The historic Battle of Trafalgar, which marked Lord Horatio Nelson’s victory over the French, took place on October 21, 1805 – exactly 218 years ago.
However, on the battle’s anniversary today, sick vandals defaced Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, sparking a furious reaction among patriotic Brits.
The anniversary, known as Trafalgar Day, is marked by navy sailors across the world to honour Admiral Nelson’s legendary win over Napoleon’s forces.
Admiral Lord Alan West, the former head of the Royal Navy, was among those outraged by the “disgraceful behaviour”.
He said: “Nelson was a very great man who saved the country from invasion by a ruthless dictator and autocrat.”
The retired naval chief added: “He isn’t just a naval hero, he is a national hero.”
“These sad people vandalising his column show a lack of knowledge of our history and of our nation. It’s a great shame.”
The Met Police were quick to note that the graffiti was not tied to today’s pro-Palestine march through London.
They wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Disappointingly, someone has decided to graffiti Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square overnight.
“We’re confident this is a tag and that it has nothing to do with today’s protests.
“Our counterparts at the Greater London Authority are arranging for it to be cleaned up quickly.”
The police included a photo of the defaced monument, which is also a tourist landmark for those visiting the capital.
Many reacted to the post by suggesting that the culprit will surely be caught by CCTV in the area.
During the historic battle, Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson, commanding the British fleet, managed to put an end to Napoleon Bonaparte’s plot to conquer Europe.
Despite being outnumbered, the great strategician ambushed the joint Franco-Spanish fleet off the Cape of Trafalgar, in south-west Spain.
Lord Nelson was shot by a Frenchman while on the deck of the British flagship HMS Victory and died shortly before the battle ended.
Nelson’s column was built in 1843 to commemorate the naval leader’s death.
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