Remembrance 2013. We will remember them

At this time of year when we pay tribute those who gave their lives in service of their country, it seems appropriate to focus here on just a few examples of the sacrifice made by the men of the Royal Navy.

Lynx helicopter crew from HMS Portland, Cornish Coast, December 2004

While on a nightime search and rescue mission for a man reported lost overboard from HMS Montrose, a Lynx helicopter launched from HMS Portland suddenly plunged into the water giving the crew no chance of escape. The cause of the crash has never been properly established and the man overboard report proved false. 4 men died that night Lt David Cole, Lt Robert Dunn, Lt Jamie Mitchell and LAEM Richard Darnell. This illustrates the constant dangers faced by servicemen even in peacetime.

HMS Fearless’ Landing Craft – Foxtrot Four (LCU F4), Falklands, 8th June 1982

Ignoring orders to await the safety of nightfall, knowing the importance of getting equipment forward to where it was needed, LCU F4 set out in daylight and was sunk by bombs and cannon fire from 4 Argentine Skyhawk aircraft in Choiseul Sound. 6 brave men, Royal Marines and Sailors were lost; Colour Sergeant Brian Johnston QGM, Sergeant R.J. Rotherham, Marine R.D. Griffin, Marine A.J. Rundle, LMEM D. Miller and MEA A.S. James.

HMS Fearless LCU F4

HMS Fearless’ LCU F4 in the Falklands

HMS Keith, Dunkirk, 1940

HMS KiethDuring the operations to evacuate British and French soldiers from Dunkirk as the Germans closed in, destroyer HMS Keith bravely made several trips from Dover to the bombed beaches of Dunkirk helping to evacuate hundreds of soldiers. On one occasion she was hit by a mortar bomb and machine gun fire that killed her captain and wounded many others. On 1st June she made her last trip, finally succumbing to a bomb which went down her funnel and exploded in the engine room. 3 officers and 33 ratings were killed during the attacks.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.