The Commemoration of Napoleon’s Death took place at the Tomb, Longwood, at 11am today, Monday 5 May.
A ceremony was held, open to the public, with invited guests including French students from Prince Andrew School, giving an educational perspective on the Napoleonic legacy. The location of Napoleon’s Tomb was chosen by Napoleon himself, as he was particularly fond of this valley.
Father Dale Bowers led the Commemoration with Prayers, followed by a one minute silence signalled by the 1st Jamestown Scout Troop. In memory of Napoleon’s death, wreaths were laid by the Acting Governor, Sean Burns, Monsier Michel Dancoisne- Martineau (on behalf of La Fondation Napoléon), Susan O’Bey and Prince Andrew School students. School student Thomas Hickling gave an address in French on behalf of the students of Prince Andrew School.
Members of the public gathered on the pathway overlooking the Tomb. Once the ceremony concluded, the public were welcomed to the Tomb area to pay their respects.
Monsier Michel Dancoisne-Martineau said:
“This is the first time we have held the ceremony with no RMS or cruise ship at the harbour, and it was a working day – so I am amazed at the turnout. I see today as St Helena showing respect to the man I am here for, keeping the memory alive.
“The restoration project at Longwood is progressing well. We are mostly on the final touches of the walls and skirting boards and I am so pleased with the local resources which have helped with restoration of the wooden floor. Charlie George has done and amazing job.”
The Napoleonic properties are an important part of St Helena’s tourism offer, and a campaign has been developed to save Longwood House. After the extensive restoration of the Salon at Longwood house, where the French Emperor died 193 years ago, the large scale reconstruction of the buildings used by Napoleon’s entourage is near completion – when the house will regain its 1821 appearance from the outside.
The project has been made possible by generous donations received from countries all over the world, including St Helena.
This release is accompanied by four pictures.
5 May 2014