On a cold, but thankfully sunny, day more than thirty Dunedin Society members gathered at the Southsea Naval Memorial for the annual HMS Dunedin Remembrance day service. Timed once again to coincide with the moments of the tragic sinking of the ship, the small crowd of family members and three of the survivors stood in solemn remembrance of the brave men who lost their lives beneath the waves of the South Atlantic sixty-nine years ago. The Last Post sounded its poignant tune, a wreath was laid, and our three survivors each gave readings: Bill Gill read the Exhortation, Jim Davis the Kohima Epitaph and Andrew “Boy” McCall a Psalm.
As usual, most of those who attended the service went back to the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth for a bite to eat and a chance to chat amongst each other. It was a time, too, to remember in particular Bertie Jeffreys, one of our survivors whom we lost only a few weeks ago. Bertie so loved to say a few words at our reunions and, incredibly, it was no different this year. He had made a recording of his speech only a very short time before he died and it was played to the members of the Dunedin Society at the RMC. Michael Gill, who had written and read Bertie’s eulogy at his funeral, read it one more time to round off a sad and moving remembrance of dear Bertie.
Many stayed on for dinner and overnight for more chat and memories and now we look forward to next year and the seventieth anniversary.
Our thanks go to everyone who made this year’s reunion another great success, but especially to Karen Kebby for the overall organisation and to Dave Allen for masterminding the Southsea service once again.
More photos below, click on a thumbnail to view larger image :-