With thanks to David Allen for making the arrangements and providing the following report:
At 13.00 hours on the 24th November 2004 some 40 relatives, shipmates and friends of the ship’s company of HMS Dunedin started to assemble in front of the Naval War Memorial on Southsea Common. Their purpose for being there was to remember and pray privately for all of those serving in the Dunedin who lost their lives following the sinking of the ship 63 years ago.
The ceremony which began at 13.21, the time at which the torpedoes were launched at the Dunedin in 1941, was followed five minutes later by the President of the Dunedin Society Bill Gill, himself a survivor of the sinking, reading the Exhortation, at the end of which a Royal Marine Bugler sounded the Last Post.
After the two minutes silence Bill announced The Kohima Epitaph and Reveille was sounded.
Bill laid a Wreath on behalf of all members of the Dunedin Society; many other people present coming forward with flowers and wreaths in remembrance of their relatives.
A large number of the group then converged upon the Queens Hotel where Chris Broadway ‘set up shop’ ready to answer any questions that were put forward to him in regard to the history of Dunedin and the men who served in her.
It was good to see familiar faces again and especially to welcome those who were attending the ceremony for the first time; new friends were being made as memories were recalled whilst it seemed that over a certain part of the room the lights were rolling (a naval term!)
At the same time as the wreath was laid at the Southsea Memorial, Bas Bowyer and family conducted a similar ceremony at the Dunedin Memorial at the National Arboretum.
Those who attended at Southsea were:
- Gwendoline Jackson (representing Joseph Walter Jackson)
- Gwenda Board, Sister
- Joyce E Cooper Sister (representing Alfred Temple and his friend Don Wells)
- Janet (representing Leslie Albert Weate) & her husband Mike Pinnell
- Vic & Joan Rutland, Marilyn Ash, Avril Rutland & Colin Rutland (representing CPO. SBA V Rutland)
- Bill Gill, Survivor and his wife, Isabel, and their son, Michael Gill (representing The Ship’s Company and the Dunedin Society)
- Jean Prendergast (representing Leslie Russell)
- David Gallop, Historian, Royal Naval College, Osbourne
- Brian Ward (representing CPO. WJ Hayward)
- Daniel Morgan (representing Cdr EO Unwin)
- Chris Broadway (representing Surgeon Lt. Cdr. H T L Broadway)
- Jim Davis, survivor, and his son and daughter, Sean Davis, Jill Oliver, together with his ex wife Joyce Faris, representing the Ship’s Company of HMS Dunedin
- Tommy and Elizabeth Handley, representing the Ship’s company Of HMS Dunedin (Tommy left the ship 6 days before she was lost)
- Tom Fielder and Joyce Fielder and Kath Elmes (sisters of Albert Sydney Frank Smith)
- Deborah Willott (representing Sub Lt. Robin A S Pratt)
- Freda Rozzell (family of Casualty)
- Ann Whaley (nee Winsborough) niece
- Joan E Petter, cousin (representing Sydney Winsborough)
- Jean Richardson, Lois Richardson and David Richardson (representing Tom Greenley)
- Anne Randall (representing Lt. Cdr. R M H Sowdon)
- Anthony & Betty Allen (representing Sgt S W Allen)
- David & Dawn Allen (representing Sgt. S W Allen)