The Mayor of Gosport recently unveiled the the lasting memorial placed strategically on the Gosport waterfront in memory of all 75 of the crew that so tragically lost their lives due to mechanical failure on board the submarine HMS Affray after she had sailed from Gosport on April 16 1951, and then submerged some 30 miles south of the Isle of Wight. Affray
When she failed to report a huge search was launched.
She was later found sunk 7.5 miles off the coast of Alderney in the Channel Islands (at Hurd Deep) with all 75 crew drowned.
The crew are named on a 150kg bronze plaque on the front of the memorial stone.
Martin Allen is the secretary of the HMS Affray Submarine Memorial Trust who gave a lengthy speech to the huge number of relatives and friends of the deceased attending, to explain that ‘It had taken 62 years to get a dedicated memorial to the Affray crew installed in the UK to complement the memorial that the Affray Trust unveiled in Alderney, Channel Islands last year.
It was a bitterly cold morning for all who attended, to say nothing of the band who were placed on the waterside to perform incidental and appropriate sacred music that later included Elgar’s fitting tune “Nimrod” and some hymns. This was followed by both Sunset and Reveille impeccably performed by our own “Bugler”. We know him better as Jon Yates, our Principal Trumpet player!!
It was certainly a day more suited to the wearing of thermals and not an easy one for the band. We were reminded of the very old days when we played on board HM ships & at winter RN shore establishments when instruments would often freeze up and not function. It was not quite that bad but it was getting very close to it by the end of all of the various speeches, I have to say!