By Lucy Ashton
SERVING AND VETERAN Royal Navy Submariners travelled to London at the weekend for the annual Submariner Remembrance Service.
Hundreds of members of the Silent Service attended events at Westminster Abbey on the Saturday, and Middle Temple Gardens on Sunday, paying their respects to those Submariners who have gone on “eternal patrol”.
The Service is held the week before the nation’s main Remembrance commemorations to allow Submariners to attend both and was first held in 1923, following the establishment of the National Submarine War Memorial.
Events began on Saturday, November 5, when the Submariners visited the Submarine Service Poppy Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey. Later they moved inside to the Combined Services Memorial in the West Cloisters where there was a wreath laying ceremony.
Sunday’s main Remembrance event at Middle Temple Gardens was attended by members of the Submariners Association, current Submariners, and Commodore of the Submarine Service, Commodore Paul Dunn OBE.
“The annual Submariner Remembrance Service is an incredibly poignant and special occasion for all members of the Silent Service,” said Commodore Dunn.
“Generations of Submariners and their families have made tremendous sacrifices to help protect our country. They have been, and still are, separated from one another during deployments for weeks at a time with very little contact and we are grateful for their continued support.
“Some, however, have made the ultimate sacrifice and that is why we are here today. The Submarine Family remembers them and will continue to do so into the future. They will never be forgotten.”
The Service at Middle Temple Gardens was led by the Reverend Professor Stephen Dray Esq, and attended by The Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL, and Rear Admiral Niall Kilgour CB, President of the Submariners Association, who both laid wreaths.
The Royal Navy Submarine Service’s first vessel, Holland 1, was launched in 1901 and ever since submarines have proved their worth time and again, during both World Wars and during other operations around the globe.
Known as the Silent Service, their motto is: “We Come Unseen”, highlighting the qualities of stealth, endurance, and flexibility which allow Royal Navy submarines the freedom to patrol the oceans.
The modern-day submarines are based and operated at HM Naval Base Clyde in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, the Home of the UK Submarine Service.
- Royal Navy Submariners at the Service at the Poppy Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.
- The Poppy Field of Remembrance.
- Gathering at the Combined Services Memorial.
- Submariners paying their respects.
- A poignant moment at the Westminster service.