On the evening of Thursday 12th October, the Senior Warden, Alderman Peter Hewitt, was a guest of honour of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom for the Trafalgar Dinner, held at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at the Defence Academy campus near Shrivenham, Wiltshire.
In recognition of the Guild’s affiliation with the Defence Academy, the Senior Warden (accompanied by the Clerk) was hosted by senior naval officers at this annual commemoration of the Royal Navy’s victory at Trafalgar in 1805. To a rousing medley of shanties and nautical anthems, exquisitely played by a brass quintet of Royal Marines, the Senior Warden and Clerk enjoyed a long and stimulating evening in the company of over 350 officers (representing all services and over 35 countries) who are presently undergoing training at the Academy.
Interspersed with vignettes, songs and readings, the hearty dinner was a spectacular mix of tradition, pomp and mischief. The beef was paraded with drums and applause, and chocolate tall ships (decorated with sparklers) roamed the room to the delight of the diners.
The speaker after dinner was the renowned naval historian, Dr James Davey, who expounded on the remarkable context and legacy of Lord Nelson’s victory and death.
The Guild’s affiliation with its military partners continues to grow, and, next year, a number of opportunities will be available to Freemen Entrepreneurs to engage with the Defence Academy’s education and training programmes as both students and facilitators.