Model boats bring back D-Day memories for navy veterans

It was a very special for both parties when veterans who had served on board HMS Ramillies in the Second World War  met up with members of The Portsmouth Model Boat Display Team at Canoe Lake ''(left to right) Viewing a modelof HMS Ramillies - Bernard Mallion (86) who served on the ship in 1943-1944 and Victor Stamp (93) from Cowplain who served on her from 1939  ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (131060-9797)

It was a very special for both parties when veterans who had served on board HMS Ramillies in the Second World War met up with members of The Portsmouth Model Boat Display Team at Canoe Lake ''(left to right) Viewing a modelof HMS Ramillies - Bernard Mallion (86) who served on the ship in 1943-1944 and Victor Stamp (93) from Cowplain who served on her from 1939 ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (131060-9797)

Naval reservist and teacher AB Emma Cutler helps Isobel Turner, 11, to salute.   PHOTO: Royal Navy

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AS veterans watched model boats go into battle, their memories of conflict and camaraderie came flooding back.

Men who served in HMS Ramillies were treated to a display of historic battleships at Canoe Lake, Southsea.

A battle raged between French vessels from the 18th century and HMS Ajax from the Second World War.

Flower-class corvettes HMCS Snowberry and HMS Alisma set about sinking a submarine and there was a parade of all the boats around the lake afterwards.

The sound of gunfire and smoke and pyrotechnics were produced by electronic equipment attached to the models.

Victor Stamp, 93, of Cowplain, was a chief petty officer cook for HMS Ramillies from 1939 and 1941.

‘Seeing all the boats shook me up,’ he said. ‘It’s brought back a lot of memories of my time (in the navy).’

HMS Ramillies was named after the Battle of Ramillies and served in both world wars. On June 6, 1944, she provided support for the Normandy Landings.

She was sold in 1946 and scrapped in 1949.

Alec Wickens, 82, who was a cadet on the ship, said he thought the day, which was put together by Portsmouth Model Boat Display Team, was fantastic. ‘I would like to thank the club for doing this,’ he said. ‘Watching the models gave me that same feeling I got when I was a cadet.

‘Being in the armed forces was a major part of my life.’

Yesterday’s event was part of The HMS Ramillies Association’s visit to Portsmouth.

Earlier in the day members attended a service at St Ann’s Church in Portsmouth Naval Base.

Former signalman Bernard Mallion, 86, of Hastings, described it was like to be part of D-Day.

‘It was frightening,’ he said.

‘There was an enormous amount of action going on,’ he said.

‘There was an awful lot of killing. Our association was formed to remember those that didn’t come back.’

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