MPs call for Trafalgar Day to become a national holiday

Calls were renewed today to make Trafalgar Day a national holiday.

Friday, 21st October 2016, 12:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 9:23 pm

As the Royal Navy saluted the immortal memory of Nelson, MPs and local history experts joined in saying that the country should stop to mark the occasion on October 21 each year.

There are currently no bank holidays in the UK which celebrate battles or war victories.

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond said it would be a good idea to have a bank holiday on Trafalgar Day, as it would normally coincide with the Autumn half-term.

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She added: ‘Trafalgar Day commemorates one of the Navy’s greatest victories, but we should remember that in that battle as in so many others there was a heavy loss of life on all sides.

‘If we do have a Trafalgar Day holiday I hope it will be a time for reflection and an opportunity to teach the next generation about the horrors of war.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘Given our local area’s naval heritage we have so much to be proud of on Trafalgar Day, as we reflect upon the history of the Royal Navy and offer our thanks and support to all service personnel, past & present.

‘I am certainly open to calls for Trafalgar Day to become a national holiday, which would shine a light on the contribution of Portsmouth & Gosport to our nation’s proud maritime legacy.’

Bob Hind, nostalgia columnist for The News, said he was ‘100 per cent’ behind the idea.

He added: ’We don’t celebrate great battles at all like Trafalgar.

‘I was bought up in the late 50s and 60s and I never learnt at all about things like that.

‘I can speak to people and say not to forget about Trafalgar Day and they’ll just say ‘what?’.

‘People do not know about it that much but they should do.’

Commenting on our Facebook page, Craig Mather said: ‘I find it absolutely incredible that a good percentage of this countries kids have no clue what this is all about.

‘I’m building a wooden model of HMS Victory and when my neighbours son asked me what it was, he shrugged a said he’d never heard of it.’

And Lisa Parkinson Holmes added: ‘Let’s embrace our history. We are a small country with a very powerful history.

‘A country that has helped sculpt what is right and wrong in our world today!’

It is not the first time the idea of turning Trafalgar Day into a national holiday has been proposed.

In 2011 ministers outlined plans to scrap the May Day bank holiday in England and Wales.

Under the proposals the holiday could have been moved to Trafalgar Day, but this has not yet become law.