Tag Archives: ship back to london

Trafalgar Square

Here we come to another fun little story…  The man on the top of the column in Trafalgar square is indeed a man named Nelson, NOT Napoleon…  However Nelson was responsible for winning one of the battles against Napoleon.  Sadly, he also lost his life in that particular battle.  The location of the battle, as you may know (it was news to me!!) took place in Trafalgar, Egypt.

So the story goes (as told by my tour guide) that Nelson fought bravely and valiantly, and with the Royal Navy at his command was able to defeat Napoleon in the battle at Trafalgar.  When Nelson lost his life in the battle, the soldiers, well really all of the United Kingdom wanted to honor his brave acts and his victory on his behalf.  So they decided to bring his body back to England so that it could be properly buried.

However, there was one little issue… The body was on a ship in the waters near Egypt, and it would take several days to actually get back to England… So preserving the body became an interesting challenge.  No worries however, they had several barrels of whisky on board!!  And what is the best way to preserve a body??  Well, dunk it in whiskey!  So they opened a barrel of whiskey (they had 5 or 6 in all) and placed Nelson’s body inside.  They replaced the cap of the barrel and marked it so that they would know which barrel had his body inside, and which were just full of whiskey…

When the ship got back to London, they cracked the barrel labeled with Nelson’s body inside and found it to be curiously only half full of whiskey… hmmm… What happened to the other half???  I thought perhaps the body simply absorbed the whiskey up and the body would therefore be a bloated yucky mess.  However, this was not the case.  What apparently happened instead was that the crew, having been so happy at their victory decided to celebrate all the way back to London.  Along the journey they managed to run out of all the whisky (they drank up 4 or 5 barrels of whiskey on their own!!)…

So… what else were they to do after running out of whiskey yet still wanting more??  Yup, they started to drink out of the whiskey barrel with Nelson’s body inside!!  They apparently felt the best way perhaps to really honor Nelson was to literally drink from him… “eeeewwwwwwww!!!!!”  is all I have to say!!!  And, as my guide noted, it certainly gives a new meaning to the term “full bodied” when describing imbibes!!!

On to Horse Garden, PM House, Westminster & Big Ben

Back to London Walking Tour

Back to United Kingdom