Nelson Road, E18

Place Name

This was originally Asylum Road as it led to the Merchant Seamen’s Orphan Asylum, now Wanstead Hospital, which was opened in 1863. Keeping with the seafaring theme the new name honours Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronte (September 29, 1758 – October 21, 1805), hero of the Battle of Trafalgar who scored a number of decisive British naval victories, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. Born into a Norfolk family he proved himself a brilliant seaman showing inspirational leadership combined with unconventional tactics, including at the Battle of Nile. He was killed, aged 47, when as commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean Fleet on board the flagship HMS Victory he was shot by a French marksman during the Battle of Trafalgar near the Spanish port city of Cadiz. His success in destroying the French fleet allowed Britain to become the world’s largest sea power for 100 years making it the most important sea battle of the 19thCentury. The name changed sometime after 1921 when the orphanage moved to Bearwood, near Wokingham, Surrey.

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