View Full Version : Nelson 2004

1st May 2005, 13:07
Don't think this has been done here before...

It's almost 200 years since Lord Nelson's famous naval victory over the French and Spanish in the Battle of Trafalgar. To kick-start the anniversary celebrations, an actor dressed as Nelson posed for pictures on the River Thames at Greenwich. But before he was allowed on board an RNLI Lifeboat, safety officials made him wear a lifejacket over his 19th century admiral's uniform.How would Nelson himself have fared if he had been subject to modern health and safety regulations?

"Order the signal to be sent, Hardy."

"Aye, aye sir."

"Hold on, that's not what I dictated to the signal officer. What's the meaning of this?"

"Sorry sir?"

"England expects every person to do his duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.
What gobbledegook is this?"

"Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil's own job getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist."

"Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."

"Sorry sir. All naval vessels have been designated smoke-free working environments."

"In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle."

"The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. It's part of the Government's policy on binge drinking."

"Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it. Full speed ahead."

"I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water."

"Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest, please."

"That won't be possible, sir."


"Health and safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness. And they said that rope ladder doesn't meet regulations. They won't let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected."

"Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."

"He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo'c'sle Admiral."

"Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."

"Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free
environment for the differently abled."

"Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card."

"Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under-represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."

"Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."

"A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won't let the crew up the rigging without crash helmets. And they don't want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you seen the adverts?"

"I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy."

"The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."

"What? This is mutiny."

"It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There's a couple of legal aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."

"Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"

"Actually, sir, we're not."

"We're not?"

"No, sir. The Frenchies and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."

"But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."

"I wouldn't let the ship's diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be up on disciplinary."

"You must consider every man an enemy who speaks ill of your King."

"Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age.
Now put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules."

"Don't tell me - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?"

"As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu. And now there's a ban on corporal punishment."

"What about sodomy?"

"I believe it's to be encouraged, sir."

"In that case ...kiss me, Hardy."



1st May 2005, 14:50
Letter to the Admiralty from Collingwood after Trafalgar

Vice-Admiral Collingwood, Commander-In-Chief off Cadiz, to the Admiralty, October 22, 1805

Euryalus, off Cape Trafalgar: The ever-to-be-lamented death of Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, who, in the late conflict with the enemy, fell in the hour of victory, leaves to me the duty of informing my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that on the 19th inst. it was communicated to the Commander-in-Chief, from the ships watching the motions of the enemy in Cadiz, that the combined fleet had put to sea. As they sailed with light winds westerly, his Lordship concluded their destination was the Mediterranean, and immediately made all sail for the Straits entrance with the British squadron, consisting of 27 ships, three of them sixty-fours, where his Lordship was informed by Captain Blackwood (whose vigilance in watching, and giving notice of the enemy's movements, has been highly meritorious) that they had not yet passed the Straits

On Monday the 21st inst., at daylight, when Cape Trafalgar bore east by south about seven leagues, the enemy was discovered six or seven miles to the eastward, the wind about west, and very light. The Commander-in-Chief immediately made the signal for the fleet to bear up in two columns, as they formed in order of sailing: a mode of attack his Lordship had previously directed, to avoid the inconvenience and delay in forming a line of battle in the usual manner. The enemy's line consisted of 33 ships (of which 18 were French and 15 Spanish) commanded in chief by Admiral Villeneuve; the Spaniards, under the direction of Gravina, wore, with their heads to the northward, and formed their line of battle with great closeness and correctness; but as the mode of attack was unusual, so the structure of their line was new; it formed a crescent convexing to leeward, so that, in leading down to their centre, I had both their van and rear abaft the beam. Before the fire opened, every alternate ship was about a cable's length to windward of her second ahead and astern, forming a kind of double line, and appeared, when on their beam, to leave a very little interval between them, and this without crowding their ships. Admiral Villeneuve was in the Bucentaure, in the centre, and the Prince of Asturias bore Gravina's flag in the rear, but the French and Spanish ships were mixed without any apparent regard to order of national squadron.

As the mode of our attack had been previously determined on, and communicated to the Flag Officers and Captains, few signals were necessary, and none were made except to direct close order as the lines bore down. The Commander-in-Chief, in the Victory, led the weather-column, and the Royal Sovereign, which bore my flag, the lee.

The attack began at 12 o'clock, by the leading ships of the columns breaking through the enemy's line, the Commander-in-Chief about the tenth ship from the van, the second in command about the twelfth from the rear, leaving the van of the enemy unoccupied; the succeeding ships breaking through in all parts astern of their leaders, and engaging the enemy at the muzzles of their guns. The conflict was severe; the enemy's ships were fought with a gallantry highly honourable to their officers; but the attack on them was irresistible, and it pleased the Almighty Disposer of all events to grant his Majesty's arms a complete and glorious victory. About 3 p.m. many of the enemy's ships having struck their colours, their line gave way. Admiral Gravina, with 10 ships, joining their frigates to leeward, stood towards Cadiz. The five headmost ships in their van tacked, and, standing to the southward, to windward of the British line, were engaged, and the sternmost of them taken; the others went off, leaving to H.M.'s squadron 19 ships of the line, of which two are first-rates, the Santissima Trinidada and the Santa Anna, with three Flag officers, viz. Admiral Villeneuve the Commander-in-Chief, Don Ignatio Maria D'Aliva, Vice-Admiral, and the Spanish Rear-Admiral Don Balthazar Hidalgo Cisneros.

After such a victory it may appear unnecessary to enter into encomiums on the particular parts taken by the several commanders; the conclusion says more on the subject than I have language to express; the spirit which animated all was the same: when all exert themselves zealously in their country's service, all deserve that their high merits should stand recorded; and never was high merit more conspicuous than in the battle I have described.

The Achille, a French 74, after having surrendered, by some mismanagement of the Frenchmen, took fire and blew up. Two hundred of her men were saved by the tenders.

A circumstance occurred during the action which so strongly marks the invincible spirit of British seamen when engaging the enemies of their country that I cannot resist the pleasure I have in making it known to their Lordships. The Temeraire was boarded, by accident or design, by a French ship on one side and a Spaniard on the other; the contest was vigorous but in the end the combined ensigns were torn from the poop and the British hoisted in their places.

Such a battle could not be fought without sustaining a great loss of men. I have not only to lament, in common with the British navy and the British nation, in the fall of the Commander-in-Chief, the loss of a hero whose name will be immortal and his memory ever dear to a country but my heart is rent with the most poignant grief for the death of a friend to whom, by many years' intimacy and a perfect knowledge of the virtues of his mind, which inspired ideas superior to the common race of men, I was bound by the strongest ties of affection; a grief to which even the glorious occasion in which he fell does not bring the consolation which perhaps it ought. His Lordship received a musket ball in his left breast, about the middle of the action, and sent an officer to me immediately, with his last farewell, and soon after expired. I have also to lament the loss of those excellent officers, Captains Duff of the Mars and Cooke of the Bellerophon; I have yet heard of none others. I fear the numbers that have fallen will be found very great when the returns come to me, but it having blowed a gale of wind ever since the action, I have not yet had it in my power to collect any reports from the ships. The Royal Sovereign having lost her masts except the tottering foremast, I called the Euryalus to me while the action continued, which ship lying within hail, made my signals; a service Captain Blackwood performed with great attention. After the action I shifted my flag to her, that I might more easily communicate my orders to, and collect the ships, and towed the Royal Sovereign out to seaward. The whole fleet were now in a very perilous situation, many dismasted, all shattered, in 13 fathoms water off the shoals of Trafalgar, and when I made the signal to prepare to anchor, few of the ships had an anchor to let go, their cables being shot, but the same good Providence which aided us through such a day preserved us in the night by the wind shifting a few points and drifting the ships off the land, except four of the captured dismasted ships which are now at anchor off Trafalgar, and I hope will ride safe until those gales are over. Having thus detailed the proceedings of the fleet on this occasion I beg to congratulate their Lordships on a victory which, I hope, will add a ray to the glory of H.M.'s crown and be attended with public benefit to our country.

1st May 2005, 16:43



1st May 2005, 16:45
Wholigan = TIC :confused: :{

1st May 2005, 16:49
Don't think this has been done here before...

I stand corrected Wholigan ... you only did it because I made fun of your car thou! :)