Hayling Island memorial set to be unveiled

HMS Queen Elizabeth as she started her second phase of sea trials last month. Photo: LPhot Kyle Heller

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COUNTESS Mountbatten will unveil a memorial to an elite force on Hayling Island.

Lord Louis Mountbatten ordered the formation of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPPs), who were trained on Hayling in the 1940s.

Their task was to survey invasion coastlines, including the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, in mini submarines and canoes.

The Countess, Lord Louis’ elder daughter, said she was ‘really honoured’ to be asked.

She added: ‘I was particularly pleased to hear about this memorial because when I was a Wren at HMS Tormentor in Warsash, from May 1943 to August 1944, we looked after some of the COPP flotillas and of course were very conscious of the extraordinary work they were undertaking.’

The memorial will be unveiled on Hayling seafront in September.