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On 21 October a new gallery is opening with a permanent exhibition about the Royal Navy and the British people from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Nelson, Navy and Nation brings together over 250 objects “from the sailor’s shoes worn to impress on shore leave and love tokens sent to sweethearts, to a fiendish seven-barrelled volley gun and an amputation knife and bullet forceps. Discover what made men join up, how they lived and what kept them in line; and how the Navy loomed large in all areas of the popular imagination, from caricatures to keepsakes and collectables.


The Fall of Nelson, Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Denis Dighton, circa 1825.
Repro ID BHC0552 © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Showcasing Admiral Lord Nelson’s iconic uniform and personal items as well as weird and wonderful Nelson memorabilia, the gallery considers the legendary national hero within the context of his day, making sense of his achievements and dazzling celebrity while telling a wider story about British society.”

For more information see http://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/future/nelson-navy-nation-1688-1815

Frenchmen and landlubbers: the battlers of Trafalgar

Included in the exhibition is research by the National Maritime Museum and the National Archives which shows how Lord Nelson relied on Frenchmen and landlubbers to win the Battle of Trafalgar.

Records of those who served on the 33 British ships (some 18,000 men and at least one woman) has revealed just how cosmopolitan they really were – including “least 54 Frenchmen and 24 Spaniards” – such as Jean Baptiste, 21, from Dunkirk and Hampoo Hang, 34, born in Guangzhou, China.

The research has also found the birth places of those who were from the British Isles.  “Almost a seventh came from landlocked counties, with at least 124 from Warwickshire, and 62 from Staffordshire. 

In total, around 55 per cent came from English counties, 25 per cent Irish, 7 per cent Scottish and 3 per cent Welsh. There were also dozens from the Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands.”

What is truly fascinating is the fact that the study also found photos of three of the sailors.  To see these images and learn more about the on-going research go to:


And, finally … Great Yarmouth to raise a glass of rum to Lord Nelson to mark Trafalgar Day