A PIPER who was on his way to a funeral stopped to join a service to commemorate the death of Admiral Lord Nelson.
Duncan Matthews, of Bedhampton, stopped his car after passing the ceremony at the Nelson Monument, on Portsdown Hill, yesterday.
Wearing a kilt and carrying a set of bagpipes, the 69-year-old was so moved by the service he got out of his car and stood solemnly by the stone tribute.
Then as the 15-minute ceremony came to an end, the proud Scotsman performed a rousing tune in memory of Lord Nelson.
Mr Matthews, who is part Royal Navy Pipe Band Association, said: ‘For me the Battle of Trafalgar is the single most important battle that we have ever fought because on the strength of that we defeated Napoleon.
‘Had this not happened, things on the continent would have been incredibly different.
‘This is just my own personal way of demonstrating my debt of gratitude for all Nelson has done for this country.’
The ceremony was attended by a small detachment of sailors from Fareham naval base, HMS Collingwood.
There was also a contingent of cadets from HMS Collingwood Volunteer Cadet Corps.
Wreaths were laid at the base of the Nelson Memorial.
The 120ft (37m) monument was built in 1807 and has helped to guide sailors into Portsmouth Harbour since.