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Published: 29 Oct 2016

Parading through the ancient streets of Madron in West Cornwall, personnel from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose joined villagers in remembering Nelson at a very special Thanksgiving Memorial Service 211 years after his death.


The service, held annually commemorates Admiral Lord Nelson’s victory over a combined French and Spanish Fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.


On her way home from the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Pickle passed the news of the victory and the death of Lord Nelson to Cornish fishermen far out in Mounts Bay. They promptly returned to port and spread the news. Shortly afterwards, the Mayor and Burgesses arranged a memorial service where the ‘Nelson Banner’, which was hastily prepared to mourn the death of Nelson, was paraded for the first time. The Banner is now kept in Madron Parish Church and paraded each year at a memorial service to his “Immortal Memory’.


For many years a similar service was held to mark this historical event, but in 1946 the tradition of holding an annual Commemoration involving the Royal Navy was started by Reverend Michael Hocking, a former Royal Naval Chaplain and Parish vicar of Madron at the time.


It is a proud honour for us to take part in Madron Sunday and share with the people of West Cornwall our naval traditions,” said Captain Dan Stembridge ADC, Commanding Officer RNAS Culdrose. “It was here, 211 years ago, when the news of Nelson’s remarkable victory at the Battle of Trafalgar and his unfortunate demise reached the shore and it is this occasion that truly links us with the local community.”


Upholding this tradition and playing a central part in the day, RNAS Culdrose personnel marched on completion of the packed Church service. At the head of the parade was HMS Seahawk Volunteer Band who led marching platoons of sailors from Culdrose, Sea Cadets, the Royal Naval Association and other Veterans groups from the region, past Culdrose’s Commanding Officer who took the salute.


Ann Jenkin from Madron Parish council was pleased to see so many Sailors attending the parade, “


It’s so very important for us in Madron and its part of our shared history. Everyone really looks forward to having the men and women of Culdrose here for the parade. The ‘Nelson Banner’ links us together as a community.” 


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