We celebrate the Battle of Trafalgar
4th October 2010
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We celebrate the Battle of Trafalgar in the United Kingdom on 21st October each year. It is not a public holiday, and celebrations are usually at best muted or even non-existent. It commemorates the victory of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson’s British fleet over the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar, off the spanish/french coast  on 21st October, 1805.

It was once widely celebrated by parades, dinners, gatherings of comrades and ex-servicemen  throughout much of the British Empire in the early 19th and 20th centuries.  This sea battle was as critical to our Nations's survival as the Battle of Britain is perceived to be today. Plymouth was a port from which war ships sailed and returned to after the Battle.  Napoleon was finally brought to Plymouth after his defeat.

After the massive casualties of the First World War in 1918, celebrations of war across the board rapidly declined because of a general public distaste for triumphalism in any form which persists to this very day. Newly established events such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday were seen as more appropriate and hence the Battle of Trafalgar is fast receding in the Nation's consciousness. Only the Royal Navy remembers today.

However, the significance of Trafalgar was marked by a series of special events in 2005 (the 200th Anniversary of Nelson’s victory), especially in the United Kingdom and its waters, during which Queen Elizabeth II undertook her first International Fleet Review since her Silver Jubilee in 1977. In addition, there were events in many major cities and ports in the UK to celebrate, not just the victory at Trafalgar, but the life of Lord Nelson himself.

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