Service remembers landing craft victims

Western Telegraph: PAYING TRIBUTE: Navy veterans were among those attending the service. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney (5726558) PAYING TRIBUTE: Navy veterans were among those attending the service. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney (5726558)

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.

Comments (2)

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9:42pm Mon 28 Apr 14

somersetkatie says...

I am so happy that the remembrance service which was initiated by the hard work and persistence of my late mother, Glenys Jones MBE, is continuing. My mother could, from childhood, recall the actual incident and was featured in a HTV production about the events. Whilst on holiday she met a family who had lost a loved one in this incident and offered to assist them in finding more information. Although the victims are remembered, and named, on the main memorial in Milford Haven, she felt that a memorial at freshwater beach would be appropriate. It was agreed with the national trust, national parks, and all involved, including the Landing Craft Gun and Flak Association, that the memorial should be appropriate for its place in the natural environment. For this purpose a stone was specifically selected for size and appearance. My mother went on to trace the 3 survivors who met again at the first service and who kept in contact with her, having wreaths laid at each annual service. For her work with the LCG association, for this memorial, she was nominated and was received an MBE in the Queens birthday honours list 2000. I am, therefore, disappointed and saddened to hear that there maybe plans to have the memorial stone removed. My mother worked for many years to get this memorial stone erected and I feel it would be disrespectful, to all involved, and unnecessary to remove or replace this memorial.
I am so happy that the remembrance service which was initiated by the hard work and persistence of my late mother, Glenys Jones MBE, is continuing. My mother could, from childhood, recall the actual incident and was featured in a HTV production about the events. Whilst on holiday she met a family who had lost a loved one in this incident and offered to assist them in finding more information. Although the victims are remembered, and named, on the main memorial in Milford Haven, she felt that a memorial at freshwater beach would be appropriate. It was agreed with the national trust, national parks, and all involved, including the Landing Craft Gun and Flak Association, that the memorial should be appropriate for its place in the natural environment. For this purpose a stone was specifically selected for size and appearance. My mother went on to trace the 3 survivors who met again at the first service and who kept in contact with her, having wreaths laid at each annual service. For her work with the LCG association, for this memorial, she was nominated and was received an MBE in the Queens birthday honours list 2000. I am, therefore, disappointed and saddened to hear that there maybe plans to have the memorial stone removed. My mother worked for many years to get this memorial stone erected and I feel it would be disrespectful, to all involved, and unnecessary to remove or replace this memorial. somersetkatie
  • Score: 18

12:49am Sat 10 May 14

Dame Janet says...

I am currently researching the event featured above and would welcome any information, anecdotes or links. There is mention in item above of an HTV production featuring the event and wonder if anyone can give me details of this.
I am currently researching the event featured above and would welcome any information, anecdotes or links. There is mention in item above of an HTV production featuring the event and wonder if anyone can give me details of this. Dame Janet
  • Score: 0

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