October 21 is Trafalgar Day, according to an old sea salt friend and reader. It is a celebration of the victory won by the (British) Royal Navy over the combined French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The battle was the most decisive British naval victory of the war. Twenty-seven British ships of the line led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under French Admiral Pierre Villeneuve off the south-west coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, without a single British vessel being lost. The celebration, however, is not so much about a victory over Spain or France, which had been taken over by Napoleon (see a related item here) but rather of the fact that the battle served to halt Napoleon from taking over Europe and a good part of America.
The cemetery was consecrated in June 1798, seven years before the battle of Trafalgar. It was then known as the 'Southport Ditch Cemetery'. The majority of gravestones in the cemetery memorialise the dead of three yellow fever epidemics in 1804, 1813 and 1814 in Gibraltar. Also buried here are victims of other sea battles of the Napoleonic Wars - the Battle of Algeciras in 1801 and actions off Cádiz and Málaga in 1810 and 1812 respectively.
The sad thing is that, according to our old sea salt friend, in a study of 2000 British children, 16% think that the Armada is a kind of TAPAS.