Friday, August 05, 2005


Royal welcome for Nelson dispatch


August 04, 2005

The boat carrying Lieutenant
Lapenotiere comes ashore.

Thousands of people have attended a re-enactment of the Trafalgar Dispatch in Falmouth - the main event of the Sea Britain 2005 festival.

Lieutenant John Lapenotiere arrived in Falmouth 200 years ago on board HMS Pickle bringing news of the battle of Trafalgar and the death of Lord Nelson.

Her Royal Highness Princess Anne welcomed the "intrepid sailors" home.

An 11-gun salute was fired as the ship entered Falmouth Harbour flanked by a flotilla of smaller boats.

Actor Alex Price will be recreating Lt John Lapenotiere's journey from Falmouth to London in a replica post chaise which has been built for the trip.

In the role of Lt Lapenotiere, he said he had to deliver the best of news and the worst of news.

"The best in the sense that we've won the battle and beaten the combined fleets of France and Spain under the command of Napoleon.

"But we have lost Lord Nelson, who died at the height of the battle. That is something I mourn greatly as I'm sure most of Britain will do.

"The news I bring back to Britain will change the face of Europe and will be taught from generation to generation as a defining moment in British history."

The actor will be accompanied by Sub Lt Mark Jones from Dartmouth Naval College, who said Nelson's fleet was well prepared for battle.

He said the training given to the French and Spanish was not comparable to the British.

"The British fleet had been at sea for years, constantly training and constantly practicing gunnery, compared to the Spanish and French fleets which had been anchored in Cadiz for most of the period of the war."

"The doctrine, the training and the spirit of the British Navy was far superior."

Lt Lapenotiere is buried in the churchyard at Menheniot near Liskeard in Cornwall.


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