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Photo gallery: Shots of rum raised in honour of Admiral Nelson

PUBLISHED: 18:26 19 October 2014 | UPDATED: 09:52 20 October 2014

Trafalgar Day celebrations held at the Nelson Monument, Yarmouth

Trafalgar Day celebrations held at the Nelson Monument, Yarmouth

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Two centuries after a sniper took his life, people of Great Yarmouth have paid tribute to Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson.

The annual Trafalgar Day Service was held today; a small crowd gathering in the shadow of the town’s monument named for the county’s most famous naval son.

Admiral Nelson, born in 1758 in Burnham Thorpe near Wells-next-the-Sea, had strong links to Yarmouth and received the Freedom of the Borough following the Battle of the Nile in 1798.

Nine years later, at the Battle of Trafalgar, he was shot and died aboard the HMS Victory before the fighting was over.

At today’s service, an account of the Napoleonic battle was read aloud by Cllr Kerry Robinson-Payne.

Trafalgar Day celebrations held at the Nelson Monument, Yarmouth.
 East Norfolk Militia group.Trafalgar Day celebrations held at the Nelson Monument, Yarmouth. East Norfolk Militia group.

She recounted the moment Nelson was struck and his reportedly final, now famous, words to first officer Thomas Hardy.

“Thomas Hardy rushed to Nelson’s help as fell to the deck,” she read.

“‘They have done for me at last, Hardy. My back bone is shot through’.

“The dying admiral was carried to the casualty station below. His face and decorations covered by a handkerchief.

Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson, by Lemuel Francis AbbottVice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson, by Lemuel Francis Abbott

“Surrounded by Warren Beatty, the ship’s surgeon, Alexander Scott, the ship’s chaplain, Walter Burke, the ship’s purser, and Thomas Hardy, Nelson, now very near to death, is heard to say, ‘Kiss me, Hardy’.”

The service was led by Rev Canon Christopher Terry, of Great Yarmouth Minster.

At 1.15pm, approximately the time Nelson was shot, the East Norfolk Militia fired a gun before shots of rum or orange juice were then handed out for everyone present to raise a glass and to toast Nelson’s immortal memory.

Trafalgar Day, which falls on Tuesday, celebrates the Royal Navy victory over the combined French and Spanish fleets on October 21, 1805.

To coincide with the anniversary, two blue plaques in honour of seaman James Sharman, who served on the Victory and helped carry the dying Nelson down to the cockpit, will be unveiled in Yarmouth.

The first will be unveiled at 11am at Nelson’s Monument, and the second at 12.15pm on the former Wrestlers’ Inn on Brewery Plain, a beer house that Sharman ran until his death.

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