Trafalgar Day is celebrated in the UK on October 21st in remembrance of a significant event – the victory of the Royal Navy over the French and Spanish naval forces at the Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars. This is a day not only of triumph, but also of sadness over the death of Horatio Nelson, the commander of the British fleet. He was a brave and courageous warrior, and remains in history as the greatest officer.
The Battle of Trafalgar was an important clash – the victory brought Great Britain dominance over the seas for the next century. The campaign was part of the Napoleonic Wars when a warlord wanted to invade the kingdom. On October 21, Nelson collected a fleet and went to battle at Cape Trafalgar. The battle was intense: the ships were seriously damaged, about 8500 people died on both sides, 20 were taken prisoner. But thanks to the skills of handling ships, the fleet, strategic knowledge and the thirst for victory of the commander, the British Navy survived. Unfortunately, Nelson did not live long enough to win; a French shooter accurately hit him and he died at 16:30, when victory had already been declared. Today, people remember the dead of the battle from both sides.
- A few minutes before the battle, a flag was hoisted on the ship with the inscription: “England expects everyone to do their duty”.
- The admiral led the fighters to battle in full dress with all the awards. This let the commander down – an enemy bullet hit him when approaching.
- Before his death, Nelson heard exclamations of victory: “My lord, this day is yours! ..”.
- The tactical technique of the commander went down in history as the “Nelson Strike”.
- In the period 1840 – 1843, a column was built – a monument in the square in London, crowned with a statue of the admiral.
How to take part
Celebrations are taking place all over the country! Cadets march to the beat of the orchestras through the streets of cities, flower-laying ceremonies are held. The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth hosts nightly dinners as part of the event. If you can’t attend the celebrations, learn more about the battle – study the historical data and share with loved ones!
When is Trafalgar Day celebrated in 2023?
Trafalgar Day is observed on October 21 each year.