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Scots at Trafalgar

21st October 2005
200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, 21st October 1805

2005 marked the bicentenary of the The Battle of Trafalgar, the facts of which are well known to most.  Less well appreciated is the Scots element in Nelson’s fleet.  Some 7% of his 18,000 serving in the fleet were Scots, 5 of his 27 captains were Scots, the surgeon who attended his fatal injury was Scots, as was the woman who embalmed his body, and the youngest sailor a 10 year old cabin boy from Leith.  Many of the fleet’s sails were from the jute mills in Dundee, and a number of the fleet’s cannon were from the Carron iron works in Falkirk.

England Expects?

Of the 18,000 55% came from England but 25% were Irish and 3% were Welsh. There were also dozens from the Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands. There were 54 French and 24 Spanish fighting against their countrymen: Jean Baptiste, 21, from Dunkirk, on HMS TONNANT,  a French warship,  captured by tafter the Battle of the Nile,  which captured the French ship ALGESIRAS at Trafalgar; Pierre Lomac, 25, from Bordeaux, on HMS CONQUEROR, whose marines took the surrender of Vice Admiral Villeneuve, the commander of the French and Spanish fleet and Benitte Grinzolo, 22, from Spain, on HMS MARS, which was heavily damaged in the battle. They also came from Turkey, Mexico, Africa, India and the West Indies. There was Zada Del Sulva, 31, from Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, on HMS AGAMENON and Hampoo Hang, 34, born in Guangzhou, China, on HMS ROYAL SOVEREIGN, the flagship of Rear Admiral Collingwood, and the first vessel into action.

Nelson/Trafalgar Monuments in Scotland include one on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Forres Tower, Cluny Hill, Moray, Glasgow Green and Taynuilt, Loch Etive.

2005 saw the planting of 6 Trafalgar woods in Scotland, named after the 5 ships that were mostly manned by Scots: “DEFIANCE” at Tomintoul in Moray, “DEFENCE”, at Dumfries, “NAIAD”, at Lundie, Near Dundee, Angus “PICKLE”, Auchterader, Perth and Kinross, “SWIFTSURE” at Carnbo, near Kinross, Perth & Kinross and a community woodland for the people of the Camperdown Estate in Dundee to commemorate Nelson’s mentor, Admiral Adam Duncan, who hailed from the area, and a single oak on Glasgow Green.


Trafalgar 200
Defence - Tree For All
Scottish Fisheries Museum - Battle of Trafalgar Exhibition
History of Leith, Edinburgh » The Trafalgar Veteran
The Battle of Trafalgar
The National Archives | Trafalgar ancestors

Wake Up to Nelson
Frenchmen and landlubbers: the battlers of Trafalgar - Telegraph
The National Archives | Trafalgar Ancestors | Advanced search
England Expects - On The Trail Of Admiral Lord Nelson | Culture24
Maritime Memorials

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