A ceremony has been held in Portsmouth aboard HMS Victory to mark the 212th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
It was a battle which changed the course of our history as a nation and which sealed British dominion of the seas for a hundred years.
The ceremony took place onboard HMS Victory, the oldest commissioned warship in the world.
Beginning with the daily naval ceremony of ‘Colours’, the White Ensign of the Royal Navy and the Union Jack were hauled up, followed shortly afterwards by the flag sequence indicating Nelson’s famous message to the Fleet that “England expects that every man will do his duty”.
This tradition may be steeped in over 200 years’ worth of history.
Only an hour into the Battle, Nelson was hit by a French sharpshooters’ musket ball as he paced Victory’s quarterdeck, directing the Battle. He fell, fatally wounded, on a spot marked by a lovingly polished brass plaque, which now forms the centrepiece of the Trafalgar Day Ceremony.
The Ship’s Admiral in Charge, Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock OBE, and Second Sea Lord, laid a wreath on the Plaque, in the poignant ceremony led by the Reverend John Bridges Royal Navy.