"A Trafalgar Day for our times"

 The Battle of Trafalgar was a naval battle of the Napoleonic Wars. It took place on October 21st, 1805 between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French and Spanish navies.

Although the British emerged victorious from the battle, it also led to the death of Admiral Lord Nelson, leader of the British Fleet, who was shot by a French sniper.

Trafalgar Day at Trafalgar Cemetry, Gibralter (2008)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeTrafalgar Day at Trafalgar Cemetry, Gibralter (2008) - Credit: Jim Crone

October 21st became known as Trafalgar Day, and up until the First World War it was widely celebrated in Britain and other countries of the British Empire. After 1918, enthusiasm for Trafalgar Day celebrations declined, although commemorative events do still take place today in Britain and the Commonwealth countries.

In about 1993, it was rumoured that John Major was considering making Trafalgar Day a public holiday, an idea that has been put forward again more recently.

 

 

 

Nelson's monument in Birmingham, be-decked with Trafalgar Day flowers in 2006
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeNelson's monument in Birmingham, be-decked with Trafalgar Day flowers in 2006 - Credit: David Stowell