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Service of remembrance to honour heroes who gave their lives during Second World War

PUBLISHED: 10:52 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:18 19 September 2019

The Royal Naval Patrol Service Association was the main minesweeping fleet of the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Picture: Courtesy of Leo Whisstock

The Royal Naval Patrol Service Association was the main minesweeping fleet of the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Picture: Courtesy of Leo Whisstock

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Veterans of the Royal Naval Patrol Service will return to their wartime base in Lowestoft next month for their annual reunion service and parade.

A poignant scene from the 43rd RNPSA annual service and parade in Lowestoft last year. Picture: Mick HowesA poignant scene from the 43rd RNPSA annual service and parade in Lowestoft last year. Picture: Mick Howes

The 44th annual reunion service of remembrance and parade of the Royal Naval Patrol Service Association (RNPSA) takes place at Belle Vue Park in Lowestoft on Saturday, October 5, where a memorial to fallen service members is based.

The men, who manned the minesweepers and escort vessels and saw service in all waters of the world, will make their way to Lowestoft from all parts of the UK for the poignant annual event.

During the Second World War, 66,000 men were in the RNPS on 6,000 ships. Many were converted trawlers and drifters and by the end of the war they had lost 600 ships and 14,500 men.

The service starts at 11am in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft and after the service the parade will reform in Sparrows Nest Gardens for the march past and salute followed by 'Sunset'.

Leo Whisstock, national secretary of the RNPS Association, said: "Although our veterans are now in their late 90s there will be some on parade as well as family and friends and supporters from other local ex-forces associations.

"We welcome members of the public to come along and support us and to cheer on the last of the 'Sparrows' who swept channels in all waters of the world to allow the large Navy ships and convoys to get through, they also carried out anti-submaring work and convoy escorts."

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