Commodore Jim Perks, Head of the Royal Navy Submarine Service, lays a wreath at the Submariners’ Memorial in London.
By Gavin Carr
THERE WAS a moment today for serving and retired Royal Navy Submariners to extend their sorrow to the families and comrades of the 53 men killed when Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala sank in April.
In London, the nation’s ambassador to the UK, Dr. Desra Percaya, laid a wreath at the Submariners’ Memorial at Victoria Embankment alongside Commodore Jim Perks, Head of the Submarine Service, and the chairman of charity We Remember Submariners, Ian Atkinson.
Around the same time as the wreath laying was happening in London, submariners around the country took a moment to pause and pay their respects.
At HM Naval Base Clyde, home of the UK Submarine Service, personnel took a moment to reflect at the establishment’s Main Mast followed by a service at the site’s Church of St John the Evangelist.
Meanwhile, in Barrow-in-Furness, the ship’s company of in-build submarine HMS Anson gathered at the dockside for a moment of silence, and at Royal Navy training establishment HMS Raleigh, trainee submariners also remembered those who perished.
The serving and retired Royal Navy Submariner community has raised £53,000 through pledges and the sale of memorial merchandise to be donated to the 53 families equally.
Donations were made by companies involved in building and supporting submarines, and American veteran submariners also made donations.
The money will be handed over to the Indonesians on October 8 when frigate HMS Richmond arrives in Jakarta on the latest leg of her Indo-Pacific deployment with HMS Queen Elizabeth and the UK Carrier Strike Group.
Commodore Perks said: “We are honoured to have been joined by Dr. Percaya as we showed our solidarity with the families of the KRI Nanggala submariners and demonstrated that there are men and women thousands of miles away who care deeply about the loss they have suffered having faced the same dangers themselves. We hope we can provide some comfort to those 53 families as they come to terms with their grief.”
KRI Nanggala sank in the Bali Sea on April 21 with the loss of all hands having conducted torpedo drills.
“The loss of any submarine or its crew is felt very strongly within the submarine community,” said Mr Atkinson. “The raising of £53,000 has been a truly collaborative effort, coordinated by the charity We Remember Submariners.
“I am immensely proud of WRS and the submarine community as a whole. Whether serving, a veteran or a family member, we are a brotherhood and this is testament to the true ethos of what it means to be a submariner. We will remember them.”
Submarine Service Executive Warrant Officer, WO1 Adrian Parker, two Junior Ratings from HM Naval Base Clyde, the Indonesian Assistant Defence Attaché, Major Fajrun Shodiq, and two Submariners Association standard bearers were also present for the ceremony.
The Commodore with Indonesian Ambassador, Dr. Desra Percaya, at the memorial service.