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Were your ancestors one of Nelson's men?

The why, where and how of the Battle of Trafalgar


There's a running joke in family history circles, says Bruno Pappalardo, naval expert at the National Archives.

"If every man said to have served in the Battle of Trafalgar actually did," he says, "the ships would have sunk."

Pappalardo is the man who is opening up the records for genealogy fans to check just that.

The Battle of Trafalgar, in 1805, was the most famous naval battle in history, involving 18,000 men - and, the records now show, one woman.

One of the Royal Navy's most important victories, it was the final act of naval hero Horatio Nelson.

Many 'in the navy'

From June 28, national celebrations will mark 200 years since he defeated Napoleon's French and Spanish forces.

But there is also a more personal approach - the Trafalgar Ancestors database shows whose forbears were the "hands on deck".

 
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