THIS WEEK IN 1997: Memory of Olympic torch was rekindled by a trip to school

Lt Cdr Clark who used the Olympic flame to light the boiler of HMS Whitesand Bay
Lt Cdr Clark who used the Olympic flame to light the boiler of HMS Whitesand Bay
One of the town's Christmas trees

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Leonard Clark had a claim to fame that no other naval engineer could match.

Nearly half a century previously he ordered the boiler of his warship to be lit using the Olympic torch.

It was a measure taken to ensure the flame was kept flickering, true to the Olympic spirit, as it was taken from Corfu to Bari, Italy, during its journey to Wembley for the 1948 games.

Lieutenant Commander Clark’s memories of his mission to keep alight the Olympic flame were rekindled when he and other veterans of the frigate HMS Whitesand Bay visited HMS Temeraire in Portsmouth.

They went to the navy physical training school in Burnaby Road to see an Olympic torch from the 1948 games which was presented to the school in 1987 and displayed in its trophy cabinet.

Whitesand Bay took the flame from Corfu to Italy because the Iron Curtain had come down across Europe and it was impossible to take it overland from Greece.

Lt Cdr Clark said: ‘I should think I am the only engineering officer in history who has flashed up his boiler using the Olympic flame.’

Pictured: Lt Cdr Clark who used the Olympic flame to light the boiler of HMS Whitesand Bay