Ascension : SPECIAL STAMP ISSUE
Submitted by The Islander (Gavin Yon) 21.04.2005 (Article Archived on 05.05.2005)
200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR 1805 - 2005
POST OFFICE NOTICE
SPECIAL STAMP ISSUE
200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR
1805 - 2005
The Battle of Trafalgar was the culmination of a long and hard campaign and it was on the morning of 21 October that the combined French and Spanish fleets, having sailed from Cadiz in Spain the day before, found themselves faced by the British fleet. On board HMS Victory, Nelson ordered the famous signal to the fleet ‘England expects that every man will do his duty’.
Having broken the enemy line Captain Hardy brought Victory alongside the French ship, Redoubtable. At about 1.15pm Captain Hardy and Nelson were on the quarter deck when Nelson was struck through the shoulder by a musket ball which then shattered his spine. He was carried down to the orlop deck and attended by the ship’s surgeon William Beatty. Throughout the afternoon, British ships gained the upper hand with an increasing number of French and Spanish ships striking their colours or sailing away from the battle. Captain Hardy reported to Nelson that the battle was won and uttering his last words ‘Thank God I have done my duty’, Nelson died at 4.30 pm. After the battle HMS Victory was towed into Gibraltar carrying the body of Nelson. His body was then brought back to England where he was given a funeral befitting the status of national hero.
On Friday, 29th April 2005 the Post Office will release a set of stamps to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. The set comprises six stamps and a souvenir sheet. One of the stamps shows HMS Victory leading Nelson’s column of ships into the battle. Painted by famous maritime artist Francis Smitheman, the hull, mast and spars have been overprinted by the thermographic process that uses real wood from HMS Victory (90p). The wood is finely grounded and then applied to the stamps in powder form that is then heated. The result is a stamp that has real `Victory wood’ as part of its composition.
Other stamps in this exciting series show: 15p British Carronade on Sliding Carriage; 25p Royal Marine Drummer Boy 1805; 35p HMS Britannia; 40p Portrait of Horatio Nelson by Jean Frances Rigaud; 50p HMS Neptune and the Stantissima Trinidad and 90p HMS Victory as described above. The souvenir sheet comprises two 50p stamps. The left hand stamp shows a painting of Nelson by Lemuel Francis Abbott and the right hand stamp depicts HMS Ajax engaging the Spanish 80 gun ship Neptuno.
Mint stamps costing £2.55 per set, souvenir sheets at £1.00 and official first day covers (with descriptive liner cards) at £3.00 and £1.50 will be on sale at the Post Office for a period up to fifteen months or until stocks are exhausted whichever is the earlier.