UK: Neptune Sailors Gather for Memorial Service
Officers and Ratings from HM Naval Base Clyde gathered on Friday, December 19, to mark the anniversary of the sinking of wartime battleship HMS Neptune.
HMS Neptune, which the Naval Base’s shore establishment is named after, struck an Italian minefield off Tripoli in 1941.
Of the 767 crew on board the light cruiser, only 30 survived the initial sinking and after five days adrift only one survivor remained – a 20-year-old Able Seaman named Norman Walton.
It was one of the worst maritime tragedies of the Second World War and each year modern-day sailors from the shore establishment gather to remember those who gave their lives.
A short service was held at the base’s memorial to the event, led by Reverend Simon Beveridge, HMS Neptune Chaplain, followed by a wreath laying. In attendance were sailors and senior naval officers from HMS Neptune, including Captain of HMS Neptune, Captain James Hayes.
Part of “Force K”, a squadron formed to intercept Axis convoys, HMS Neptune struck an Italian minefield on December 19, 1941 and capsized.
The modern-day HMS Neptune provides accommodation, administration, medical and support services to around 3,300 Service personnel at HM Naval Base Clyde.