Thursday, August 12, 2010

Barbados Military History Part 3: Admiral Nelson

In 1803 war broke out with the French and Spanish siding together against Britain. At this time Barbados was strategically used to retake the Islands held by the French. Admiral Nelson was also a key figure at this time he was well aware of his role as saviour of significant parts of the British empire. In 1805, he wrote to Lord Seaforth, the Governor of Barbados, that ‘Your Lordship may rely that everything in my power shall be done to preserve the colonies. Not surprisingly, then, Nelson monuments had sprouted in the empire
too. After a dramatic announcement of the Trafalgar victory , a subscription opened as soon as news of his death reached the island and raised £2,500 within a few weeks, ‘The Green’ in the centre of town was purchased for £1,050 and renamed Trafalgar Square. A bronze statue of Nelson in admiral’s
uniform was unveiled there soon afterwards.
Th victory won by Admiral Nelson removed any outside threat to Barbados and the islands for the next 175 years.

The Lord Horatio Nelson statue at this present time is some 196 years old, and once faced the west overlooking the country's main shopping area, the popular Broad Street, but was turned around to now face the cenotaph/obelisk in the east by the Barbados Labour Party in 1998.

The statue has caused much controversy over the last couple of years with heated debates being broadcast over the airwaves and the Internet. Many have been called for the statue to be removed from the chief town in such a central area, and from the Heroes Square on the basis of the following points:

1. His statue is the only one in our Heroes Square, and he is not a hero of the majority who are of African decent
2. He encouraged the enslavement of Africans, and therefore is an embarrassment to us.
3. The statue is more appropriate for a marine environment

The other side of the coin or the debate has been the following:
1. He is part of our history, and we would be destroying what is part of us.
2. Through his battle at Trafalgar we were saved from the "French" and therefore has the right to remain
3. As the statue of Horatio Nelson in Bridgetown, Barbados is older than its counterpart in Trafalgar Square, in Britain. It should be allowed to remain as a tourist attraction.

Some say the debate will continue but that Nelson will not be touched because he might have been a freemason and therefore is seen by some as a national hero. It is unknown if he is responsible for Masonry Flourishing in Barbados.

Provided with the compliments of your friends at Glory Tours. The #1 Provider of Sightseeing Tours in Barbados

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