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Brave Second World War soldiers remembered at Lowestoft service

PUBLISHED: 22:20 09 October 2014 | UPDATED: 22:20 09 October 2014

Royal Naval Patrol Service ceremony
by Mick Howes

Royal Naval Patrol Service ceremony by Mick Howes

Archant

Brave sailors who risked and lost their lives in the Second World War have been remembered at an annual service in Lowestoft.

Royal Naval Patrol Service ceremony
by Mick HowesRoyal Naval Patrol Service ceremony by Mick Howes

On Saturday the Royal Navy Patrol Service Association held in 39th annual service of remembrance at the Bell Vue Park, where a memorial to fallen service members is based.

During the war the Royal Navy Patrol Service’s headquarters was based in Lowestoft and 14,500 men died serving on vital mine sweeping and anti-submarine marine warfare duties in the conflict.

About 20 veterans, who were proudly wearing the silver badge awarded by Winston Churchill after the war, attended the service of remembrance, which drew a crowd of about 200 at the war memorial.

The service was conducted by association padre Tim Jenkins with its president Garry Titmuss and vice presidents Jon Scoles and David Braybrooke taking part as well as music was played by the Great Yarmouth Brass Band.

Royal Naval Patrol Service ceremony
by Mick HowesRoyal Naval Patrol Service ceremony by Mick Howes

After the service, which included a wreath laying ceremony and a two minute silence, the veterans then took part in a march past, salute and sunset ceremony in Sparrows Nest garden where the service’s headquarters during the war.

Leo Whisstock, the association’s national secretary and whose father Joseph served in the service, said: “We had about 200 people today but as the number of veterans are dwindling there were about 20 there.

“As with every service it was very poignant. You look at the veterans and it was if they were back in the parade ground with their commanding officers in the war.

“They did a very dangerous job in the war. The service lost 60 ships and 14,500 men were killed out of the 66,000 who served in it.

Royal Naval Patrol Service ceremony
by Mick HowesRoyal Naval Patrol Service ceremony by Mick Howes

The veterans are all fiercely proud of the role they played in the war.”

Saturday’s event also saw the association’s re-furbished flap pole and a new memorial plaque were dedicated.

on Friday the association held it annual meeting at Lowestoft’s Trinity Methodist Church followed by a reunion dinner at the Hatfield Hotel.

It was the last reunion dinner as the service says it is no longer feasible to hold future meeting due to the dwindling number of veterans.

Royal Naval Patrol Service ceremony
by Mick HowesRoyal Naval Patrol Service ceremony by Mick Howes

However Mr Whisstock said the annul service of remembrance and the events in Sparrow Nest gardens would continue “until the last man standing.”

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