This years annual service to commemorate and remember the lives lost on the WW1 raid on the Belgium port of Zeebrugge in 1918, took place as always on St George’s Day 23rd April 2019. The Branch was represented at the event by ‘Dusty’ Miller parading our standard, and with Bob Davies laying a wreath on behalf of our President and members. Also attending was Ben Stones.
The first part of the remembrance service took place at the Cross of Sacrifice in St James’ cemetery in Dover, where so many of those lost that day are laid to rest. Our MP Mr Charlie Elphicke, many dignitaries, including members of the town of Zeebrugge, and personal of the Belgium Armed Forces were in attendance. The raid was to sink blockships across the canal entrances to prevent German submarines from being able to leave their Pens. The raid was successful, although some 200 of the 1700 who took part were killed, some 400 were wounded and many more taken prisoner. Of a total of eleven VCs awarded that day, two were awarded to Royal Marines (RMLI)
On completion of this service and wreath laying a further short service took place in front of Dover’s town hall, where the town Mayor sounded ‘Eight Bells’ on the commemorative bell which used to hang at the end of the Mole in Zeebrugge, and was a gift to Dover from the people of that town as a memorial to all those lost.