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Gibraltar-based sailors honour immortal memory

Commander Nick Baker places a wreath on the grave of a sailor killed at Trafalgar
19 October 2020
The statue to Britain’s greatest naval hero was the setting for the annual tribute to the men of Trafalgar in Gibraltar.

The battle which ushered in a century of British naval supremacy was fought a little more than 70 miles from the Rock – and the Fleet sought sanctuary in Gibraltar in the aftermath of routing the Franco-Spanish force, with some of those who succumbed to their wounds buried in what became Trafalgar Cemetery.

The statue to Nelson was erected at South Bastion opposite the graveyard to mark the bicentennial and served as the focal point for ceremonies marking the 215th anniversary of the battle.

With Covid restrictions preventing the usual crowd from gathering, Governor Vice Admiral Sir David Steel led the ceremony by placing a wreath at the foot of Admiral Lord Nelson’s statue.

We look to our history to inspire us – our forebears remind us of our duty and the highest standards that must be achieved

Cdre Steve Dainton, Commander British Forces Gibraltar

At the same time Commander Nick Baker and Lieutenant Commander Lloyd Cardy, Commanding Officer of the RN Gibraltar Squadron, laid wreaths on the graves of those who died in Gibraltar as a result of wounds sustained during the battle.

The Rock’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo reminded attendees of Gibraltar’s importance to the Fleet in times of peace and war.

And Commodore Steve Dainton, Commander British Forces, said that despite the huge technological advantages and changes over the past 215 years, the RN continued to draw both lessons and inspiration from Nelson and his men: characteristics such as loyalty to a ship, submarine, squadron and shipmates; high professional standards, tough and regular training and exacting leadership.

“We look to our history to inspire us – our forebears remind us of our duty and the highest standards that must be achieved,” he added.

“That is why, every year, we come together to remember the Battle of Trafalgar – to remember the bravery and sacrifice of men from both sides of the battle.”

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