Society honours Mary Rose diver with plaque

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A DIVER who helped discover the location of the Mary Rose has been honoured with a blue plaque.

It was unveiled at the Portchester home of Edward John Towse, who died last year.

John and Maureen Maidment display the blue plaque with owners Tony and Jon Laurence, John Towse's nephew David Wells;  Jean Withinshaw, chairwoman of the Portchester Society; John Baldry, a diver on the Mary Rose, and John Bevan, Chairman of the Historical Diving Society
Picture: Habibur Rahman PPP-170905-230134006

John and Maureen Maidment display the blue plaque with owners Tony and Jon Laurence, John Towse's nephew David Wells; Jean Withinshaw, chairwoman of the Portchester Society; John Baldry, a diver on the Mary Rose, and John Bevan, Chairman of the Historical Diving Society Picture: Habibur Rahman PPP-170905-230134006

He helped pinpoint the location of the famous warship in 1965, alongside fellow diver, Alexander McKee who died in 1992.

The Portchester Society is behind the plaque and its vice-president Sir Michael Moore, led the unveiling ceremony.

He said: ‘John was one of the key divers in relocating the Mary Rose and was a diver of national repute.’

He added: ‘He played a full part in village life here. He was a great and humble man who played his part to the full.’

John Towse of Portchester, pictured in 2011

John Towse of Portchester, pictured in 2011

Mr Towse’s family and friends were in attendance alongside the local community. His nephew David Wells unveiled the plaque at the lifelong Portchester home of Mr Towse.

Christopher Dobbs, head of interpretation at the Mary Rose Trust and part of the team which helped with the excavation in 1982 said: ‘John was a key figure in the search for the Mary Rose.

‘We are immensely proud that one of the Mary Rose divers has been honoured in this way.’

Dr John Bevan, chairman of the Historical Diving Society worked alongside Mr Towse’s in recent years and was in attendance at the ceremony.

The blue plaque

The blue plaque

He said: ‘John was quiet guy and he didn’t boast about what he did. You had to know him quite well in order to realise his achievements.’

‘He was a very enthusiastic diver who led many expeditions and projects and was one of the founding members of the local sub-aqua club in Southsea and that became one of the biggest and most successful diving clubs in the country.’

Mr Bevan’s wife Ann added: ‘He was so modest, he was the world’s most modest man.’

She added: ‘He did the research and very accurately located the position where the wreck was eventually found and that was down to John himself and that is an 
amazing achievement and Alexander McKee 
would have never have found it if it wasn’t for John’s assistance.’