Date of Issue: January 09, 2005
Scott #: 1082 a&b, 1083 a&b, 1084 a&b, 1085 a&b
Design: Eddie Cassidy, Mannin Design
Paintings: National Maritime Museum
Text: Mr David Taylor, National Maritime Museum
Stamp Size: 28 x 42
Format: se-tenant pairs, 4 sets per sheet
Colours: 4 plus metallic
Process: offset lithography
Perforations: 14 per 2cms
Paper: 102gms PVA gummed
Isle of Man Post issued a set of eight stamps which captures the atmosphere and drama around Lord Nelson and the events of the Battle of Trafalgar which marked a turning point in British naval history.
Following the failure of the treaty of Amiens 1803, Britain was once more under threat of invasion. Nelson, a Vice Admiral, was again sent to the Mediterranean. After a long chase across the Atlantic and back, Nelson's final battle came on the 21st of October 1805, off Cape Trafalgar. He attacked the combined fleet of France and Spain in two columns. The battle was decisive. Twenty of the thirty-three enemy ships were either taken or sunk. Whilst pacing the deck on his flagship, Victory, at approximately 1.15pm, a musket ball, fired from the French 74, Redoubtable, struck Nelson. The wound was fatal. He was carried below and died just after 4.30 pm on hearing news that the battle was won. His final words were, "Thank God I have done my duty".
Trafalgar is possibly the most famous sea battle ever fought but it had more significance than just a victory over an enemy fleet. It established Britain as the dominant sea power for the next century and laid the foundations for a confidence in the Royal Navy that still exists to the present day. Nelson practiced the initiative of taking full advantage of every situation. His tactics were revolutionary and his objectives were always the same; total victory over the enemy but with humanity. His reputation not only inspired the men he served with, but a whole nation during his life and generations of naval officers and seamen since his death. Nelson had become the Royal Navy's Immortal Memory and secured his place in European history.
Text source: paintedships.com