Today in the news I have read that Sailors and Marines of the British Royal Navy have been taken prisoner by Iranian forces claiming that the British were in violation of Iranian territorial waters. That may or may not be the case but the Iranians could have avoided an escalation of tensions by discussing the matter with the Officer in Charge and directing them out of the disputed area. In a prior incident British Sailors were captured by the Iranians and paraded in front of television cameras and forced to apologize for their mistake. Those types of demands are unacceptable and the Royal Navy Sailors and Marines must resist bowing to the Iranian demands.
Fear not my boys; you have a Prime Minister that is behind you as if Lord Nelson himself was standing there. These ventures sometimes go awry, so go the fortunes of war. So chins up and chests out my boys, serve with honor a dignity my fellows. Help is at hand and you will not be abandoned. The long and honorable tradition of your Navy demands it.
To set the tone on how British sailors ought to conduct themselves Admiral Nelson wrote a letter to Governor Hugh Elliot in 1804 ;”When I am without orders, and unexpected occurences arise, I shall always act as I think the honour and glory of my King and Country demand."
I have visited HMS Victory at the naval base in Portsmouth, England. HMS Victory was Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship and the ship he died aboard while engaging the Franco-Spanish forces in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Admiral Nelson was arguably the best Naval Commander of all time and he understood his place in human history quite clearly. The admiral wrote this prayer before the battle;
"May the Great God, whom I worship, grant to my Country, and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious Victory; and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it; and may humanity after Victory be the predominant feature in the British Fleet. For myself, individually, I commit my life to Him who made me, and may His blessing light upon my endeavours for serving my country faithfully. To him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend.
Amen. Amen. Amen."
This man understood he was a warrior and that warriors may die in battle and one must always be prepared to die. Nelson felt there was nothing more honorable than doing his duty and always being ready to meet his maker.
Even though I am a veteran United States Navy sailor, I have always held those same values that I have learned from men like Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. I have sailed with and consider my British counterparts to be like brothers and my thoughts and prayers will be with them and their families until the Iranian government frees those gallant and honorable men.
“To-morrow I will do that which will give you
younger gentlemen something to talk about and
something to think about for the rest of your lives.
But I shall not live to know about it myself!”
Admiral Lord Nelson before the Battle Trafalgar 21 October 1805