This years ‘Operation Fuller’ Remembrance Service, but more wildly known as ‘The Channel Dash’ was held at their fine Memorial on Dover seafront on Tuesday 12 February at 1400hrs.
This service remembers this day in 1942 when a Tri-Service operation was launched to intercept and destroy a well protected German battle fleet which was attempting to ‘Dash’ up the Channel from Brest to reach their home ports in Germany. We especially remember the eighteen young men of 825 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) from RAF Manston here in Kent, who flew six Fairey Swordfish aircraft, known as ‘Stringbags’ in a brave but futile attempt to stop and sink the main Battleships of the fleet. The action was unsuccessful, all the aircraft were shot down and only five of the aircrew were rescued from the Channel waters. Their leader that day was Lt Commander Eugene Esmond who was also lost, and was granted a posthumous VC. Other awards and mentioned in despatches (MIDs) were granted to all the airmen.
The service was conducted by the Reverend John Lines MBE, Chaplin to the Downs Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL), and Bob Davies attended to represent our RMA Branch, with Ron Williams from the Isle of Thanet Branch parading their Standard alongside five other Regimental and Association Standards.
On completion of the event a buffet reception was held in the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club (RCPYC) and we thank them for their hospitality.