The North-East of England is to stage a celebration of the life of one of Menorca’s modern-day founding fathers, Admiral Lord Collingwood. Collingwood died on March 7, 1810, on board his ship Ville de Paris after leaving Mahon.
In a naval career which began at the age of 12 and which spanned the American war of independence and the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, Collingwood is best remembered for his role at Trafalgar. He is buried next to his close friend Lord Nelson in St Paul’s Cathedral.
He was born in Newcastle; his family home in Morpeth still stands, as does his Menorcan base, Collingwood House, now a hotel.
His naval record and devotion to duty is reflected in the title of an exhibition which marks the opening of the events-packed Collingwood 2010 Festival. The exhibition, at Newcastle Discovery Museum in Blandford Square, is called Collingwood: a Northumbrian Abroad, and runs until June 27.
The main focus of the festival will be the weekend of March 6-7, which will see a civic dinner in Newcastle, a visit by the 1805 Club which celebrates the Georgian navy, and a memorial service in St Nicholas Cathedral.
There will also be a military and naval parade through the city with a visit by the First Sea Lord, and a gun salute from the Collingwood Monument at Tynemouth, to which the warship HMS Cumberland will reply as she enters the Tyne.
Links are being made with a commemorative event in Menorca from March 27-30, and with Collingwood in Ontario in Canada and in New Zealand.