The Royal Naval Association’s Pendleton branch is holding a Battle of Trafalgar celebration event this Thursday on its 216th anniversary.

The free to attend, public event will be held at the Ex-Services Social Club on Langworthy Road. There will be entertainment, as well as food and alcohol being served.

The event’s organizer, LSC Peter Barlow, along with two of his retired colleagues from the Royal Naval Association, WO1 Phil Bowers and PO Kevin Marley MBE, explained more about what would be happening at the event:

“So on Thursday we’ve got a duo band that have come from Bolton.

“We’ve got the mayor coming along who’s going to open the event, hopefully.

“We’ll start off with Nelson’s prayer, which is what he had written before he went into battle, and we’ll be toasting the immortal memory of Lord Nelson.

“We’ve invited branches from all across the Manchester district, including army associations, not just Navy.

“We’ve opened it up to anyone who supports the Royal Navy and the traditions we hold at Trafalgar”

Mr. Barlow also explained that the Royal Naval Association had been working with the Royal Navy & Royal Marines charity for their “Trafalgar Night at Home” project. The aim of the scheme is to provide those who can’t make it to their local Battle of Trafalgar celebration with a way to celebrate at home.

The Royal Naval Association invites people to celebrate the memory of Lord Nelson, the British Naval Admiral who died in the battle, with rum, traditionally representative of his blood. Kevin Marley explained the history of why rum and Nelson are so strongly connected:

“The Battle of Trafalgar was probably the biggest naval victory for Great Britain and it basically secured Britain’s command of the seas for getting on 200 years.

“The tradition of rum, the Royal Navy had up until the 1960s I believe or 70s. they used to have a tot of rum every day.

“In Nelson’s time, the water aboard ships was so bad that they actually drank rum and beer because it was a lot safer. The water, after months at sea, would become rancid.

“Nelson died at the battle, but not before he heard that he had won the victory. He died knowing he won the battle, and he apparently said he didn’t want to be thrown over the side, as was the tradition.

“Instead, they put him in a barrel of spirits, and I think there’s a debate whether it was rum or brandy, and they preserved him in that until they brought him back to Britain”

The event will take place at 7:30pm on the battle’s anniversary, Thursday 21st October, at the Pendleton Ex-Services Social Club on Langworthy Road and is open to the public for those interested in attending.

The Royal Naval Association’s Pendleton Branch can be found on Facebook with more information on the event: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalNavalAssociationPendletonBranch/

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