During WW2 the ships and the men who served in them were the lifeline of the British Isles, and carried the food to sustain the population and the means to take the war to Nazi Germany. The convoys across the Atlantic, the North Sea to Russia and those to the Mediterranean and elsewhere were under constant attack from U-Boats, Surface Raiders and the Luftwaffe. The price paid was heavy. Some 2,627 ships were sunk, 30,248 seamen were killed, 4,654 are missing, 4,701 were wounded, and 5,720 were made prisoners of war (POWs).
The local annual service to remember their sacrifices and to give thanks to them took place this year on Monday 3 September with a service in Dover town hall at 1030hrs.
Our Branch Standard, carried as usual by ‘Dusty’ Miller joined eleven other Standards on parade, with Bob Davies and Ben Stones representing the Branch with several other club members attending, and members of the Deal and Dover Branches of the Royal British Legion. Also present was our MP Charlie Elphicke, the Chairman of Dover District Council, Cllr Sue Chandler, many other civic dignitaries, Armed Forces representatives, and veteran Mr Donald Hunter MN (Retd) founder of the MN Memorial Fund.
On completion of the service refreshments were available in the adjoining Connaught hall and which included a very welcome ‘Tot of Rum’.
The event then moved to the Marine Parade on the seafront for a short wreath laying service at their fine MN Memorial, then an address and the laying of a wreath by a member of the Royal Norwegian Navy at the plaque in their nearby Garden of Remembrance which marks their time during 1940-1945 when they were based in Dover.
‘Look out to sea and say a prayer for those who rest beneath,
They gave their lives that you may share a Europe that is free’.
Donald Hunter 2008