson car park, 100 y ards from the monument.
The Nelson Society has published a booklet written by Jane called ‘The Nelson Monument, Portsdown Hill: A Seamark Re-Discovered.’
However, as its history had been lost for almost 200 years, Jane realised that a booklet on its own wasn’t enough to keep the purpose of the monument alive. She can be congratulated for initiating efforts to get the service re-instated.