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Gibraltar                                                                                                             Lieutenant William Forster and

       The TRAFALGAR                                                                                                         Captain Thomas Norman

                                                                                                                             The headstones of Lieutenant William Forster and
                                                                                                                             Captain Thomas Norman stand together.
                                                                                                                                                                                            EURYALUS, AT SEA, OCT. 22. 1805.
       Cemetery                                                                                                              Lieutenant Forster served on HMS Colossus, a frigate   The Honourable General H. E. Fox. &c., &c.,
                                                                                                                                                                                               To His Excellency, the Right Hon.
                                                                                                                             of 74 guns launched in 1803. She was known as a
                                                                                                                             large 74 because she carried 24 pounder cannon on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      at Gibraltar
                                                                                                                             her upper gun deck as opposed to the usual 18
                                                                                                                             pounders. At the Battle of Trafalgar, her Captain was
                                                                                                                             James Nicoll Morris. Colossus was in Collingwood’s   Sir,
                                                                                                                             lee column. During the engagement, she fought the    Yesterday a Battle was fought by His
        Few people want to die unremembered. In most cases, the funeral service is attended by family                        French 74, Swiftsure and became entangled with       Majesty’s Fleet, and a Victory gained, which
        members and the ceremony gives closure to them. For the families of many of those buried at the                      another French 74, Argonaute. The Spanish 74,
        Trafalgar Cemetery in Gibraltar that was not possible. Gibraltar was a military base and the families                Bahama joined the melee and Argonaute broke free.    will stand recorded as one of the most
        were hundreds or thousands of miles away, not even aware of the death of their husband, father or                    Shortly afterwards Bahama surrendered to Colossus    brilliant and decisive, that ever distinguished
        son until weeks after the event. It was left to colleagues and friends to provide a fitting memorial for             after losing her main mast and then Swiftsure did
        the deceased. They choose to do that by recording the historic moment of death providing future                      likewise after losing both main and mizzen. The      the British Navy ......Our loss has been great
        generations with a snapshot of history and a reminder of the departed’s ‘finest hour’.                               carnage during this action can only be imagined, and it   in Men; but what is irreparable, and the cause
        Consecrated in June 1798, the Trafalgar Cemetery, Gibraltar, then known as Southport Ditch                           was to prove fatal to Lieutenant William Forster aged   of Universal Lamentation is the Death of the
        Cemetery, was only in use for 16 years, until 1814. A plaque on a wall at the cemetery mistakenly                    20 years who died of his wounds later the same day   Noble Commander in Chief, who died in the
        gives the dates as 1708 to 1835, confusion possibly caused by the Southport Ditch Cemetery once                      and was buried at Gibraltar.
        having been attached to St. Jago’s Cemetery, sometimes called Deadman’s Cemetery. St. Jago’s was                     Captain Thomas Norman of the Royal Marine Corps      arms of Victory; I have not yet any reports
        on the ‘inside’ of the section of Charles V wall that abuts the Trafalgar Cemetery.                                  served on HMS Mars, another 74. During the battle,   from the Ships ....
        Despite its name, the Trafalgar Cemetery in Gibraltar only has two men interred there who died as a                  Mars took fire from five French and Spanish 74s and   I have to congratulate you on the Great
                                                                                                                             was heavily damaged. After the battle, the Mars
        result of that naval battle out of a total of 430 British deaths.
                                                                                                                             carried a distinguished prisoner, the French Admiral   Event, and have the Honour to be.
                                                                                                                             Villeneuve, Commander of the French fleet, who had
                                                                                                                             been captured when his flagship, Bucentaure, was     Your obedient servant.
                                                                                                                             taken. Captain Thomas Norman was wounded during                         (Signed) C.COLLINGWOOD
                                                                                                                             the action but took 44 days to die of ‘a fever wound’.
                                                                                                                             Collingwood’s dispatch following the battle was
                                                                                                                             printed in the Gibraltar Chronicle and is a masterpiece
                                                                                                                             of British understatement. It is reproduced on a stone
                                                                                                                             plaque in the cemetery.
                                                                                                                                                            continued >>

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