Old-time Echoes “ .’TWAS in TRAFALGAR’S BAY.” THE 102 ml ANNIVERSARY OF NELSON’S VICTORY., HOW THE NEWS WAS RECEIVED IN ENGLAND. NAPOLEON’S OPINION. HIS ADOPTION OF NELSON’S SIGNAL. I The Battle of Trafalgar was fought on Monday, the 21st of October, 1805, but the first authentic news of it and of Nelson’s death only reached London on the 6th November - . [ The London Gazette Extraordinary [ was out before breakfast-time, and I the newspapers and the Park and 1 Tower guns and the church bells announced the news to all London before. nine o’clock. Its effect was stunning. Never was a great triumph received with so little manifestation of outward rejoicing. Immediately after the first rumours got about the doors of the newspaper offices were besieged by crowds' —all wanting to know one thing. It was not about the victory. The one thing people asked was : If it was true about Lord Nelson ? That —Nelson’s death' —was uppermost in everybody’s mind. The victory was of course a tremendous one, the greatest ever heal’d of, but Nelson-, "Our Nel.” as the sailors called him, was gone. -4~ "Had I been his wife or mother,” wrote Lady Castlereagh, ‘‘ I would rather have wept him dead than see him languish a less splendid day.” In such a death there is no sting, and in such a gTave everlasting victory.” “I remember well the Battle of Trafalgar,” said Lady Wenlock, who died in 1869. ‘T was seven years old then, but 1 knew 7 the names of all the ships and captains. My sister was then mistress of my father’s house, and I was sent for 'down to her. ' Oh, my dear,’ she said, ‘my father has sent me up the newspaper, and we have taken 50 ships of the line—but—Nelson is dead !’ Child as I was, I burst into tears'—one had been taught to think that nothing could go on without him l” •4“ 4" 4” 4An old Christ’s Hospital “boy,” who died eight or nine years ago at the age of 103, was at school at th© time. ‘‘When the news arrived,” he said, “we let up fireworks for the victory, and then drank a little glass of sherry for Lord Nelson in solemn silence.” 4- 4- 4" 4* An officer serving on the East Indies station relates that when the news reached his ship several of his men, who had served previously with Nelson, broke down entirely on hearing of his death, and were useless for duty for several days. 4* 4” 4- 4>According to one story, when Napoleon heard the news from Trafalgar he asked Berthier how old Paul Jones was when he died. Berthier replied that he thought he was 45'. “Then,” said Napoleon, ‘‘he did not fulfil his destiny. Had he lived to this time France might have had an admiral !” Said Napoleon afterwards : —‘‘Our admirals are always talking about ‘ pelagic conditions ’ and ‘ ulterior objects.’ As if there tvas any condition or object in war but to get in contact with the enemy and destroy him. That was Paul Jones’s view of the conditions and. objects of naval warfare. It was also Nelson’s. Tt is a pity they could not have been matched with fairly equal force.” '* 4* 4* 4 >- 4" Incidentally Napoleon paid Nelson the remarkable tribute of adopting his Trafalgar signal for the Imperial Navy. The Emperor, within four months of Trafalgar, directed that the words, ‘‘La France compte que chacun fera son devoir !” should be painted up prominently on board every man-of-war in his navy. ‘Tt is the best of lessons,” he said, when giving the Minister of Marine the order. —Extracted from Fraser’s ‘‘ Trafalgar.”
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Page 10 Advertisements Column 2, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 26, 19 October 1907
Page 10 Advertisements Column 2 Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 26, 19 October 1907
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