A SERVICE to remember the79 men who died in a Second World War landing disaster was held at Freshwater West on Friday, April 25.

Around 70 people attended the service, which paid tribute to the crews of HM Landing Craft Gun (L) s 15-16 and the HMS Rosemary, who drowned near Freshwater West in 1943.

The two semi-completed landing craft guns – LG 15 and LG16 – went down after getting into difficulty in a storm while on passage from Belfast to Falmouth. After being refused permission to enter Fishguard Harbour and then Milford Haven, the craft had no option but to proceed on their way.

Only three people survived the disaster and many bodies were never recovered.

Six crew members from HMS Rosemary also died when their rescue vessel was engulfed by a huge wave.

Eighty-nine-year-old Jerry Price joined the Navy aged 15, and after surviving the war said he feels it’s important to pay tribute to those who died.

As president of the Navy Club in Pembroke Dock, he said he was pleased to see people had travelled from across Wales to attend the service.

Two plaques bearing the names of the 79 men who died were unveiled at a memorial service held last April to mark the 70th anniversary of the accident, but had to be removed straight after the service because they did not have planning permission from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Cllr David Boswell is currently working with the National Trust, which owns the site, to apply for planning permission for three plaques, bearin the names of those who died.