I know what you’re thinking. I know. You’re thinking: “What is up with Lord Nelson? What’s up with all of this: ‘I loooove Lord Nelson! He is just the most beloved British naval hero of all time! Let’s build him a column! In London! Gaaaaahhhhh…Horatio Nelson!'”
Well who would you rather enshrine? Admiral Jacky Fisher? Okay. Well he may have renovated the entire English fleet, scrapping all of those timbered boats for oil-fueled steel ones, but he was also a dance hall loon who forced his officers to attend “whirling dance jamborees” on the poop decks of his battleships. He would dock their pay if they tried to hide out below. Not cool, Jacky Fisher.
Also, according to Wikipedia, Jacky Fisher is accredited with the first use of the acronym OMG for Oh My God. Which is really, like, a travesty of the English language. So yes, he was a character, yes he charmed, yes he got the Westminster funeral, burial under a mighty chestnut tree, and so forth. But no, Jacky Fisher failed to die heroically at sea.
“I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis—O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)—Shower it on the Admiralty!” (Letter written by Jacky Fisher, 1917)
Which brings us to the pink-cheeked, adored, cockaded and shot-through-the-neck Admiral Horatio Nelson: Chaser (but not catcher) of Polar Bears. Loser of Arms. Gallant of the Drawing Room. Bane of Napoleon. Capturer of Corsica. Boondazzler of the Nile. Mofo of Trafalgar.
Here he is sans right arm (shot off at Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife) loping along the English coast, piteously holding his right glove in his left hand. Note the stalwart expression on his face. Also notice the mod yet wistful stevedore in the background.
Here he is in his youth in a portrait by Rigaud. Just looking kind of hot. Notice his right arm is totally still there.
I could go on. But all I will say for now is, enough already. The Battle of Trafalgar meant British mastery of the seas which meant Pax Britannica. All of you Nelson naysayers are ignorant. And have you nothing better to do with your time?