Sunday, October 25, 2009


Today was the celebration of the 204th anniversary of the victory of Lord Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar on 21st October 1805. These photographs tell the story of Birmingham's celebration of this day. This year's event was distinguished by the presence of John Tribe (properly William John Raglan Horatio Tribe), the 4th great-grandson of Lord Nelson, who laid a wreath on behalf of The Nelson Society.

It was also 200 years to the day since the unveiling of the country's first statue to Nelson, which was this one here in Birmingham. A medal has been struck to mark the occasion, and I quote from the sales literature:
To commemorate the bicentenary of the first statue to be unveiled to the memory of Lord Nelson in the United Kingdom, St Paul’s Mint, in association with Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, has struck a medal to celebrate the event.

The medal is 50 mm in diameter and 3.2 mm thick and comes in a black leatherette presentation box with white satin lid and black velour foam inset.

It will be available for purchase on Sunday 25th October 2009 – exactly 200 years to the day that the statue was unveiled - from the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery shop in Chamberlain Square (next to the Round Gallery).

The cost of the medal is £14.99.

NOTE: St Paul's Mint is based in Birmingham, it's owner having worked for the Birmingham Mint for 30 years. The Birmingham Mint was the successor to Matthew Boulton's Soho Mint and thus St Paul's Mint can trace it's direct lineage from that famous Mint founded in Birmingham in 1788.
The commemorative medal.
A closer view of the statue.
The Warwickshire Band play music before the programme of speeches and wreath-laying begins.
Dignitaries and military personnel waiting for the proceedings to start.
Stephen Hartland introduces the Lord Mayor Cllr. Michael Wilkes and Lady Mayoress Vivienne Wilkes to John Tribe.
John Tribe in the centre of the photograph, with Glyn Pitchford to the right.
Event organizer Stephen Hartland introduces the proceedings.
Joe Kennedy leads the singing of The National Anthem...
The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr. Michael Wilkes speaks of Nelson's connections with Birmingham, and Birmingham's contribution to the Battle of Trafalgar.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Forward, Commander Rob Noble RD RN, reminds us of the Royal Navy's role in conflict and peace-time around the world.
The Reverend Ray Price leads a short service and traditional prayers.
Stephen Hartland accompanies the Lord Mayor to the Nelson statue.
The Mayor bows after laying a wreath on behalf of the the City of Birmingham.
Commander Rob Noble salutes after presenting a wreath from the the Royal Navy.
Doc Halladay with a wreath from the Birmingham Nautical Club.
John Tribe carries a wreath on behalf of The Nelson Society...
...which he places at the foot of the statue...
...and steps back for a moment of silent reflection.
Glyn Pitchford presents a wreath on behalf of the Birmingham Civic Society.





The statue of Lord Nelson with the wreaths at the base.
The Warwickshire Band lead the parade from St Martin's, along New Street to Victoria Square and then to the front of the Council House, where the Lord Mayor will take the salute.
The Warwickshire Band arrive at Victoria Square.
The cadets of HMS Forward.








John Tribe poses with the model of HMS Victory in the Council House.
Cannon barrels from HMS Victory lie outside the Council House entrance.
The White Ensign flies above the Council House.