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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 December, 2004, 15:45 GMT
Nelson's warship to be torched
Replica of Nelson's flagship warship HMS Victory
The replica of HMS Victory takes shape
A replica of Horatio Nelson's warship HMS Victory is being painstakingly assembled - so it can be set on fire.

The model is being created by 40 volunteers in Devon, including a relative of the ship's cabin boy.

It will be torched for charity in August to mark the Battle of Trafalgar's 200th anniversary.

The uniform Lord Nelson was wearing when he was fatally wounded will be exhibited at the National Maritime Museum in London from July.

Gun decks

The HMS Victory replica, which is being built by the Torrington Cavaliers, is 120-feet-long and will include masts reaching 140 feet into the sky,

It will also have sails, masts, rigging, gun decks and cannon and it is hoped viewing platforms will be erected so the public can see inside.

On the day it all goes up in flames, it is a planned to re-enact Lord Nelson's shooting by a sniper from a French warship.

Project leader Dick Matthews' great-great-great grandfather was cabin boy aboard the Victory.

Rare material

At the National Maritime Museum, in Greenwich, south London, Lord Nelson's hand-drawn plan for the 1805 Trafalgar conflict will also form part of the exhibition.

It will include recent discoveries, rare and unseen material, letters and items specially lent from private collections.

Running from 13 July to 13 November, the exhibition will also look at Lord Nelson and his enemy Napoleon's personal lives, including Napoleon's relationship with Josephine and Nelson's love for Emma Hamilton.

On display will be the sword used to proclaim Napoleon emperor, one of the few surviving letters from Emma to Lord Nelson, the surgery kit used to remove the bullet from his body and Napoleon's English lesson notes.

Among the institutions lending objects to the exhibition are the British Library, Tate Britain, the Royal Naval Museum and Paris's historic national archive centre.

Other events to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar are taking place at the South West ports of Plymouth, Falmouth and Dartmouth.

Also being planned is the recreation of the voyage of the Pickle from Cape Trafalgar to Falmouth in 1805 carrying news of Nelson's death.

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21 Oct 04 |  Hampshire


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