Nelson and the Captain of Marines in the Victory
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One comes across the occasional claim that Nelson commented ‘There goes poor Adair’ as the dead Captain of Marines was carried past him in the Victory at Trafalgar. This story is repeated in a recent book, Iain Ballantyne and Jonathan Eastland, HMS Victory (Barnsley, 2005), which adds that Nelson continued: ‘I may be next to follow him’. The authors cite letters of Lieutenant Lewis Rotely held in the Royal Marines’ Museum. I have not seen these. The standard works on Nelson appear to make no mention of Nelson’s comment about Captain Adair. I am not a Nelson expert; perhaps a more knowledgeable colleague could offer a view on the reliability of this story.
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