2016 Zeebrugge Raid Service

The annual service to commemorate and remember the WW1 raid on the Belgium port of Zeebrugge took place as usual on St Georges Day 23 April.
The Branch was represented by our two Standards carried by ‘Dusty’ Miller and Jimmy Greene, and Bob Davies laid a wreath on behalf of the president and members. Also attending were Ben Stones and ‘Timber’ Wood.
The service takes place in St James’ cemetery in Dover where so many of the RMLI and RMs who were killed in the raid are laid to rest.
This year we had over 80 past and present members of The Royal Scout Harmony Band of Zeebrugge attending. Our MP, many dignitaries and members of the Belgium Armed Forces were also in attendance.
Two Royal Marines were awarded VCs for this action from a total of eleven awarded that day. The raid to sink blockships in the canals in order to prevent the German submarines from getting out was successful, although of the 1700 men who went some 200 were killed, 400 wounded and many taken prisoner.

Following this a further short service took place with a parade of all the Standards in front of Dover town hall, where the Mayor sounded ‘Eight Bells’ on the Commemorative bell, which used to hang at the end of the Zeebrugge Mole, and was a gift to Dover from the people of Zeebrugge as a memorial to those lost.
This service and ceremony dates back to 1918 when thousands lined the streets of Dover to watch the procession of the 66 bodies of those who would be taken to the cemetery, from a total of 156 that were returned to England.
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Zeebrugge Raid Ships

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