Page last updated at 16:25 GMT, Thursday, 29 May 2008 17:25 UK

Spot where Nelson died 'is wrong'

Admiral Lord Nelson
Admiral Lord Nelson died during the Battle of Trafalgar

A spot marking the place where one of Britain's greatest Naval heroes died in battle has been in the wrong place for more than 100 years, it has emerged.

Since 1900, gold leaf wording has marked where Admiral Lord Nelson died onboard HMS Victory, during the Battle of Trafalgar, on 21 October 1805.

But the curator of the ship, based in Portsmouth, studied a painting and says the spot is 25ft (7.6m) to the right.

A new memorial will be consecrated on 21 June, the Royal Navy said.

It will then be open to the public.

HMS Victory is the oldest Naval warship still in commission, and sits in dry dock in Portsmouth as a museum ship. It was built between 1759 and 1765.

The discovery of the inaccuracy emerged when curator Peter Goodwin studied the painting The Death of Nelson, by Arthur Devis, as part of a maritime history thesis.

Bonaparte's plans

He also read historical documents about the damage to the ship during the battle.

The commanding officer of HMS Victory, Lt Cdr John Scivier, said Mr Goodwin's work was subsequently verified by several experts.

A decision was then made to officially move the commemorative wording.

He said the Royal Navy was much more confident that Mr Goodwin's assessment marked the correct place where Nelson died.

During the Battle of Trafalgar, Britain's Royal Navy defeated an allied French and Spanish fleet off Cape Trafalgar in southern Spain.

It marked the end of Napoleon Bonaparte's plans to invade Britain.




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