Britain to beat France, again
Sunday 28 December 1997
The Government has decided to commemorate the bicentenary of the historic naval battle in October 2005, risking the sensitivities of the French and Spanish, who were roundly defeated.
John Spellar, Armed Forces Minister, said he would welcome "imaginative proposals to commemorate this significant anniversary" and an official at the Ministry of Defence said re-enactment "sounds like a cracking idea".
Given the prickly state of Anglo-Spanish relations over the future of Gibraltar, it is unlikely that the battle could be staged where it happened, only 30 miles from the Rock. But experts believe that Trafalgar, one of the world's decisive naval actions which ended the threat of Napoleon's invasion and established British naval supremacy for a century, could be re-enacted off the south coast of England.
Docklands in London has also been suggested as a suitable location, but it is unlikely that the Victorian confines of the capital's former port could accommodate anything like the 60 ships of the line that engaged each other for five hours in the afternoon of 21 October 1805, before the French and Spanish surrendered after losing 20 ships and half their 14,000 men. The rest were captured.
Nelson, who issued his famous signal "England expects that every man will do his duty" that day, knew that the battle was won before he was mortally wounded by a bullet at 4.30pm, expiring on his flagship Victory with the words "Kiss me, Hardy" that are equally immortal.
Discussions on the form of the celebrations are at an early stage, but George Robertson`, Secretary of State for Defence, has already had one meeting with MoD officials on the subject and plans are being drawn up. Several events will take place on Victory at Portsmouth, restoration of which is scheduled to be completed in time for the bicentenary.
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...