Portsmouth honours Royal Navy's 'greatest hero' Admiral Lord Nelson on Trafalgar Day

TRIBUTES have been paid to the Royal Navy’s ‘greatest hero’ who gave his life battling for freedom.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 7:13 pm
Janet Mummery and Roger Glancefield from 'The Nelson Society' at the Nelson Monument Picture: Malcolm Wells (191021-8761)

Sailors, children and dignitaries rallied to mark the 214th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and honour the incredible life of Admiral Lord Nelson.

The acclaimed naval leader died on the deck of his flagship, HMS Victory, after being shot by a sniper during the pivotal naval clash.

And to mark his heroism, military top brass gathered on the famed leader’s former warship, in Portsmouth, to honour his courage.

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Sailors gather to salute Admiral Lord Nelson during a ceremony on his former flagship, HMS Victory. Photo: Leading Photographer Ben Corbett

During the ceremony, a wreath was laid by Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Nick Hine on the plaque that marks where Lord Nelson fell.

Lieutenant Commander BJ Smith, HMS Victory’s commanding officer said: ‘Trafalgar Day is the most important day in our calendar. Having greatly admired Nelson since childhood it is a great honour to take a lead role in the Trafalgar Day Service.

‘It is a poignant and significant event when we remember the courage of Nelson, our  greatest naval hero but also remember the sacrifice of many hundreds of men on both sides.’

While serving sailors joined with children and the public during a service at the Nelson Monument on Portsdown Hill.

A Service organised by 'The Nelson Society' to commemorate Trafalgar Day at the Nelson Monument on Portsdown Hill w Picture: Malcolm Wells (191021-8723)

Commander Mark Walker, executive officer at Fareham’s HMS Collingwood, was among those at the ceremony overlooking Portsmouth.

He said: ‘Lord Nelson and his good friend and second in command, Lord Collingwood – which HMS Collingwood gets its name from – are national heroes, not just naval heroes.

‘They changed the course of history 214 years ago preventing Napoleon from invading England.’

Children from HMS Collingwood Royal Navy Volunteer Cadet Corps joined with trainee sailors from the military establishment to provide a guard of honour at the service.

Tributes during the service to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar on HMS Victory in Portsmouth. Photo: Leading Photographer Ben Corbett

Leading Cadet Jamie Sansom, 13, laid a wreath at the monument and said Lord Nelson’s courage was inspirational.

‘Laying the wreath was nerve-wracking but I was proud to do it,’ he added. ‘Days like today are important because we need to remember what Nelson did – it’s our past and we should celebrate it.’

The Battle of Trafalgar was one of the Royal Navy’s most decisive victories.

The British fleet of 27 ships squared off against a combined force of 33 French and Spanish vessels off the Cape Trafalgar in Spain.

Sailors from across Portsmouth gathered on HMS Victory to mark the 214th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. Photo: Leading Photographer Ben Corbett

Despite being outnumbered, the British smashed through the enemy, destroying 22 ships.

The cost of victory was high. Some 1,700 British were killed or wounded, with 6,000 enemy casualties and nearly 20,000 prisoners.


Dozens of people attended the service at the Nelson Monument on Portsdown Hill. Picture: Malcolm Wells (191021-8710)