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Horatio Nelson was the most outstanding British admiral of all time. At the age of just 20, he commanded a frigate in the West Indies and served in the American War of Independence. He was recalled to active service in 1792 as war with revolutionary France became imminent. The ensuing 12 years saw his meteoric rise to the rank of vice-admiral. The spectacular victory over the combined navies of France and Spain off Cape Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 was marred by his death. He was fatally wounded by a French sharpshooter and died soon afterwards. His body was later brought home from Gibraltar and he became the first commoner ever to receive a State Funeral.
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