Lord Nelson: Collins discusses Welsh village’s slave trade connection
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A plaque, which marked the birthplace of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, was stolen sometime this month. Norfolk Police have now issued a plea for anyone with information to come forward as they try to hunt down the missing memorial plaque and those involved in its theft. Lord Nelson is widely regarded as Britain’s greatest naval commander in history.
The plaque was donated in 1959 by the flagship of the Home Fleet HMS Tyne.
The Home Fleet was one of the Royal Navy’s main fleets and operated in British waters from 1902 until 1967.
The memorial was placed near the site of the former rectory in Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, where Lord Nelson was born in 1758.
It had been displayed on a garden wall near his birthplace for 63 years before it was stolen sometime this month.
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Police believe the theft took place sometime between December 5 and December 20.
The Burnham Thorpe-born hero first learned to sail while being raised in the Norfolk village.
Admiral Lord Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, became a historic British hero after decisive naval victories during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
It is said that on his death bed Nelson told those around him: “Thank God I have done my duty. God and my country.”
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In 1835, London’s Trafalgar Square was created in his memory, with its centrepiece, Nelson’s Column, completed in 1843.
Winston Churchill often cited Lord Nelson as a source of inspiration during the Second World War.
However, his legacy has continued to spark controversy outside of the UK.
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In 1966, Irish Republicans blew up the Nelson Pillar in Dublin.
In 2020, the Nelson Statue in National Heroes Square in Barbados was removed following years of campaigning and placed in a museum.
The Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley said at the ceremony marking the statue’s removal: “While we accept that the statue of the vice admiral Lord Horatio Nelson is an important historic relic, it is not a relic to be placed in the National Heroes Square of a nation that has had to fight for too long to shape its destiny and to forge a positive future for its citizens.”
According to the campaign group Topple the Racists, Nelson opposed the abolition of slavery.
However, this claim has been strongly rejected by the Nelson Society, which said his overriding ethos was “service to his country”.
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