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.

Media contact

Joss Loader
Primary PR Ltd.
Tel: 07838 379599

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)

Download the PDF press release.