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Nelson's funeral re-enacted on the Thames
Published Monday 19th September 2005
First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West, aboard the Jubilant, HMS Victory's cutter [Picture: CPO (Phot) Wayne Humphreys]
A drummer beats time for the oarsmen on one of the flotilla of small boats accompanying Jubilant's journey up the Thames [Picture: CPO (Phot) Wayne Humphreys]
Admiral Sir Alan West, the First Sea Lord, took part in the symbolic re-enactment of Admiral Nelson's funeral procession - the 'Emirates Thames Nelson Flotilla' - on 16 September 2005. Admiral West was representing the Chief Mourner, an honour which, on 8 January 1806, was bestowed on Nelson's friend Admiral Sir Peter Parker.
In a ceremony in the Painted Hall, Greenwich, Admiral West was presented with the New Trafalgar Dispatch by Admiral the Lord Boyce.
He boarded a replica of the Jubilant, HMS Victory's cutter, at the Queen's Stairs and proceeded down the the Thames in company with a large and colourful funeral flotilla of boats, barges, gigs and cutters.
As the flotilla came under Tower Bridge and passed HMS Belfast, embarked sailors from HMS Collingwood and HMS Sultan fired a 15 gun salute from special saluting guns.
When the Jubilant arrived at Temple Pier, Admiral West boarded the Head Quarters Ship of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners', HQS Wellington. He handed over The New Trafalgar Dispatch to the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dr John Moses in the presence of the Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.
The New Trafalgar Dispatch is a replica of the Dispatch sent by Vice Admiral Collingwood back to the Admiralty in London, detailing the victory at Trafalgar as well as the news of Nelson's death. Throughout the summer and autumn of 2005 the New Trafalgar Dispatch has recreated the dramatic sea voyage on HMS Pickle and then journey on land from Falmouth to London in a Post Chaise made by Lieutenant Lapenotiere.
Following the presentation on HQS Wellington, Admiral West rejoined the flotilla, which finished its voyage at Westminster.
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