Trafalgar Day: Vandals deface Nelson's Column in London while Portsmouth residents hold memorial ceremonies

Nelson’s Column was vandalised by “disgraceful” yobs on the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
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The memorial in Trafalgar Square, London, was graffitied on yesterday while military personnel and residents across Portsmouth honoured those who lost their lives. A ceremony was held by the Royal Navy on HMS Victory yesterday, with another memorial taking place at the Nelson memorial in Portsdown Hill the day before (October 20).

The Met Police said there are no links to this incident with the pro-Palestinian protests which took place in the capital. Reporting on X, the force added: “Disappointingly, someone has decided to graffiti Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square overnight.

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"We're confident this is a tag and that it has nothing to do with today's protests. Our counterparts at the Greater London Authority are arranging for it to be cleaned up quickly."

The Battle of Trafalgar which marked a historic victory for the British against the Franco-Spanish fleet, lead by Lord Horatio Nelson, took place on October 21, 1805. Only an hour into the battle, Nelson was hit by a French sharpshooters’ musket ball as he paced along the quarterdeck of HMS Victory.

A plaque has been placed at the spot where he was killed. Admiral Lord Alan West of Spithead, former First Sea Lord, said it was “disgraceful behaviour” that the monument was vandalised.

He told the Daily Express: “Nelson was a very great man who saved the country from invasion by a ruthless dictator and autocrat. He isn't just a naval hero, he is a national hero.

"These sad people vandalising his column show a lack of knowledge of our history and of our nation.”