Vandals have ignited fury after defacing Nelson’s Column on the anniversary of the naval hero’s famous victory over the French at the Battle of Trafalgar, in a move branded ‘disgraceful’ by an Admiral.
Yobs graffitied the base of the historic London monument – as navy sailors across the world marked Trafalgar Day honouring Nelson’s legendary win over Napoleon’s forces in 1805.
News of the Trafalgar Square vandalism was revealed by the Metropolitan Police this morning and sparked fury from patriotic Brits.
Admiral Lord Alan West, the former head of the Royal Navy, was outraged by the ‘disgraceful behaviour’.
‘Nelson was a very great man who saved the country from invasion by a ruthless dictator and autocrat. He isn’t just a naval hero, he is a national hero,’ the retired naval chief raged.
Vandals graffitied the bottom of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London
The attack comes on the anniversary of the naval hero’s 1805 victory over the French at the Battle of Trafalgar
Admiral Lord Alan West, the former head of the Royal Navy, was outraged by the ‘disgraceful behaviour’ (pictured is Nelson at the top of the column)
‘These sad people vandalising his column show a lack of knowledge of our history and of our nation. It’s a great shame.’
News of the vandalism provoked fury on social media. Writing on X, formerly Twitter, James Coats said: ‘Outrageous! Lord Nelson would be rolling in his grave!’
Another person wrote: ‘It’s Trafalgar Day today too, of all days! Absolute disgrace. Hopefully one of the many cctv installations will pick up the vandal.’
A third person, sharing a photo of the famed naval leader Lord Nelson, added: ‘Today….Is Trafalgar Day. This is appalling-and might well incite violence it ex HM Forces personnel witnessed someone doing it.’
While a fourth raged: ‘Makes my blood boil, can’t even respect national monuments the barbarians.’
Tweeting a picture of the vandalism, the Met Police said: ‘Disappointingly, someone has decided to graffiti Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square overnight. We’re confident this is a tag and that it has nothing to do with today’s protests.
‘Our counterparts at the Greater London Authority are arranging for it to be cleaned up quickly.’
The Battle of Trafalgar took place on October 21, 1805, during the Napoleonic War, as French tyrant Napoleon Bonaparte and his armies tried to conquer Europe.
The Met Police said the graffiti would be cleared of Nelson’s Column as soon as possible (file picture)
Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson, commanding the British fleet, ambushed the joint Franco-Spanish fleet off the Cape of Trafalgar, in south-west Spain.
The British fleet was outnumbered, the enemy totalling nearly 30,000 men and 2632 guns to Nelson’s 18,000 men and 2,148 guns.
Despite his fleet of 27 warships being outnumbered, Nelson’s ambition assault paved the way to a decisive British victory.
A total of 449 British sailors were killed and 1,217 wounded. French and Spanish losses were heavier: 4,408 were dead, 2,545 wounded and some 20,000 taken prisoner.
Lord Nelson, who was shot while on the deck of the British flagship HMS Victory, died after being shot by a sniper.
Nelson’s column was built in 1843 to commemorate naval leader’s death.