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Newcastle Launches Festival in Honour of Naval Legend Lord Collingwood

Portrait of Lord Collingwood
Portrait of Lord Collingwood

The country’s top naval officer will represent the Royal Navy next month at an event to remember a Battle of Trafalgar hero and one of Newcastle’s famous sons.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope will join other dignitaries including the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Mike Cookson, to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Vice-admiral Lord Collingwood on Sunday, 7 March.
 
The commemoration will begin with a parade leaving the Civic Centre at 11.45am and will make its way towards the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas. It will be followed by a service of thanksgiving at 12.30pm.
 
Cuthbert Collingwood was born in Newcastle in September 1748, was educated at the Royal Grammar School, and at the age of 13, he volunteered to serve on board HMS Shannon under the command of his mother’s brother-in-law, Captain Richard Braithwaite, who guided his nautical education and career.
 
To many, Collingwood is best known for taking command of the British naval fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar following the death of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, whom he first met in 1773 when they both served on HMS Lowestoffe.     
 
The parade, which is to be led by Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band (Plymouth), is part of the year-long Collingwood 2010 Festival, and will be one of the largest naval parades in the country with over 215 representatives from the Royal Navy taking part.

The parade will include detachments from the Royal Navy Type 22 frigate HMS Cumberland, the gunnery training college HMS Collingwood, based in Hampshire, as well as representatives from the north east’s naval reservist unit HMS Calliope and RMR Tyne.

The Collingwood 2010 Festival features a series of events across the North East including a special exhibition at Discovery Museum, Newcastle, and a spectacular event at the Collingwood Monument, Tynemouth over the weekend of 6 and 7 March, including warship and gun salutes.
 
As part of the planned festivities HMS Cumberland, which will be berthed out at North Shields for the weekend, will be open to the public on Saturday, 6 March.

Her Commanding Officer, Captain David Dutton OBE, will invite local people to come aboard and learn a little about life in today’s modern Royal Navy.

HMS Cumberland returned from a high-profile six-month deployment to the gulf before Christmas, during which time she foiled a drug smuggling operation and seized drugs worth over £40 million.    

Collingwood’s early years will be reflected as the naval contingent of the Combined Cadet Force from the Royal Grammar School and Sea Cadets – who this year are celebrating their 150th anniversary - will march alongside full time members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
 
Towards the end of the parade the First Sea Lord, Lord Mayor of Newcastle and members of the Collingwood family will be invited to take the salute at the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas before the public service of thanksgiving.
 
The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr Mike Cookson, said: 

“Lord Collingwood’s important contribution during the final stages of the Battle of Trafalgar should be remembered as it played a significant role in the history of this country. Sunday’s parade and service will give the people of his home city the chance to learn more about Collingwood and his amazing career.”

Lord Collingwood was married to Sarah Blackett, granddaughter of his former commander Robert Roddam, and had two daughters, Sarah and Mary Patience.
He was awarded the title of Baron Collingwood of Coldburne and Healthpool for his heroic actions.

Collingwood died on board the Ville de Paris off Port Mahon, Menorca, on the 7th of March 1810 and his body lies alongside Nelson’s in St Paul’s Cathedral.

In his home city there is a permanent memorial to the admiral inside the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas.