Guests back on the upper deck for Trafalgar Day ceremony

Topic: PeopleRemembrance Storyline: HMS Victory

Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Nick Hine led Trafalgar Day commemorations on board HMS Victory marking today’s 216th anniversary of the battle.

The day started at HM Naval Base Portsmouth, as always, with the daily naval ceremony of Colours at 8am; the White Ensign and the Union Flag hauled up, followed shortly afterwards by the flag sequence indicating Nelson’s famous battle message to the fleet: “England expects that every man will do his duty”.

The private ceremony followed shortly after on the upper deck.

About 70 officers, ratings cadets and guests, including the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and representatives of the United States, Polish, Turkish and New Zealand militaries, watched as VAdm Hine laid a wreath on the spot Lord Nelson fell during the battle.

This was a return to a more visible display of commemoration by the Royal Navy in front of military and civilian guests after last year’s event was reduced in scale.

Trafalgar Day is the most important day in the calendar of HMS Victory, the oldest commissioned warship in the world.  

The National Museum of the Royal Navy is now displaying a coin from 1894 found under the 26-tonne main mast which was removed earlier in the year for renovation. The coin was left in its place when masts from HMS Shah were used to replace others which had been in place nearly 50 years. The work is part of a 20-year conservation project.