Page last updated at 14:20 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 15:20 UK

Life-sized Nelson bust unveiled

Bronze bust of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson
Horatio Nelson was born at Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk in 1758

A bust of Lord Nelson has been unveiled to mark the 250th anniversary of the British naval hero's birth.

The life-size bronze is on show in the historic wardroom, the officers' mess, at HMS Nelson, Portsmouth Naval Base.

Among those at the ceremony were Nelson's oldest living descendant, Anna Tribe, and Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Alan Massey.

The bust was created by sculptor Robert Hornyold-Strickland after being commissioned by an anonymous donor.

'Fitting tribute'

Mr Hornyold-Strickland wanted a realistic representation of Nelson as he looked at the time of the Battle of Trafalgar, rather than the classic image which appears in many paintings and sculptures.

He therefore based his work on a life mask of Nelson produced in Vienna in 1800.

"Having satisfied myself that the mask was the best likeness I could get, I used it to depict Nelson a few years later, on the eve of Trafalgar in 1805," he said.

Vice Adm Massey said: "It is a fitting tribute to Vice Admiral Lord Nelson and I am particularly pleased that it will find a home in HMS Nelson's wardroom."

Horatio Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, and died during the victory at the Battle of Trafalgar against the combined French and Spanish fleets.


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