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News of Trafalgar


A new Dispatch is being prepared, based on contemporary quotations, which will reflect the courage and humanity of those involved in the battle on both sides and recognize the brotherhood of the sea that exists between all seamen.

Copies of the New Dispatch in Spanish and French will be formally taken on board the Sail Training Ship, the Lord Nelson during the International Festival of the Sea at Portsmouth (1st–3rd July 2005). The crew of the Lord Nelson will comprise 50% disabled people and include Spanish and French representatives. She will sail in succession for Cadiz and Brest, where presentations of the New Dispatch will be made by representatives of the Royal Navy to those of the Spanish and French Navies.

The Lord Nelson will then sail for Falmouth, where the original Trafalgar Dispatch was brought ashore by Lieutenant Lapenotiere on 4th November 1805 at the end of a voyage in HM Schooner Pickle from the British Fleet off Cape Trafalgar. A reception will be held in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall on 4th August 2005, and exemplars of the New Dispatch will be brought ashore for presentation to the County of Cornwall and the town of Falmouth.

A newly built post chaise will then leave Falmouth for London, emulating the drive by post chaise of Lieutenant Lapenotiere in 1805. The post chaise will follow Lapenotieres 1805 route, with New Dispatch presentations being made by young Naval Officers to the seven counties and many towns along the route. County Committees have been set up to organize local events, such as concerts, Royal Marine band displays, reenactments, lectures and firework displays.

In Wiltshire there will be a formal presentation of the New Dispatch to representatives of Northumberland, in recognition of Vice-Admiral Collingwood, a Northumbrian and Lord Nelson’s successor in command of the British Fleet. It was Admiral Collingwood’s Dispatch that Lapenotiere was conveying to the Admiralty in London.

Also in Wiltshire there will be a Trafalgar Ball at Trafalgar Park, near Salisbury, the home of the Nelson family in the years after Trafalgar. In Surrey, the Earl and Countess of Wessex have agreed to a reception being held at Bagshot Park on the arrival of the post chaise when a Dispatch presentation to a County representative will be made. This will be followed by a concert of maritime music.

The post chaise will arrive at the Admiralty Building in Whitehall on 10th September, where Admiral Collingwood’s original dispatch was delivered on 6th November 1805. A young Naval Officer will then deliver the New Trafalgar Dispatch to the successor to William Marsden, the Secretary to the Navy, who received the original document in 1805. He will then hand it to the First Sea Lord, to represent Lord Barham, the First Lord who received it from William Marsden in 1805. Further Dispatch presentations are then planned in Central London and details will be released in due course. An exemplar of the New Trafalgar Dispatch will also be carried in the shallop The Jubilant from Greenwich to Westminster to lead The Thames Nelson Flotilla on 16th September.

The New Trafalgar Dispatch is one of the principal events of the Trafalgar Festival, which itself forms the core of SeaBritain 2005 (see below). Other major Trafalgar Festival events include: An International fleet Review at Spithead involving ships from over 40 nations; a Drumhead Ceremony at Southsea Common; a Son et Lumiere in the Solent; An International Festival of the Sea at Portsmouth; a National Trafalgar Weekend in October, and The Thames Nelson Flotilla.

SeaBritain2005 is a year-long series of events and festivals on the theme of Britain and the sea. SeaBritain2005 was instigated and is managed by The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich jointly with Visit Britain, and a large number of national and regional partner organizations. These include the Official Nelson Commemorations Committee (ONCC), The National Trust, the BBC, the Royal Navy, the Chamber of Shipping, The Royal Yachting Association, SeaVision UK, Trinity House and the Department of Media Culture and Sport. For further information, visit

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 29th, 2004 at 7:32 am and is filed under Short Tacks. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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