Crowds raise a toast to naval hero Lord Admiral Nelson at Great Yarmouth’s Trafalgar Day service
- Credit: Niamh Payne
A service paying tribute to a naval hero who hailed from Norfolk and vanquished the French in a decisive battle was held in Great Yarmouth.
The annual Trafalgar Day service honouring Admiral Lord Nelson took place at the towering monument dedicated to him in the town yesterday.
And despite the strong winds and backlog of traffic, which prevented some people from attending the service, a good crowd gathered at Nelson's monument in South Denes in his memory.
Admiral Lord Nelson was killed by a French sniper at the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805.
For the first time in years, the service was able to take place on Trafalgar Day itself.
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Guests included the mayor of Great Yarmouth Kerry Robinson-Payne, Henry Cator, High Steward of Great Yarmouth and John Ward, chairman of Norfolk County Council who processed along with the 901 Marine cadets from Winterton.
An account of the battle was read by Kevin Woodcock of HM Coastguard and the service, which included hymns, prayers and readings, was conducted by Simon Ward of Great Yarmouth Minster and Father Philip Shryane of St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, who is the mayor's chaplain.
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A shot was fired at 1.15pm - the time Nelson was shot on board the Victory - followed by the laying of wreaths at the foot of the monument by Mrs Robinson-Payne and the Nelson Society. Groups and individuals were also invited to lay their own wreaths.
A toast to the immortal memory of Lord Nelson was also proposed by Mrs Robinson-Payne, with rum and orange juice distributed to the crowd.
Mrs Robinson-Payne said the occasion was special for residents of the town, with Nelson a major figure in both Great Yarmouth's and Britain's long naval histories.
She said: 'Nelson is very important to us in Yarmouth and we think of him as a bit of an adoptive son. This year we were pleased to be able to hold the service on Trafalgar Day itself and we also celebrated the 200th birthday of the laying of the foundation stone at the monument back in August.'