Everyone invited to toast Admiral Nelson's immortal memory at Trafalgar Day Service
NORFOLK'S most famous son and Britain's greatest naval hero will be remembered at the annual Trafalgar Day Service, to be held at Nelson's monument, Great Yarmouth, on Sunday, October 21, at 1pm.
The service, led by The Rev Simon Ward, of Great Yarmouth Minster, is open to all who wish to honour Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson, who was killed by a French sniper at the Battle of Trafalgar, on October 21, 1805.
The event, organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council in partnership with the Nelson Museum, will start with a procession from South Beach Parade to the monument, in South Denes. Rum or orange juice, if preferred, will be distributed to all present to toast Nelson's immortal memory.
Cllr Mary Coleman, the mayor of the Great Yarmouth borough, will lay a wreath at the base of the column on behalf of the people of the borough. The service will also include hymns, prayers and readings. Kerry Robinson-Payne, the curator of the Nelson Museum, will read an account of the Battle of Trafalgar.
Cllr Coleman said: "Admiral Nelson is a national hero and a true son of Norfolk, who landed a number of times during his illustrious naval career at Great Yarmouth, which was an important naval base throughout the Napoleonic Wars.
"When he landed at Great Yarmouth after the Battle of the Nile, in 1798, he was given a hero's welcome and was carried to the Wrestler's Inn, on Church Plain. There he was presented with the Freedom of the Borough.
"This year, because Trafalgar Day has fallen at a weekend for the second consecutive year, we are able to hold the service on Trafalgar Day itself, which is most fitting. We hope that many people will again turn up to toast his immortal memory at the monument, which will mark the 200th anniversary of its completion next year."
The Norfolk Naval Pillar, as it is officially known, stands at 144ft tall and is only slightly shorter than its counterpart in London. Funded by public subscription at a cost £7,000, it was built to commemorate Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgar, opening in 1819.
Great Yarmouth was chosen as the ideal location, with the position on South Denes, then an empty sand spit, ensuring it would be seen from both land and sea.
The fluted Doric limestone column, topped with a sculpture of Britannia, features a circular staircase of 217 steps to a viewing platform offering panoramic views over Great Yarmouth. In 2004, ahead of the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar, a £1m restoration of the monument took place, when it was cleaned and repaired.