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Almuñecar Memorial created to Intrepid Canadian
THE long struggle to create a monument to “An ex-ERA RN, licensed by the Admiralty bombed and capsized several hours later.
HMS Intrepid at Leros in Greece has finally to produce bronze castings of Royal Navy “The Isle of Leros is a small but pretty island
borne fruit – but the organiser now wants a final ships’ badges and plaques, pulled out all the with delightful people living there,” said Albert. corvette
effort to support the dedication ceremony. stops and made an Intrepid badge in jolly “It is worth a visit. Can I have you alongside
head for
Albert Poulter was serving in Intrepid when quick time,” said Albert. me at the dedication ceremony?
the ship was sunk by dive bombers at Port “The monument now has a cross, badge “As most of the Intrepid people have died,
in pride
Lakki on September 26 1943. with ribbon and an anchor affixed to it.” or as relatives are as old as I am, or not
the Rock
He wanted to see a permanent memorial to The ceremony will be on September 26, much younger, I appeal to all Navy people to
the ship, and appealed for help in Navy News which is also the anniversary of the sinking of consider attending the dedication ceremony if
last August. the HHMS Queen Olga. The Greeks have held they are able, so as to make up a respectable of place
Now Albert reports that the monument is up an annual commemoration festival in memory showing of Royal Navy solidarity.
SHIPMATES and guests of the
at “a beautiful site” cut out of a hillside, where of their sailors ever since the war. “A few Navy people have reminded me that LITTLE HMCS Sackville
Almuñecar branch in Spain
Greek municipal workers have laid paving, The monument faces west, overlooking the ‘Once a Royal Navy man, always a Royal Navy
might not be the biggest of
travelled by coach to Gibraltar in
kerbstones, lighting and a flagpole. waters of Portolago Bay, where Intrepid was man’.”
order to liaise with members of
ships, but it was proud little
the branch on the Rock.
vessels like her that helped the
Almuñecar branch, under
Coastal Forces group
Allies triumph in that longest,
chairman Nigel Jest, is one of the hardest-fought of campaigns,
newest in the Association, and one
the Battle of the Atlantic,
of only two in Spain.
writes York Membery.
Shipmates at Gibraltar arranged
The British, Americans and
a tour of the tunnels, which was
Canadians all played their part in
greatly anticipated by all 23 of
winning the six-year struggle for
the visitors – except the one who
domination of the waves during
suffers from claustrophobia.
officially disbanded
the World War 2 – but it was
The tunnels, which date back
arguably the Royal Navy, and its
to World War 2 and earlier, are not
Canadian counterpart, the Royal
generally open to the public.
Canadian Navy, that bore the
So it was with great interest
brunt of the burden of escorting
that the shipmates listened to the
Army guide, who after 28 years
countless convoys across the
associated with the tunnels was
stormy ocean.
very knowledgeable.
The first weekend of last month
After two hours in the gloom,
ONE of the largest Naval
saw Sackville rightly take centre
they emerged blinking into the veterans organisations has
stage at Canada’s annual Battle of
sunshine, a lot wiser about the
the Atlantic Weekend in Halifax,
been decommissioned.
hidden workings of the Rock.
Nova Scotia, held to pay homage
The Coastal Forces Veterans
There was also time for them
to the memory of all those who
to take external tours of the Rock
Association was formed in served or laid down their lives in
before meeting up with members
1974 by Gordon Stevens, and the epic struggle.
of the Gibraltar branch and their
took its membership from the
The event, which kicked off
chairman Brian Griffiths. men and women who served in
with a dinner aboard the ship on
After a little lamp-swinging in Allied Coastal Forces during
Saturday evening, culminated in a
the evening, the Spanish branch
World War 2.
service of commemoration and a
made a three-hour trip back to
At its peak it had up to 3,500
wreath laying aboard the Sackville
members and 20 local branches,
at the harbour approaches off
The branch was commissioned
supporting the association’s aims
Point Pleasant Park, adjacent
last September and already has 34
at a regional level and supporting
to the Sailor’s Memorial, the
the annual reunions, which
following day.
They extend a warm welcome to
alternated between Lowestoft and
“It’s always a tremendously
shipmates on holiday in Southern
Hayling Island.
moving occasion,” says Lt Cdr
Spain – meetings are held on the
Apart from its own activities,
Jim Reddy (retd), of HMCS
second Tuesday of the month.
the Association provided
For further details email
representatives at many national
However, the Sackville is well
memorial services and events,
worth seeing if you ever happen
or call secretary Dave Toms on
and also organised an annual trip
to be visiting Halifax, a city with a
(0034) 677 31 19 02.
to Vis and surrounding Adriatic
proud naval history which played
locations where Coastal Forces
a pivotal role in the Battle of the
Landing vessels
Atlantic, being the embarkation
But now, with time taking
point for numerous convoys.
are honoured
its toll, the Association has met
The ship is thought to be the last
for the last time as a national
existing Flower-class corvette – a
design which the Middlesbrough-
A SERVICE of remembrance is to
The venue was Hornet Sailing
based shipbuilders, Smith’s Dock
be held at the RN/RM Memorial
Centre in Gosport – formerly
Company, came up with for the
at Ouistreham in Normandy on
Coastal Forces base HMS Hornet,
Admiralty in 1938, based on a
June 6.
where the Forces’ memorial is
recently-built whaling vessel,
The service, at 11.45am, will
Southern Pride.
be conducted by the Rev Martin
● The National Standard of the Coastal Forces Veterans Association is handed to Capt Peter Albertini,
the Commodore of the Hornet Sailing Centre, for safekeeping
Admiral Sir James Eberle – who
Evans RN, and a parade will be
The corvette – a 205ft,
served at HMS Hornet in 1949-50
under the operational control of 1
1,200-ton vessel with a
– addressed those gathered,
Assault Group Royal Marines.
maximum speed of 16
Younger approach is urged
reflecting on the dangers
All Services, ex-Services,
knots – proved to be a re-
faced by those who manned
families and friends are welcome
markably sturdy little ship,
the converted yachts and
at the service, which honours the
and went on to become the
motor launches, torpedo
crews of the landing vessels (ships,
workhorse of the confl ict.
boats and gun boats: “All
craft and barges) which took part
GIVE Youth a Chance was the approach decided on What a fantastic tool to be able to utilise to the had vulnerable wooden In all, some 269 were built for
in the D-Day Landings in 1944.
at the RNA Public Relations Officers’ meeting, held RNA’s advantage. hulls and, for many of them, the British and Canadian navies
Ouistreham is the French end of
in HMS Nelson, Portsmouth, writes Joe Morton of Every kid worth his or her salt can operate a their high octane fuel added (the majority in Britain but around
the Portsmouth to Caen Brittany
Helston branch. keyboard. to their vulnerability,” said 120 in Canada), making it the
Ferries service.
Representing No 4 Area, it was my first meeting Already there are several good websites the Admiral. largest and most successful class
Further details from Maurice
and proved to be an interesting one, posing some concerning the RNA. He added that he hoped of escort warship ever built.
Hillebrandt on 01395 442800.
searching questions. My Area 4 site is a very good example, with each friendships would continue, The Sackville, like many other
Why does the RNA need to advertise? branch having its own page, and it is well worth a and branches would corvettes, soon earnt her battle
Big night out
Why does the RNA need to appeal to the younger visit. still meet locally to keep honours, and in August 1942, in
veterans – of which I am one? Perhaps we need more – load the websites with activities alive. a westbound convoy 250 nautical
A GROUP of residents from Sir Look at it from my point of view; I am one of the our ‘Sea Dits’, show the younger generation we are The National standard miles east of Newfoundland, she
Gabriel Wood’s Mariners’ Home youngest members of the Helston branch of the on the same wavelength. was given to Capt Peter was credited with a probable U-
were guests of honour at a naval RNA being 49 years old. Most of the new recruits arriving at RNAS Albertini, the Commodore boat kill.
gathering in Glasgow. Unless my branch attracts new, younger members Culdrose, where I work, come armed with a mobile of Hornet, for safekeeping, After herself being damaged
The men were invited for a soon, we could be finished as a branch within ten phone and laptop. while Association in a convoy battle in late 1943,
night out by the Glasgow branch years. Ask them when they last wrote a letter with a memorabilia was presented Sackville was taken out of active
of the RNA, who treated them
As was pointed out at the PROs’ meeting, we need good old ballpoint pen and you might be met with
to the Director of the Royal
service and used as a training
to a slap-up meal and presented
to take on board modern ideas, which appeal to a blank look!
Naval Museum.
ship before being subsequently
them with prizes and gifts, plus a
younger potential recruits. Shipmates, I appeal to you to take on board the
The impact of these forces
designated Canada’s Naval
cheque for £250.
The fastest communication tool in this day and new world of IT and use it to attract new members
was significant, providing
Kind-hearted RNA officials
age is the World Wide Web, the computer, the before it is too late.
not only a formidable
Now restored to her wartime
also plan to invite the Mariners’
Internet, which at the press of a button can put Throw off the image of an “old man’s club” and
defence but also a dangerous
configuration, she has a prime
residents back to the city later this
anyone in touch with another person anywhere, bring in new blood – or very soon the RNA will cease
attacking force.
berth in Halifax harbour, where
year for a summer barbecue.
every minute of the day. to exist.
Just under 1,000
she is moored each summer
actions were formally
– during the tough winters she
recorded, and losses
is moored at the nearby naval
of men and boats
were high – around
“A tour of the ship is just like
1,900 boats saw
taking a trip back to the past,” says
service, of which Lt Cdr Reddy.
some 300 were lost. The war may be receding in the
In human terms, 30,000
public consciousness both here
men and women served in
and in North America, but a tour
of the ship is a constant reminder
Coastal Forces; 1,200 lost
of the bravery of all those Allied
their lives and many more
seamen who fought so valiantly to
were wounded.
keep open Britain’s vital Atlantic
Allied navies contributed
lifeline during the war’s darkest
valuable resources – French,
Dutch, Polish, Norwegian,
HMCS Sackville is moored at
American, Canadian, New
Queen’s Landing, Halifax, from
Zealand, Australian, Indian
June 1 to mid-October. Admission
and South African sailors
is C$4 (£2).
all played their part, and
To find out more about the
many of those nations were
Sackville call 001 (902) 427-2837
officially represented at the
or visit www.hmcssackville-
decommissioning ceremony.
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