May 1st was the anniversary of Wellington’s birth (probably in Dublin but there is a little doubt about that). Being born on 1st May in 1769 he was just a few months older than Napoleon Bonaparte who was born in Ajaccio, on the Isle of Corsica on August 15th 1769.
May 5th is the anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s official demise on the island of St Helena. By 1821 he had been in exile on that island for more than five years and was 51 years old. Wellington lived on until September 1852 – dying at the grand old age of 83.
Well – these are the official facts.
It’s interesting that the information on the internet is frequently completely wrong. One website has Napoleon Bonaparte dying on 5th May but being buried in Les Invalides in Paris on the 7th – that would have been good going even with today’s transportation methods!
Other inaccuracies occur on the internet but the interesting one (almost, I would say, a Freudian slip) is that one well used and respected website has him dying in the United Kingdom. As a protectorate it is possible to say St Helena was ‘The United Kingdom’ but I prefer to think that – as described in A Set of Lies – he died on another island of the UK – the Isle of Wight – and that he outlived the Duke by six months.