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Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 16:22 UK
The man who shot Nelson's killer
Vice Admiral Richard Ibbotson laying a wreath
Vice Admiral Richard Ibbotson laid a wreath where Nelson fell

The 204th anniversary of the death of Admiral Lord Nelson has been marked with a ceremony on HMS Victory.

It was attended by an Oxfordshire woman who is directly descended from the man who avenged his killing.

Professor Nancy Pollard Brown's great-grandmother was Mary Pollard, niece of midshipman John Pollard.

During the Battle of Trafalgar he returned fire on The Redoutable's French sharpshooter who had shot the legendary British naval officer.

The exact details of the incident have become slightly mired in controversy with several individuals claiming to have been the man who shot the man who shot Nelson.

The masts of HMS Victory

Pollard's own account has him standing on the poop deck above the quarterdeck where Nelson was being shot at by French marines.

He picked up a musket which was meant for the English Marines and started returning fire with the quartermaster supplying the shot.

Whilst he later admitted that he was joined during the exchange by fellow midshipman Francis Edward Collingwood (who also fired one shot back at the French soldiers), he claimed the quartermaster identified Nelson's killer and Collingwood had left the poop deck before he was killed.

In a letter to The Times 58 years after the battle, Lieutenant Pollard wrote: "I was ushered into the ward room where Sir Thomas Hardy and other officers were assembled and complimented by them as the person who avenged Lord Nelson's death."




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