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Battle of Trafalgar remembered in Portsmouth

HMS Victory Credit: ITV news

One of the most famous battles in the Royal Navy's history will be remembered today. A special ceremony will be held on HMS Victory - the oldest commissioned warship in the world - marking 210 years since British victory at Trafalgar and the death or Admiral Lord Nelson.

The 21st October is the most important day in Victory's calendar. The Battle is said to have changed the course of history and sealed British dominion of the seas for a hundred years. The ceremony is also an act of remembrance, marking the loss of the country's greatest ever naval leader and the lives of men on both sides who perished in the fierce battle.

The day starts with the daily naval ceremony of 'Colours', as the White Ensign of the Royal Navy and the Union Jack are 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"

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 polished brass plaque, which forms the centrepiece of the Trafalgar Day Ceremony.

Credit: ITV news

Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock said: "The Battle of Trafalgar is a significant part of British maritime history. It is therefore extremely important that the Royal Navy continues to mark the occasion, and remember Admiral Nelson along with the sailors who fought with him. At the same time we must not forget the sailors and marines deployed around the world today protecting our Nation's interests, defending our home waters and underwriting the security of our Overseas Territories."

HMS Defender waved off by family and friends

HMS Defender sets sail Credit: Fleet Photographic Unit

Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender sailed from Portsmouth today on her second major deployment, to carry out security operations in the Middle East.

Crowds of family and friends gathered along the shoreline in Old Portsmouth to wave farewell to the 190 crew, as they left their home port, to take over from sister ship HMS Duncan and spend nine months working with allies in the Middle East and Gulf.

Family and friends wave goodbye to the crew of HMS Defender Credit: Fleet Photographic Unit

The ship’s role will be to safeguard the seas and promote UK interests in the region by acting as a deterrent to illegal activities, protecting allied and merchant shipping and helping ensure that global trade can proceed without a hitch.

HMS Defender’s Commanding Officer, Commander Stephen Higham, said: “We are ready to undertake missions across the military spectrum ranging from counter piracy and disaster relief to defence engagement and high-intensity war fighting."


Spinnaker Tower celebrates 10th anniversary

Today it's a shining and successful icon of the city, but while it was being planned and built the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth was locked in controversy.

This weekend it'll be10 years since it first opened, five years late and millions of pounds over budget.

Our reporter Richard Jones, who's been following the story since it began back in 1995, has been looking at the tower - past and present.

Man appears in court over assault on police officers

A man has appeared in court charged in connection with assaulting two police officers in Portsmouth.

Officers were called to an incident at Lloyds Bank in London Road in North End yesterday afternoon after a report of a man stood in the bank holding a knife.

One officer was cut on his arm, while another officer suffered a suspected broken knee bone.

This morning police charged Steven Bradley Wallis, 27, of no fixed abode, with:

  • Affray
  • Possession of a knife blade / sharp pointed article in a public place
  • Assault a person thereby occasioning them actual bodily harm
  • Wound / inflict grievous bodily harm without intent

He's been remanded in custody, to appear at Portsmouth Crown Court on November 9.

Prince Harry 'not that posh' admits 13-year-old award winner

Credit: Thousand Word Media Ltd

Prince Harry presented an ‘Inspirational Child of the Year’ award to a 13-year-old patient of the QA Hospital in Portsmouth for her fundraising work

Hope Farren faces gruelling daily medications to combat severe asthma, angioedema, chest, lung and adrenaline problems.

She was picked from hundreds of nominations from across the UK for her efforts donating boxes of toys, games and video consoles to the paediatrics ward.

Hope was first admitted to hospital at just three months old where she was diagnosed with a range of conditions including severe asthma.

This has meant that Hope, now 13, has since been admitted to hospital more than 90 times.

I said to Prince Harry that he didn’t sound as posh as I thought he would, and he replied that he laughs at people who sound too posh.

It was an honour to meet him but just like talking to a normal man and he was so nice and relaxed.

– Hope Farren


Young apprentices meet sailing legend

Ben Ainslie Racing team Credit: ITV news

Sir Ben Ainslie will meet the local apprentices who worked on his Americas Cup RIBS today. Students from City College Southampton hand built the two boats from scratch.

They'll join him at the BAR Racing HQ in Portsmouth. They'll be given a tour of the facility before seeing the boats in action on the water. Organisers say it'll be a really proud moment for the youngsters as they start their careers, having hand built a pair of boats for an Olympic sailor.

Portsmouth people have their say on council's budget

Further cutbacks are planned for Portsmouth Credit: ITV

There is still time for people in Portsmouth to have their say on the council's budget.

Until 19 October they can take part in a Portsmouth City Council consultation, aimed at finding out residents' priorities for spending.

Like all local authorities, the council is facing further cuts to the money it receives from the government.

The council has already made £74.4m of savings over the last five years. But it needs to save at least another £31m over the three financial years from April 2016.

Veterans welcome restoration of last surviving D-Day landing craft

The last surviving - tank landing craft - to have taken part in D-Day is to be restored in Portsmouth. LCT 7074 was rescued from the bottom of a dock in Merseyside where she'd sunk. Veterans of the invasion of Normandy in 1944 say it's vital she's preserved to give future generations an idea of what they went through. Richard Jones has our report.

Emotional visit for D-Day veterans to Portsmouth

Credit: Royal Navy

A small group of D-Day veterans has visited the recently raised vessel LCT 7074, for what is likely to be the only opportunity to view the landing craft before the National Museum of the Royal Navy embarks on an assessment of her conservation needs.

Many of the veterans served on landing crafts similar to LCT 7074, for most this was the first time they had seen a LCT since they were in active service in the Second World War. During their visit the D-Day veterans were welcomed by Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and given a short tour of the vessel.

Ron Smith, a wireman on LCT 947 (a later model than the 7074) said: "Memories immediately came flooding back as soon as I saw her. Her size - two feet longer than HMS Victory apparently - struck me. We were thrilled to get a chance to see her today and can't wait to see her restored."

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy said “LCT 7074 is one of the last of these vital workhorses known to have participated in D-Day. Ordinary vessels, they performed an extraordinary task; carrying up to ten Sherman tanks, and transporting almost all the heavy artillery and armoured vehicles that landed in Normandy. This allowed the amphibious force to win major engagements and remain equipped to fight for months without a friendly port. It is exceptionally moving to welcome the Veterans today, to share in their memories and ensure they are recorded forever."

LCT 7074 was raised from Liverpool Docks last year by the National Museum of the Royal Navy and transported by sea to Portsmouth Naval Base. More than 800 LCTs took part in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, each capable of carrying ten tanks or other heavy armoured vehicles into battle. Operation Neptune was the naval dimension of Overlord, the largest amphibious operation in history, in which more than 7,000 ships and craft of all sizes landed over 160,000 soldiers on the beaches of Normandy. Of this fleet, fewer than ten are believed to survive, including LCT 7074 which is understood to be the only vessel of this kind left in Britain.

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