"Nelson and Wellington, two great English national heroes"
Wellington and Nelson
Public DomainWellington and Nelson - Credit: National Maritime Museum

Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) was a flag officer in the Royal Navy, who made his reputation during the Napoleonic wars.  He was known as an inspirational leader and master strategist, and scored several decisive naval victories. He was flamboyant and passionate, always in the centre of the action in battle, and was wounded several times in combat, losing an arm and the sight in one eye. He was shot and killed by a French sniper during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, at the age of 47. The battle was Britain's greatest naval victory. 

The Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) was a near contemporary of Nelson, although the two appear to have met only once. He was a highly decorated soldier, and led the army that fought and defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. He was known for his stern countenance and iron-handed discipline.  He served as Prime Minister of Britain from 1828 to 1830, and retained the title of Commander in Chief of the British Army until his death aged 83.

Both men are firmly established as national heroes in Britain, and both are among the few citizens to have received a state funeral.