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Permanent memorial needed

PUBLISHED: 13:26 14 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:07 05 July 2010

THE effect of the declaration of war in September 1939 was immediate and far reaching but it is hard to imagine that anyone envisaged the totality of Lowestoft and its people's war time experience.

THE effect of the declaration of war in September 1939 was immediate and far reaching but it is hard to imagine that anyone envisaged the totality of Lowestoft and its people's war time experience.

Evacuation, fishermen young and old called up, fishing fleet, shipyard and properties requisitioned including the convent, hotels, schools, hospital, the brewery.

The Sparrow's Nest became the operational and training base for the Royal Naval Patrol Service with the majority of homes also serving as billets for naval personnel. It has been estimated that between 60,000 and 70,000 men passed through Sparrow's Nest with up to 10,000 in the area at any given time. This total commitment to the war effort came to an end in September 1946 when Harry Tate's Navy, as it became known, left the Nest.

The magnificent memorial to the 2,385 men with no known grave but the sea carries the names of at least 120 men from East Anglia, including 48 men from Lowestoft. It is also a symbol of the common bond between Harry Tate's Navy and the people of Lowestoft with its permanent place in the towns' history.

There are, however, over 1,000 men of the RNPS with graves in many countries including Great Britain and the United States of America not remembered on the memorial with over 50 from East Anglia including 11 from Lowestoft.

We of the RNPS Association believe a memorial to all who gave their lives serving with the RNPS should be built in our country's National Memorial Arboretum, at Alrewas, Staffordshire, and have set up a memorial fund for this purpose. We also believe there may well be those in Lowestoft who agree with our sentiment and would wish to contribute to what will be a permanent memorial to all who gave their lives serving with the RNPS.

Contributions can be made at any branch of HSBC to The Royal Naval Patrol Service Memorial Fund roll number 40-42-12 account number 81888552 or sent to Mr A Baker, co-ordinator, Royal Naval Patrol Service Memorial Fund, 7 Deanbrook Close, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 4XS.

MR A G BAKER

Solihull

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