Pembroke Dock Battle of the Atlantic weekend to highlight Pembrokeshire's crucial WW2 role
12:27pm Thursday 9th May 2013 in News
Visitors and residents alike will descend on Pembroke Dock this weekend (May 10th to 12th) for a busy programme of events to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.
Pembrokeshire's crucial contributions to the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War will be remembered in a series of special events, following months of preparation co-ordinated by Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust.
Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust project manager John Evans said: "Pembrokeshire communities and military establishments played a hugely important part in the Atlantic Campaign - none more so than Pembroke Dock where naval, army and air force personnel served alongside each other.
"May 1943 is seen as a key month in the battle and we have an opportunity, 70 years on, to recognise the contributions which were made locally to victory in the campaign.
"The Sunderland Trust has had great support for its plans and is particularly grateful to two maritime service organisations, the Maritime Air Trust and the Coastal Command and Maritime Air Association, for their support, along with PLANED, Pembrokeshire County Council and many historical groups and individuals.
"There are a number of Battle of Atlantic events in the UK during this period - the only one in Wales is, very appropriately, at Pembroke Dock. The memorial stone which will be unveiled will be a long term reminder of this community's roles in the campaign."
May 1943 is considered to be a pivotal period in the Atlantic Campaign and Pembroke Dock's flying boats were in the forefront of the action, protecting convoys and seeking out the German submarines. And the Milford Haven Waterway was a major convoy assembly port as well as the base for naval escort vessels.
The anniversary weekend coincides with a reunion of maritime aviation personnel staged by the Coastal Command and Maritime Air Association. Visitors from Australia, who have strong connections with flying boat operations from Pembroke Dock, will also be in town.
At 12 noon on Sunday (May 12th), a parade will form at Pembroke Dock Community School and march along Bush Street and Albion Square to the Dockyard Chapel, where an open air service of thanksgiving and commemoration for the Battle of the Atlantic will take place at 12.30pm.
A memorial will also be unveiled and dedicated.
PROGRAMME OF FREE EVENTS
Friday 10th to Sunday 12th
Pater Hall Exhibition at Pater Hall, Dimond Street.
Friday and Saturday, 10am to 4pm.
Displays by aviation, military and maritime groups, county organisations, plus individual collections.
11am Ted Goddard (Maritime reflections: Hancocks to Hobbs Point).
2pm John Evans (Reminders of the RAF).
11am Brian Pratt (In steps of Pigs Parade).
2pm David James (Stepping stones in maritime history).
Flying Boat Centre workshop, Fort Road (by South Pembrokeshire Hospital)
Friday and Saturday, 10am to 4pm and Sunday, 2pm to 4pm.
Talk and film show
Saturday, 4pm at Sunderland Suite, Pater Hall.
Talk by John Evans of the Sunderland Trust Title, PD and the Battle of the Atlantic.
Friday and Saturday, Pater Hal.l
Regular film showings of A very short war - the story of Australian pilot cliff carpenter and other crew of 210 Squadron Sunderland L2167 from Pembroke Dock shot down over Norway in 1940.
Two unique historical sites in Pembrokeshire will also be opening up especially in support of the weekend.
The West Wales Maritime Heritage Society's yard and workshop at Front Street, Pembroke Dock, and RAF
Carew Cheriton Control Tower will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday from 11am to 4pm.
Admission to all events is free. Donations welcome.
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