School children pay special tribute to Lord Nelson - Friday, 16 October 2009
Schoolchildren will discover the history behind the Nelson monument – the historic landmark that’s guided sailors safely to shore for two centuries – as part of Fort Nelson’s Trafalgar Day commemorations on Wednesday, October 21.
Youngsters from Northern Junior School, in Portchester, will mark the 204th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar by laying flowers at 11am.
Horatio, Lord Nelson, has held a special place in local people’s hearts for over 200 years – and his monument stands proudly on Portsdown Hill, opposite the Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson. The monument was paid for by public subscription – including large donations by many of his men.
Royal Armouries’ education officer Tony Parry said:
“Lord Nelson was truly loved by his own men. When he died, grown men were crying their hearts out. The monument was funded by public subscription and many sailors donated sums of money that were equal to a year’s wages at the time.
“Portsdown Hill is an ideal place to locate the monument as it stands like a beacon which is visible in most weather conditions, even at night, and guides sailors safely into Portsmouth Harbour.”
The Trafalgar Day service, held jointly with The Nelson Society, will be conducted by a Naval Chaplain from HMS Collingwood and will include a minute’s silence, honouring the 204th anniversary of the Admiral’s death at the Battle of Trafalgar. This year also marked the 251st anniversary of the birth of Lord Nelson on 29 September 1758.
Youngsters will also receive a talk from the Nelson Society’s Jane Smith, who will explain the history of the monument and hand out information sheets.
They will then enjoy a programme of Trafalgar Day activities at the Fort, including craft sessions to make naval hats, and mock battles.
Meanwhile, the Royal Armouries is marking the day by using a uniformed crew of sailors to fire a recently restored 12-pounder gun, of the kind used on board HMS Victory.
As well as the gun firings at 12 noon and 3pm, the Fort will stage presentations marking the life of Lord Nelson, the Battle of Trafalgar and other great events in British Naval history.
Museum entry is free and there is a whole range of attractions throughout the day, designed to appeal to young and old alike.
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Notes to editors
Reporters and photographers are welcome at the wreath laying ceremony at 11am (or at the craft sessions – please contact Primary PR to fix a time)
- The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson houses the national collection of historic cannon and big guns. The museum houses one of the world’s finest collections with over 350 cannon dating back over 600 years. The collection originated at HM Tower of London and has been on display in Hampshire since 1995.
- The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson also tells the story of the Palmerston Forts, built to protect Portsmouth from a feared French invasion in the 1860’s.
- Every day, visitors can see one of the big guns fired in salute, watch our resident actors bring to life characters from 1,000 years of history, explore secret underground tunnels and enjoy incredible views from the ramparts. An extensive programme of special event spectaculars takes place throughout the year.
- Fort Nelson is open every day except 24-26 December. April to October 10am –5pm (Wed 11am-5pm), November – March 10.30am – 4pm (Wed 11.30-4pm).
- Admission to the Royal Armouries is FREE.
- Admission charges apply to some events.
- Information line: 01329 233734
- Website: www.royalarmouries.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Royal Armouries is the national museum of arms and armour with sites at Fort Nelson, Leeds, HM Tower of London and Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
- The Royal Armouries Museum should not be confused with Royal Armouries International plc, the private sector corporate hospitality business.