Trafalgar Battle’s final survivor

June Markwell pictured with a copy of her latest book.
June Markwell pictured with a copy of her latest book.

A BOOK has provided a new insight into an historic battle claiming the last survivor lived in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool author June Markwell has penned her latest book called Heroes of Trafalgar 1805-2005, detailing the history of seaman who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar, which is remembered during Trafalgar Day tomorrow.

In her book June, of Seaton Carew, outlines how the last remaining survivor of the battle was a Hartlepool man.

George Wharrie was 18 when he fought in the battle, sailing on Colossus which was the ship carrying the largest number of North-East sailors.

Mr Wharrie survived the battle that killed Admiral Lord Nelson and returned to England, before settling in Hartlepool in 1872.

The book details the historic battle, key figures and seamen from the region who took part.

The battle took place on October 21, 1805, and was a naval engagement fought by the British Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815).

The battle was the most decisive British naval victory of the war and saw 27 British ships led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory defeat 33 French and Spanish ships French Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve off the south-west coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar.

The Franco-Spanish fleet lost 22 ships, without a single British vessel being lost.

The British victory spectacularly confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the previous century and was achieved in part through Nelson’s departure from the prevailing naval tacticals of the day.

Nelson was mortally wounded during the battle, becoming one of Britain’s greatest war heroes.

The generous author has pledged to donate the proceeds of her book to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Families Association (SSAFA).

June chose to help those following in his footsteps by donating to the SSAFA charity, which works to provide financial, practical and emotional assistance to anyone who is serving or has ever served in the Army, Navy or RAF, and their families.

The retired science teacher, who worked at Dyke House and English Martyrs schools, said: “I chose the SSAFA as I can actually see how they use their money and what it goes on.”

Heroes of Trafalgar 1805-2005 is available to buy now from Maritime Experience tel (01429) 860077, Royal Navy Association tel (01429) 295011 and Atkinson Print (01429) 267849 and is retailing at £4.95 plus postage and packaging.