The Battle of Trafalgar is usually celebrated by commissioned officers of the Royal Navy by holding a Trafalgar Night dinner in the Officer's Mess. Other interested parties also hold Trafalgar Night dinners in commemoration of the battle and Lord Nelson.
There is no fixed menu for this occasion, but the following dishes can be used:
Breaking the Line - Smoked salmon and lemon with capers
Cannon Balls - Melon balls
Trafalgar Duo - Roulade of salmon and sole
Fleet Broadside - Beef Wellington with Port wine and shallots
Mizzen Main Course - Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
Victory Dessert or Dessert Hamilton - Poached pears
Hardy's Finale- Cheese and biscuits
Carribean coffee and Gibraltar mints
However, other dishes can be accommodated and named with Nelson/Trafalgar connections. It should be remembered that after the meal, port is usually drunk and passed to the left.
The Loyal Toast: Diners should stand - unless the company are naval officers who are specifically authorised to remain seated. (see Fact sheet 66: Loyal Toast: naval traditions). The toast itself, by Royal decree, is "The Queen".
The Immortal Memory toast: A Trafalgar Night speech is usually made by a guest of honour. If a speaker has not been arranged, the proposer of the toast will precede it with some Nelsonian comments, and can vary in length according to the custom of the diners. The toast itself is "The Immortal Memory" and is drunk standing in total silence. This is customary out of respect of the memory of the Admiral.
There is no fixed music for such an occasion, but probably something of a patriotic nature could be used e.g. Rule Britannia.
(This fact sheet has been compiled with the kind assistance of the Nelson Society)
© Royal Naval Museum Library 2002
The information contained in this fact sheet is correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for a bibliography of further reading materials, if available.