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Happy Trafalgar Day!

21 Oct 05 - 02:46 AM (#1587557)
Subject: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: el_punkoid_nouveau

Seems a bit odd to celebrate the anniversary of so many deaths (not just Nelson - a lot of seamen died on both sides), but it was a pivotal day in the removal of a leader perceived at the time as a tyrant.

It is also a day to remember a great act of leadership - in his battle plan, Nelson broke all the rules of established Naval Warfare, and in so doing achieved a decisive victory, and probably at a much lower cost in terms of men than if the two sides had gone broadside to broadside. Where are the imaginitve leaders today?

"And a drop of Nelson's Blood wouldn't do us any harm!!


21 Oct 05 - 03:21 AM (#1587559)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Wilfried Schaum

All dead and gone, I'm afraid.

21 Oct 05 - 03:44 AM (#1587562)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: sapper82

"but it was a pivotal day in the removal of a leader perceived at the time as a tyrant."

I should think that Napoleon is still viewed as a tyrant by most non-Frenchies even today!

21 Oct 05 - 04:49 AM (#1587583)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Liz the Squeak

It's all his fault we have to swap sides on the roads when we visit Europe!

Noticed how men who want to take over the world are a) not indigenous to the country they take to war; b) charismatic and forceful, although basically lazy; and c) short.


21 Oct 05 - 05:00 AM (#1587587)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Le Scaramouche

Napoleon wasn't short, he was middle-height. Short by today's standard, but hardly noticeable then. However, I found a lovely anecdote about his days when learning gunnery, he and the kid next to him would kick each other under the table. FFWD a few years, and that other boy is now commanding the artillery against Napoleon during the Siege of Acre.

21 Oct 05 - 05:10 AM (#1587591)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: GUEST, Jim Hancock

Those who live in Lincolnshire can see Clarty Sough tell the story of the battle of Trafalgar in traditional songs tonight (Oct. 21st.) at the 4th Friday Acoustic Club at Dyke Nr. Bourne, Lincs. 8.00 oclock start.

all the best

21 Oct 05 - 05:31 AM (#1587602)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Shanghaiceltic

Just got back to China, hoping to raise a few pints for the 200th Anniversary.

There are only two days in the Naval calander that are celebrated, the reigning monarchs official birthday and Trafalgar Day.

21 Oct 05 - 05:34 AM (#1587604)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: GUEST,wld

sounds like a great evening. wish I could make it, but I've got a cold -I'd be coughing and spluttering all the way through the show.

wonder what shep Wooley is up to - down there in Portsmouth.

send Shep my best wishes if any of you are going to see him

big al whittle

21 Oct 05 - 06:05 AM (#1587617)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Zany Mouse

On the telly this morning they showed the laying of a wreath at the place where Nelson died. This was in the State Room on the Victory. It was hilarious! The Naval folk there were far too tall for the room (we grow them bigger nowadays) and it was obviously ill rehearsed, or perhaps unrehearsed, and lacked all the usual organisation of a Navy ritual. Worth a viewing just for a laugh!


21 Oct 05 - 06:34 AM (#1587628)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Teribus

Nelson certainly did not die in the State Room??? (Great Cabin) of HMS Victory. Wounded on the Quarter Deck, his coat and face were covered and he was carried below deck to Surgeon Renolds in the Cockpit, where he died some hours later - it is extremely cramped.

Never a good sailor (with respect to sea-sickness) Nelson while in the Cockpit was laid down resting against the hull of the ship. His last order on being told of the scale of the victory that had been won was to stand the fleet to sea. He could feel the motion of the ship and knew that a storm was approaching. In their damaged condition had this order not been given many of the Royal Navy ships would have foundered on the lee shore - many of the prizes taken did.

21 Oct 05 - 06:43 AM (#1587633)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Keith A of Hertford

The paintings of Nelson's death show people standing straight when, as mentioned above, they would have had to bend beneath the low ceiling.

Naval officers are allowed to toast the sovereign without standing up for the same reason.


21 Oct 05 - 07:07 AM (#1587645)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Le Scaramouche

He wouldn't have died if it was in the great cabin, because, after all (irony of irnoies), he was shot by a marksman on the rigging.

21 Oct 05 - 07:28 AM (#1587654)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: GUEST,CamoJohn

Happy Trafalgar day.
I'm off to a Trafalgar Ceilidh thingy tonight... If I go in my bike leathers I might be excused from dancing :-) Or not :-/

Kismet - definitely.


21 Oct 05 - 08:40 AM (#1587711)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: alanabit

I recall being on parade to celebrate Trafalgar Day every year at RHS. I am glad I don't have to do that any more. It was a big day in our history though, as it killed off any lingering prospect of an invasion. That being said, Napoleon's plans for invading were pretty ridiculous anyway. The importance of the battle may have been psychological, as it showed that the Napoleonic forces could be beaten decisively.

21 Oct 05 - 11:09 AM (#1587793)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: woodsie

Trafalgar day? - what a load of bollocks!

Celebrated by a bunch of cunts obviously.

21 Oct 05 - 11:16 AM (#1587797)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Le Scaramouche

Yeah, I certainly don't think it was either victory or death and conquest. That's to underestimate the rest of the RN and overestimate Napoleon's forces.

21 Oct 05 - 12:35 PM (#1587832)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: The Walrus

Trafalgar did allow John Jervis (Earl St Vincent) to say, in all honesty,
"...I do not say he [Napoleon] cannot comr, merely that he cannot come by sea..."


21 Oct 05 - 01:57 PM (#1587874)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: 8_Pints

I have always thought it was a bit of an honour to be born on Trafalgar Day. It was mooted a few years ago that we should have a bank holiday on the 21st Oct. as most of our BHs are early in the year and we have the fewest number of public holidays of any country in Europe. I would have liked a holiday- it would be fair after all, 8 Pints has one every year as he was born on the 1st Jan!
I have spent my birthday learning the Team Teach restraining techniques, so grappling with my work colleagues - not an altogether unpleasant experience, but not exactly thrilling. We're going to the Trafalgar 200 concert tomorrow at the Royal Albert Hall, any other 'catters going?
Sue vG

21 Oct 05 - 02:43 PM (#1587908)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Tradsinger

I am going to celebrate Trafalgar Day by getting legless.

Message to Woodsie - watch your language and get a life.


21 Oct 05 - 05:15 PM (#1587944)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Zany Mouse

The Mighty Beeb designed Nelson's death place as being the State Room, so sorry if I got it wrong.

He was indeed mortally wounded by a sniper but died several hours later below decks.


21 Oct 05 - 11:51 PM (#1588175)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: GUEST,Bert

I remember a Trafalgar Day Cartoon in Punch years ago. It was drawn by Bill Tidy. He has these two very French looking snipers up in a crow's nest, and one of them says "See that guy with all that scrambled egg, Here's two sous says you can't get him in the other eye"

22 Oct 05 - 04:23 AM (#1588271)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Graham and Jo

see Syntan thread

22 Oct 05 - 04:54 PM (#1588581)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Shanghaiceltic

The painting of Nelson's death had quite a few errors.

The orlop deck where the surgeons area lay and to where Nelson was taken was the lowest beck of the ship and below the waterline. The height between deck and deckhead is only about 5 foot. The painting shows them standing which is an error. It also shows a well lit area. There was no natural lighting and only a few lanterns could be hung. The reason for this was it lay on a route to the powder rooms and the risk of igniting powder split by the powder monkeys was high.

The tradition of drinking the sovereigns health sitting down in the RN stems again from the low height 'tween decks. On a ship of the line, such as the Vistory, the main cabin can just about be stood in by someone of about 5'5". on smaller ships such as frigates the deckhead was even lower.

22 Oct 05 - 04:58 PM (#1588584)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Zany Mouse

Surely people were a lot shorter 200 years ago? I was shocked to see a suit of armour belonging to Henry VIII (16th century) at Hever Castle. He was reputed to be a giant of a man - well he may have been for Days-Of-Yore but the suit of armour was only about 5' 8".


22 Oct 05 - 06:32 PM (#1588631)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Le Scaramouche

The one I saw in the tower was ENORMOUS. One can never comprehend the sheer bulk of Henry until you see that.
Napoleon, though, wasn't short, but of average height. Nowadays it would be short.

22 Oct 05 - 06:33 PM (#1588632)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Juan P-B

I had the good fortune to serve as a guide on HMS Victory in the early 80's - Tis true he was carried below to the Orlop Deck (The 1st deck below the waterline) The deck of the orlop was always painted red in any ship as that was where the 'Sawbones' would perform his operations/amputations.

Nelson taken to a part of the orlaop called the 'cockpit' and was leaned against the ship's 'knee' (a sort of bracing) and administered to but died some 4 hours after being shot through - He apparently drown in his own blood rather that succumbing to the actual lead shot (although it certainly was a deciding factor)

Captain Hardy was one of the tallest men on board at the time (approx 6ft tall) and in the famous painting of Nelson's death he can be seen standing upright to Nelson's left with his right hand on the bulkhead (wall)

I am 5'10" and I had to crouch when in the 'holy of holies' as it was known. The artist used quite a bit of license when making his sketches once the 'Victory' returned to England - In the picture there are 16 people including Nelson

Apparently the only people who were actually there at the 'end' were the surgeon, one of his assistants and Captain Hardy (and possibly the Ship's Chaplain but this is not verified)

22 Oct 05 - 07:09 PM (#1588655)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Teribus

Hi there Jaun P-B, I was a VIP guide for HMS Victory, about ten years before you, my most memorable guest was Brit Eckland, lovely lady, married to Peter Sellars at the time. Without doubt one of the loveliest women I have ever met. It was a pleasure to show her round the ship.

22 Oct 05 - 07:56 PM (#1588670)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: GUEST,Napoleon

Tradsnigger - I agree with wooden. What time is " Your Language" on amd what channel?

22 Oct 05 - 08:01 PM (#1588674)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Wincing Devil

On this side of the pond, we dedicated our monthly Annapolis Chantey Sing to Nelson's honour.

Here are pix from the Trafalgar 200th Chantey Sing

22 Oct 05 - 08:25 PM (#1588687)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: GUEST,Rumncoke

Having been around the Victory and such places as Southsea Castle, my height of 5ft 4.5inches would seem to be the maximum height for clearing the beams/stone arches of such places - the guides get very anxious as I walk through without ducking, but having been there several times I always wear absolutely flat shoes and an innocent expression. As that was when I lived there - over 25 years ago now I supose I will have even more clearance now - I could feel my hair brushing the wood/stone in those days.

The Orlop deck is lower headroom than the decks above and I do have to watch my head on the beams, but the spaces between the beams allow me to stand fairly upright.

Nelson was shot through the left shoulder AFAIR - by a sniper in the mizzen top of 'The Trinedada' at quite close range, so the trajectory would have been through at least one lung - might even have damaged the spine. It was reported that Nelson anounced himself 'finished' and declined the attentions of a surgeon. I think the sniper was spotted and knocked of his perch by someone on Victory - but he'd been sucessful in hitting several officers before that.

I certainly found my bottle of 'Wood's 100 finest old Demarara' rum and drank to his memory - Hero of the Nile. Victor of Trafalgar. Our Nel.



23 Oct 05 - 02:43 AM (#1588828)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Le Scaramouche

And the largest ego in a navy full of them, but the victor nonetheless.

23 Oct 05 - 03:50 AM (#1588844)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!

I have heard that Nelson was fond of Old Masters and young Sailors !

23 Oct 05 - 04:59 AM (#1588862)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: GUEST,David Hannam


Nelson- the British Hero

Britons have every right to make October 21st a date in the diary as one of reflection and commemoration. It was the day, 198 years ago which witnessed the greatest achievement of one of our nation's greatest heroes. Trafalgar and Nelson, until a generation ago, were names that inspired every schoolchild and enthused them with patriotic pride.

The story of Horatio Nelson and his achievements is a truly inspiring one. He was a leader of men, a brilliant strategist, a tireless and selfless worker to a noble cause, indeed one worthy of the label "a hero".

He was born in Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk to the Reverend Edmund Nelson and Catherine Suckling Nelson on the 29th September 1758. His mother died when Nelson was nine. He learnt to sail on Barton Broad on the Norfolk Broads, and by the time he was twelve, he had enrolled in the Royal Navy. His naval career began on January 1, 1771, when as a 12 year old midshipman he reported to the warship Raissonable, commanded by his maternal uncle. In 1777 he was a lieutenant, assigned to the West Indies, during which time he saw action on the British side of the American Revolution. By the time he was 20, in June 1779, he made captain; the frigate Hitchenbroke was his first command.

The following year, Nelson was once again responsible for a great victory over the French. The Battle of the Nile took place on August 1, 1798, and as a result, Napoleon's ambition to take the war to the British in India came to an end. The forces Napoleon had brought to Egypt were stranded, and Napoleon himself had to be smuggled back to France. For his efforts, Nelson was granted the title of Baron. Not content to rest on his laurels, he then rescued the Neapolitan royal family from a French invasion in December. During this time, he fell in love with Emma Hamilton -- the young wife of the elderly British ambassador to Naples. She became his mistress, returning to England to live openly with him, and eventually they had a daughter, Horatia.

Horatio Nelson - British hero

Unlike many of his naval predecessors Nelson was keen to experiment and test new ideas of naval engagement. He rehearsed his battle plans rigorously, often challenging a century of naval tradition which was fast becoming outdated as ships themselves were changing. He rose rapidly up the ranks of the Senior service and in 1799 he was promoted to Rear Admiral of the Red, the fifth highest rank in the Royal Navy. Two years later on January 1, 1801, he was promoted to Vice Admiral of the Blue (the fourth highest rank).

Within a few months he was involved in the Battle of Copenhagen (April 2, 1801), which vanquished the fleet of the Danes, in order to break up the armed neutrality of Denmark, Sweden and Russia. The action was considered somewhat underhanded by some, and in fact Nelson had been ordered to cease the battle by his commander Sir Hyde Parker. In a famous incident, however, he claimed he could not see the signal flags conveying the order, pointedly raising his telescope to his blind eye. His action was approved in retrospect, and in May he became commander-in-chief in the Baltic Sea, and was awarded the title of Viscount by the British crown.

Napoleon was amassing forces to invade England, however, and Nelson was soon placed in charge of defending the English Channel to prevent this. The armistice of the Peace of Amiens was not to last long though, and Nelson soon returned to duty. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean, and assigned to the HMS Victory. He joined the blockade of Toulon, and would not again set foot on dry land for more than two years. After the French fleet slipped out of Toulon and headed for the West Indies, a stern chase failed to turn them up and Nelson's health forced him to retire to Surrey.

On September 13, 1805 he was called upon to oppose the French and Spanish fleets, which had managed to join up and take refuge in the harbour of Cadiz, Spain.

On October 21, 1805, Nelson engaged in his final battle, the Battle of Trafalgar. Napoleon Bonaparte had been massing forces once again for the invasion of the British Isles. On the 19th, the French and Spanish fleet left Cadiz, intent on clearing the Channel for this purpose. Nelson, with twenty-seven ships, engaged the thirty-three opposing ships.

His last dispatch, written on the 21st, read:
At daylight saw the Enemy's Combined Fleet from East to E.S.E.; bore away; made the signal for Order of Sailing, and to Prepare for Battle; the Enemy with their heads to the Southward: at seven the Enemy wearing in succession. May the Great God, whom I worship, grant to my Country, and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious Victory; and may no misconduct in any one tarnish it; and may humanity after Victory be the predominant feature in the British Fleet. For myself, individually, I commit my life to Him who made me, and may his blessing light upon my endeavours for serving my Country faithfully. To Him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend. Amen. Amen. Amen.
As the two fleets moved towards engagement, he then ran up a thirty-one flag signal to the rest of the fleet which spelled out the famous phrase "England expects that every man will do his duty".

After crippling the French flagship Beaucentaure, the Victory moved on to the Redoutable. The two ships entangled each other, at which point snipers in the rigging of the Redoutable were able to pour fire down onto the deck of the Victory. Nelson was one of those hit: a bullet entered his shoulder, pierced his lung, and came to rest at the base of his spine. Nelson retained consciousness for some time, but died soon after the battle was concluded with a British victory. The Victory was then towed to Gibraltar, with Nelson's body on board preserved in a barrel of brandy. Upon his body's arrival in London, Nelson was given a state funeral and entombment in St. Paul's Cathedral. According to legend, the rum ration used to preserve his body was given to naval men and came to be known as "Nelson's Blood", a possibly deliberate echo of the Communion ritual.

Nelson was noted for his considerable ability to inspire and bring out the best in his men, to the point that it gained a name: "The Nelson Touch". Famous even while alive, after his death he was lionized like almost no other military figure in British history. The monumental Nelson's Column and the surrounding Trafalgar Square are notable locations in our capital to this day, and Nelson lies buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. The Victory is in existence, and is in fact still kept on active commission in honour of Nelson it is the flagship of the Second Sea Lord; she can be found in Number 2 Dry Dock of the Portsmouth Naval Base, in Portsmouth.

23 Oct 05 - 05:23 AM (#1588870)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Le Scaramouche

Nelson confides that every man will do his duty...

I like this better:

Napoleon ought never to be confused with Nelson, in spite of their hats being so alike; they can most easily be distinguished from one another by the fact that Nelson always stood with his arms LIKE THIS, while Napoleon always stood with his arms LIKE THAT.
Nelson was one of England's most naval officers, and despised weak commands. At one battle when he was told that his Admiral-in-Chief had ordered him to cease fire, he put the telephone under his blind arm and exclaimed in disgust: 'Kiss me, Hardy!'
By this and other intrepid manoeuvres the French were utterly driven from the seas.

23 Oct 05 - 05:24 AM (#1588871)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Le Scaramouche

BTW, does the BNP only honour Nelson or haven't they heard of other naval heroes?

23 Oct 05 - 05:30 AM (#1588874)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: GUEST,David Hannam

Thank you for your interest Le Scar.

I really couldn't answer, as i am not involved in such a department that would know to be honest.

I think the idea behind celebrating Nelson was due to it being Trafalgar Day. lol.

23 Oct 05 - 05:42 AM (#1588881)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Le Scaramouche

Lol, lol, lol, it was the shallowest article on Nelson I had ever read, lol.
Bet Nelson is the only British naval hero you have heard of.

23 Oct 05 - 05:50 AM (#1588886)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: GUEST,David Hannam

I'm a naval hero. My naval has a distinct shape of a face smiling. Many thanks, anyway, my last post on this thread.

23 Oct 05 - 07:31 AM (#1588912)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Juan P-B

Hi Teribus!

What a coincidence! I was serving on Victory the day that Peter Sellers died - Sailors being sailors we were running a 'sweep' on the date & time that he expired - I think Tony Walton won!!


23 Oct 05 - 07:39 AM (#1588915)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Juan P-B

Guest wld!

Shep & I were playing aboard HMS Warrior on Trafalgar Night - I see him most weeks. PM me with yer full title etc and I'll pass yer regards

Juan P-B

23 Oct 05 - 07:47 AM (#1588919)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Le Scaramouche

Oh, a clever attempt at punning? Pity you can't tell your 'e' from your 'a'.

23 Oct 05 - 07:52 AM (#1588922)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Juan P-B

Oh come on, Scarymunch!

I can't believe you fell for that and actually responded!


Tight knicker elastic - Naval Cutter!
The gay sailor who was in his element when asked to take out the admiral's pinnace!

23 Oct 05 - 07:59 AM (#1588925)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Tam the man

oui /si

23 Oct 05 - 08:02 AM (#1588927)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Le Scaramouche

Whatever you say, JoanPP.

23 Oct 05 - 06:33 PM (#1589250)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Shanghaiceltic

Juan P-B, good to hear Shep Wooley is still around, saw him a number of times when I was shore based in the Pompey area and I always enjoyed his stuff.

23 Oct 05 - 07:33 PM (#1589291)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Desert Dancer

BBC Radio 3 show here, except you have to select Radio 3, then Early Music Show - Sunday.

An assortment of early Topic record treats. Available online for the next week.

(Thanks, Fred McCormick on Ballad-L.)

~ Becky in landlocked Tucson

23 Oct 05 - 07:56 PM (#1589306)
Subject: RE: Happy Trafalgar Day!
From: Desert Dancer

Playlist here.