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Culdrose sailors mark historic Trafalgar ceremony in Cornish village

26 October 2023
Sailors from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose paraded through the streets of the village of Madron in west Cornwall on Sunday, October 22, to remember the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Lord Nelson.

Led by the HMS Seahawk Volunteer Band, the air station guard and a platoon of trainees were joined by members of the Sea Cadets, Royal Naval Association and the Royal British Legion.

They marched through the village, near Penzance, to the parish church which held the first thanksgiving service in 1805, just days following the historic sea battle.

After a short service they completed the annual event, organised by Madron Parish Council, with a march back through the village. Taking the salute outside Landithy Hall was the commanding officer of HMS Raleigh, Captain Jane Roe, who was joined by RNAS Culdrose executive officer Commander Al Woodward and local dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall Edward Bolitho.

Commander Woodward said: “We were delighted to support this annual event which has a long history with the Royal Navy and RNAS Culdrose. The parade passed off very successfully and I’d like to thank Madron Parish Council and all who helped organise the event for their kind hospitality and for hosting us so well.”

The story goes that Penzance fishermen in Mount’s Bay first heard of victory and the death of Lord Nelson from HMS Pickle, as the ship made its way back to Britain with the momentous news. The town immediately organised a thanksgiving service at the parish church, which back then was the one in Madron.

For many years a similar service was held to mark this occasion, but in 1946 the tradition of holding an annual Commemoration involving the Royal Navy was started by Reverend Michael Hocking, a former naval captain and the vicar of Madron at the time.


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