Sailors Reburied 200 Years After Battle
By Amil Khan
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Reuters) - More than 200 years after the Battle of the Nile, a British naval officer of the time and some of his companions were reburied Monday in a military cemetery in the nearby Egyptian city of Alexandria.
To the sounds of a Egyptian Navy band and British buglers playing the last post, 35 British sailors and Royal Marines, carried five coffins to the new graves, 25 km (15 miles) from the island where they were hastily buried around 1800.
Archaeologist Paolo Gallo discovered their remains in shallow graves on an island in Abu Qir bay, east of Alexandria, where British Admiral Horatio Nelson destroyed Napoleon Bonaparte's French fleet in 1798, stranding his army in Egypt.
The old graves were in danger of being washed away as the sea eroded the island.
The remains include the body of Commander James Russell, who served with Nelson, and about 30 others assumed to be either British sailors, soldiers, a woman and some children.
British archaeologist and war historian Nick Slope told reporters the bodies had been wrapped in sailcloth for burial -- the usual practice at the time. There was one woman among them, probably the wife of one of the officers, he added.
Some of the deaths probably date from the Battle of the Nile in 1798, but some of the Britons could have died in 1801, when Britain landed an expeditionary force in the area. (link)
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Sailors Reburied After 200 Years
This from Reuters:
Posted by Jerry Fuhrman at 7:52 PM