War-torn togs to pull in crowds
A macabre desire to see the blood-stained uniform of the man who helped defeat their emperor has gripped the French and the National Maritime Museum is to loan the war-torn chemise which Nelson wore at the Battle of Trafalgar to the Musee de l’Armee, Hôtel des Invalides, Paris.
The uniform, which Nelson was wearing when he was fatally wounded on the deck of HMS Victory, will be one of the key objects in the forthcoming Napoleon et l’Europe exhibition 27 March – 14 July 2013. This will be the first time the uniform has left Britain since it was brought back from the famous battle along with Nelson’s body in 1805.
The uniform will be taken off display in the National Maritime Museum on 14 March 2013, and will return to London for October 2013, where it will take pride of place in the museum’s new Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery which looks at how the Royal Navy shaped individual lives and the course of British history over the tumultuous eighteenth century.
The Vice-admiral’s uniform is seen by hundreds of thousands of people every year. The bullet hole in the left shoulder of the coat can be clearly seen, along with blood stains on the tails and sleeve. While the uniform is out of the country Nelson’s full dress uniform will be displayed in its place – the first time this uniform has been on display at Greenwich in over a decade.