The Royal Navy’s most important anniversary was marked for the 205th year by a ceremony on HMS Victory on Thursday October 21 at 8.45am.
October 21 is the anniversary of the most decisive naval battle under sail in British history - Admiral Lord Nelson's triumph at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The anniversary also marks the death of Nelson when he was fatally wounded during the action.
The hoisting of the Colours (Union Jack and White Ensign) and Nelson's signal 'England Expects' marks the start of the commemoration on HMS Victory. A team of ratings and staff from HMS Victory will hoist the 32 flags in sequence on Victory's three masts at 8.00am.
The central act of the commemoration will consist of the laying of a wreath on the spot where Nelson fell by Second Sea Lord and Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command, Vice Admiral Charles Montgomery CBE ADC. Further wreaths will be laid on the Orlop deck where Nelson died by Commandant General Royal Marines, Major General Buster Howes, and the ship's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Oscar Whild Royal Navy.
The ceremony will be attended this year by Commander Malcolm Paton Royal Navy (Rtd), a direct descendant of Master’s Mate Thomas Goble, who was onboard the ship at the Battle of Trafalgar. He was promoted to Nelson’s Public Secretary to the Fleet during the action, a post he held for four hours before Nelson’s death.