SEA BREEZES OCTOBER 2010 • VOL 84 • NO. 778
I am sure that like me, many of our readers will be attending a Trafalgar Day dinner on or near the anniversary of Nelson’s historic victory over the combined French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar on 21st October 1805.
Even today Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson remains one of Britain’s most enduring and popular heroes. People from all over the world still flock to see his flagship HMS Victory in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. She still flies the white ensign and remains a fully commissioned ship in the Royal Navy.
Nelson, although perhaps not the greatest tactical innovator, was above all a skilled communicator and a great leader; he was respected and loved by his men. As his fleet sailed into battle at Trafalgar, his inspiring message “England expects that every man will do his duty” (see page 25) was hoisted on Victory, lifting the spirits of his men at just the right moment. His death, just as his famous victory was being achieved, plunged the nation into mourning.
At a time when the dire economic situation in this country may lead to drastic cuts in the Defence Budget, the Royal Navy once again needs leadership of the highest quality to fight its corner. The present First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB, is the man who faces this toughest of challenges.
Captain Hamish A C Ross (Editor)