North East pays tribute to Admiral Lord Collingwood
HE was described yesterday as one of Newcastle’s greatest sons, a Northumbrian heart of oak, a great Englishman and a saviour of the nation.
The tributes were paid to Admiral Lord Collingwood at a public service of commemoration at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle on the 200th anniversary – to the day – of his death at sea.
The service was held just yards away from where naval hero Cuthbert Collingwood was born in the Side 261 years ago, the son of a trader, and in the church where he was baptised and married.
A wreath was laid at the monument to Collingwood in the cathedral by Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, First Sea Lord and chief of the naval staff.
He spoke of Collingwood’s key role in the Battle of Trafalgar against the combined French and Spanish fleets.
Collingwood’s ship Royal Sovereign was the first to engage the enemy and he took over command of the fleet when his close friend of more than 30 years Lord Nelson was killed, and also had to contend with a huge storm after the battle which battered the surviving ships.
Sir Mark said: “He played an important role in many of Nelson’s victories and was to do so again at Trafalgar.
“He was also a man of humanity who was ahead of his time. He strove to improve the conditions of the sailors of the day, was against flogging and press gangs, and showed courage and a steadfast commitment to duty.”
Collingwood, who made his family home at Morpeth, spent 44 of his 49-year naval service at sea.
The Very Rev Christopher Dalliston, Dean of Newcastle, said: “Admiral Collingwood is a hero of the past but continues to inspire respect and admiration and he is remembered for his courage and humanity.”