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I can't tell you how many times I've heard that. Whenever I tell someone about my interest that's usually the first thing they ask (and often they're  not interested in my explanation either!).
 Two hundred years ago Nelson was the most famous person in Britain. He has often been named the first popular celebrity in Britain, as people would come in their hundreds just to catch a glimpse of him, while shopkeepers sold prints, memorabilia and even clothing in celebration of his battles. For a country undeniably afraid of invasion, he was seen as the saviour. 
 His distinctive appearance made it easy for him to be instantly recongnisable, much helped by the caricaturists, and his scandalous private life only added to his fame. He was the "people's hero" and the public could both relate to him and revere him for his victories at sea. 
 His death confirmed his place in the people's hearts, as they generally took to mourning rather than celebrating the victory at Trafalgar. His funeral was enormous. A procession of ten-thousand soldiers, over thirty admirals and a hundred captains, and thousands of the public lining the streets. 
 His dramatic death in the moment of triumph earnt him immortality, he had given the ultimate sacrifice for his country and he was never to be forgotten.
  A hundred years ago he was still a household name, and during the World Wars, people often looked to him for inspiration. 
Nowadays, however, he his often confused with the Duke of Wellington, winner of the Battle of Waterloo, which ended the Napoleonic Wars, or (and I can imagine how mortified he would feel at this!) Napoleon Bonaparte, the very person Britain was so desperately afraid of. 
 Even worse, in a survey conducted on school kids a couple of years ago, in which the pupils were asked about British maritime history, the results were somewhat catastrophic (read the article here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8075874/Horatio-Nelson-was-French-football-captain-say-children.html). 
 Now, I'm aware that newspapers tend to over dramatise things such as this, and also that the answers the children gave may well not reflect their actual knowledge on these events, however, I do believe that there is some truth in these results.  It certainly does seem to me that the youth of today are not as well clued up on Britain's maritime history, and how that shaped our country, as they could be, and Nelson and Trafalgar seems to be almost completely forgotten. 
 So what happened that caused Nelson's popularity to decrease so rapidly within the last century?



 
 
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Admiral Sir William Cornwallis (10 February- 5 July 1819), friend of Nelson, died 193 years ago today! He fought at the battles of St. Kitts, the Saintes and First Battle of Groix and was the Commander-in-Chief in the Channel during the Napoleonic Wars. Respect!
RIP :)

 

    Author

    Hi there! I am second in command here at HMSH!
     My name is Rae-Rae and and I live in Worcestershire in the UK.
     I am a teen Nelson enthusiast and my passion has lasted since I was only nine- over seven years!
     I aim (rather ambitiously!) to rekindle the love of Nelson and his Navy for the younger generations and make him a well-known hero again. I want his memory never to fade!
     Please do check my YouTube channel for any Nelson-related videos, as I do post on there from time to time!

    http://www.youtube.com/raeraeandbunty/

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