The life of admiral lord nelson and the battle of trafalgar
Table of contents• Nelson’s signal• Nelson as a boy• Nelson’s career in the navy• The Battle of Trafalgar• Tactics• Nelson’s Death• HMS Victory• Life on board HMS Victory By James Colson Lake 6S
This man was a very courageous man and wasalso very strict and even sometimes ruthlessto the sailors aboard his ship. This made themen very ordered and on strict rules. If theytook a single wrong step they would beflogged usually with a cat of nine tails.Nelson always wanted to do the right thingfor his country and was a very driven man.He had always wanted to be a sailor and thiswas one of his lifelong destinies.
Horatio Nelson was born on the 29th ofDecember 1758 in a house called theShooting Box in a village namedBurnham Thorpe in Norfolk. BurnhamThorpe is a larger village of Burnhammarket on the North Norfolk Coast.Nelson’s father, Edmund Nelson was thelocal parish priest, and his mother wascalled Catherine. Horatio was the sixthof their 11 children. The church of AllSaints, Burnham Thorpe, has muchNelson memorabilia. There is even across in the church that is made out ofwood from HMS Victory.When he was nine his mother verytragically died. This was devastating forNelson and it affected the rest of his life.
In March 1771, at the age 12, Nelsonjoined the Royal Navy. This was trulyamazing for a boy of his age. Hebecame a lieutenant in 1777. sometwo years later nelson was promoted tocommander and was givenindependent command of the HMSBadger. Nelson also for 13 years as afrigate captain and this gave him muchexperience. Sadly Nelson’s careeralmost end because he becameinvolved in a nasty argument but luckilyit did not. In 1794, Hood put Nelson incommand of Naval forces ashore duringthe capture of the island of Corsica. Heended his career as the leader of theBritish fleet at The Battle Of Trafalgar.
On the 19th October 1805 the Frenchand Spanish fleets left Cadiz togetherand headed south. Nelson shadowedthis combined fleet until it was wellaway from the harbour and then onthe morning of the 21st October1805battle commenced by the Britishattacking the Franco- Spanish fleet .Nelson was given command of thisfleet when war broke out with France.Unfortunately Napoleon’s plan was notsuccessful and they did not invadedEngland. Nelson used a very usefultactic in order to defeat the Frenchfleet this was called the Nelson Touch.
At Trafalgar, Nelson rejected thetraditional approach. Instead hechose to attack at rightangles, aiming to break the Frenchline in two places. This was anextremely dangerous move as it lefthis ships unable to fire back as theyapproached the French line.However, once they had broken theline the British ships were able torake the French ships with gun fire– astern or to the fore – causingdevastating damage without theFrench being ale to fire back.
Admiral Lord Nelson devised asignal which was used during theBattle of Trafalgar at 11.48 hours.It was a signal constructed out ofa series of flags which spelt outthe famous message to all of theships in the British fleet:“England expects every man todo his duty.”
It was 13.00 hrs. At the moment whenthe British were close to securingvictory over the French andSpanish, HMS Victory drew close to asmaller French battleship, theRedoutable, and from her rigging abullet was fired which struck Nelson ataround 13.15 hrs while he was withCaptain Thomas Hardy on thequarterdeck. Fatally wounded, Nelsonwas carried down to the cockpit belowVictory’s waterline. At 16.30 hrs hedied soon after learning that he thefleet under his command had secureda decisive victory. His patriotism wasevident until the end. His last wordswere “Thank God I have done myduty.”
The ship which Nelson commanded atthe Battle of Trafalgar was named HMSVictory. HMS Victory was launched atChatham Dockyard on 7th May 1765 witha keel made of elm and oak. The shipwas finished in Portsmouth Dockyard andwas commissioned in 1778. She was theseventh ship to bear the name “Victory.”Sir Thomas Slade designed HMS Victoryand he looked carefully at the designs ofthe previous ships to bear the samename.The ship was heavily armed for its daycontaining a vast number of cannons (itsmain defence system.)
He faced death frombattle, accidents, disease and his floatinghome was damp, dark and crowded.The ship’s company lived on the middleand lower gun decks with fewpossessions. Hammocks were slung innetting overhead. Each man had about40 inches to sleep on. The hammockswere washed regularly.Although a sailor risked death fromenemy fire or falling from the rigging, foreach seaman who died this way as manyas forty died of disease.It was almost impossible for men towash properly. They washed theirclothes in urine and rinsed them in seawater.