A hat-trick of British battle victories over France

Admiral Lord Nelson's famous flagship HMS Victory stands minus her top-masts and bow-sprit at the Royal Navy Dockyard in Portsmouth. Photo: Chris Ison/PA Wire
Admiral Lord Nelson's famous flagship HMS Victory stands minus her top-masts and bow-sprit at the Royal Navy Dockyard in Portsmouth. Photo: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The Government has announced it will start a four-year programme of events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War next year.

And this immediately got Mr Pendle thinking about other centenaries of battles won by the British that are looming on the horizon and whether or not these should also be commemorated.

In 2015, it will be the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo when Britain, led by the Duke of Wellington, and assisted by Prussian forces led by Blucher, inflicted the final defeat on Napoleon Bonaparte.

And in October of the same year, it will be the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt, the most significant victory in the Hundred Years War where Henry V’s British army inflicted another defeat on the French.

And while it is not exactly a centenary, although a round figure, and not having anything against the French, 2015 is also the 210th anniversary of another English triumph over our friends from across the Channel – that greatest of sea victories, Trafalgar.

The First World War was known as the Great War and teaching our children about the horrors endured in the trenches is surely right.

But is there not a case to be made as well for banging the drum in 2015 to celebrate our country’s proud fighting past – or are we afraid that flying the flag to mark a hat-trick of great British victories might upset the French who just happened to be the losers on each occasion?