RGS CCF Honour Tradition with RN Trafalgar Night Dinner
In October, the CCF Royal Navy Section enjoyed the annual Trafalgar Night Dinner. Held every October, the Royal Navy celebrates the British Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar with this special event.
Trafalgar Night Dinners were started to commemorate the Battle and Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson’s memory. It is traditionally styled as a ‘Mess Dinner’. Despite the name, this is a formal style of dining in the Royal Navy, rich in its own traditions and customs. Today, Trafalgar Night Dinners can be celebrated anywhere not just in messes, however, the naval traditions of the dinners have remained the same.
Commander John Shorrocks shares his account of the RGS CCF’s Trafalgar Night Dinner below:
“Twelve Navy Cadets and two Navy Officers attended the commemoration of the Battle of Trafalgar in a fully flagged Main Hall. In the end, the evening turned out to be more of a ‘Pickle Evening’ than a Trafalgar Night as we celebrated the advent of the news of the victory as it came to London by HMS Pickle, the fastest ship of the fleet.
The evening commenced with some electrifying mocktails before settling into the first course and the delicious meal. Toasts were given and ‘dispatches’ read by the Cadets as well as two animated accounts of the Battle, all were received with full attention. With the nautical-themed games bringing the event to a close it was a shame we did not have time for some traditional sea shanties – maybe next year!
The final toast was made to ‘absent friends’ as we remembered those lost on both sides of the Battle as well as the very recent passing of our very own Cdr ‘Robbie’ Robertson OBE, who was responsible for setting up the Royal Navy Section at RGS as well as being greatly influential in the development of the RN CCF nationally.”