Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Nelson, a national hero

click photo to enlarge
There are heroes and then there are national heroes. In saying that I am using the term in its traditional sense of people who demonstrate bravery by putting themselves in harms way in the service of their country. Foot soldiers, sailors and airmen who are at the sharp end of conflicts are often recognised for acts above and beyond the call of duty - they are heroes. National heroes are usually figures of higher rank, leaders rather than one of the "ranks", and sometimes, though not always expose themselves to the same dangers as their subordinates.

One of Britain's national heroes who most certainly put himself in harms way was Horatio Nelson. The fact is, everyone who served on a man of war in the Napoleonic period was subject to the same dangers from rifle shot, cannon ball, grapeshot, fire and the multitude of flying wooden splinters. Nelson, from his time as a junior sailor until his demise on HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar suffered injuries of a lesser or greater extent. His elevation to national hero recognised his personal bravery as well as his tactical skill in defeating the navies of his government's enemies.

Consequently, Nelson is one of our country's most celebrated national heroes with many statues across the land, streets named after him, public houses too, and even a town. On a recent walk in Greenwich I came across a sculpture of the admiral to add to the many that already adorn our capital. It is in the square of the newly opened Greenwich Centre and is made of, or so it appears, Core-Ten steel. I must confess that initially I couldn't work out that it represented a person, but once I'd identified the face the rest fell into place.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Admiral Nelson, The Greenwich Centre, London
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 90mm (180mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.5
Shutter Speed: 1/20 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3EV