Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar

Press Release: 18/10/2005

The Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Neil Baxter, is attending a tree planting and unveiling ceremony this Friday to commemorate the bi-centenary of Admiral Lord Nelson's famous victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.

The events will take place at Nelson's Monument on Portsdown Hill, overlooking Portsmouth on the southern boundary of the Winchester District.

The main ceremony, a large scale tree planting mainly by local schoolchildren, will in due course create a symbolic landmark designed to represent the orientation of the ships involved in Nelson's "Crossing the T" manoeuvre during the Battle of Trafalgar.

The trees link the ancient Forest of Bere, where the trees for naval ship-building were grown, with Portsmouth Harbour, where the trees were used by the Navy. This new 'green' landmark will celebrate both Nelson's victory in 1805 and today's area of outstanding heritage woodland, the Forest of Bere.

During the ceremony, a new information board about Nelson's Monument will be unveiled by Commodore Nance of the Royal Navy. The board gives a brief summary of Nelson's illustrious naval career, from his joining at the age of 11 as a midshipman in 1771 to his death at Trafalgar in 1805.

It also provides information about the commissioning and construction of the monument itself. The board has been researched and designed by Winchester City Council's heritage services team, and its production and installation have been generously sponsored by Stewart Signs of Chandlers Ford.

Cllr Baxter said: "I am honoured to be taking part in this most special of commemorations to celebrate the bi-centenary of one of the greatest battles in British history, and to honour the memory of one of our greatest sailors. I am pleased that Winchester City Council has been able to enhance the celebrations with the information board about Nelson's Monument as I am sure this will help future generations of visitors to understand the significance of the obelisk.

"Few people realise that the Winchester District extends so far down to the coast, and we believe this is a fitting way to mark our maritime connections."