" BURTON BRADSTOCK is part of the PICKLE "

The year 2005 is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and it connection to this village.

On October 21st in 1805 at 11.40 am , 18 miles off the Spanish Atlantic coast, Admiral Lord Nelson Commander -in- Chief of the British Mediterranean fleet, engaged the combined French and Spanish fleet. On board was a 20 year old young man who, two days before, had been promoted to Midshipman. That man, Richard Francis Roberts, lived here in Burton Bradstock. His Captain was Thomas Masterman Hardy from nearby Portesham who had served with Richard's uncle, Captain Francis Roberts. A friend of Horatio Nelson also lived in the village, Rear Admiral Ingram.

Tragically, Nelson was killed in the battle and his body was brought back to this country in a barrel topped up with brandy for preservation purposes.

But that is not the Pickle that is being referred to in the title. One of Nelson's fleet was H.M.S. Pickle , a schooner of 4 guns , the smallest ship present at the battle commanded by Lt. John Richard Lapenotiere and this was sent to England to take the dispatches of Vice Admiral Collingwood to the Admiralty to tell of the victory over the enemy as well as the sad death of Nelson. The ship arrived at Falmouth on the 4 th November 1805 and Lapenotiere took a post-chaise to London which he did in a record 36 hours. The Roberts family first heard that their son was safe on the 5th November "soon after Lieutenant Lapinoture( sic) passed Bridport" according to a letter received from a friend, Mr. kenway . In the same letter he says that "the bells rang and everybody seem actuated by one of general sentiment of joy". After the family heard that their son's name was not on the casualty list "the bells rang out again until several ropes broke!" The families colours were hoisted on the Church tower and stayed there for several days . Richard's brother also wrote and said" we have raised at Burton subscription for the Widows and Orphans and £6.8.1p was collected. We had bell ringing and beer drinking. Mother had hard work to keep the beer barrel a running"

As part of SEA BRITAIN 2005 ( www.seabritain2005.com ) a replica of H.M.S. Pickle will arrive at Falmouth in August 2005 and the journey will again be made to London . The route goes via Penryn, Truro and Exeter , Axminster, Bridport , and a slight diversion to West Bay and Burton Bradstock which is where we are involved. See also http://www.newtrafalgardispatch.org for more details about HMS Pickle.

Our own Admiral Pritchard is on a committee organising the local areas events and he has suggested that we get involved, if not in Beer drinking, perhaps a village tea party!!

More information to follow.

( Incidentally to this day the Navy's petty officers have an annual Pickle Night dinner )

Ray West