Call for permanent memorial to storm victims

Milford Mercury: FLYING THE FLAG: Around 70 people attended the memorial service on Friday. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney (5800288) FLYING THE FLAG: Around 70 people attended the memorial service on Friday. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney (5800288)

A SERVICE to remember 79 men who lost their lives at sea has prompted further calls for a permanent memorial to those who died.

Around 70 people attended the service, which paid tribute to the crews of HM Landing Craft Gun 15 and 16 and the HMS Rosemary, who drowned during a terrible storm near Freshwater West in 1943.

Pembroke Dock Sea Cadets and Milford Haven Royal Marine Cadets acted as flag bearers, and several Royal Navy veterans were also among the crowd

Cllr David Boswell said the good turn-out, which included members of the Royal Marines, Royal Welsh Fusiliers and Royal Navy associations, proved people wanted to pay their respects.

Cllr Boswell has been campaigning for more than a year to add three plaques - bearing the names of those who died – to the existing memorial stone near the beach.

He is currently working with the National Trust, which owns the land, to put together a planning application to put forward to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority (PCNPA).

Two plaques were erected last year, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the accident, but had to be removed immediately after the service as they did not have planning permission from PCNPA.

Cllr Boswell said he is determined to see the names of the 79 added to the memorial.

“I’ve got a big passion about this because I work on the sea, and because these men were willing to give their lives to defend this country when this terrible disaster happened,” he said.

“Why should they be forgotten?”

He said local people have been very supportive of his campaign, including South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart, Pembroke Town Council and the First and Last pub, in Pembroke Dock.

"It's important to do this, these boys should be remembered with respect.," he added.

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