Memorial for sailors lost in sub tragedy

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A MEMORIAL has been unveiled to remember the crew of a Royal Navy submarine, which sank in 1951.

Relatives and former submariners gathered in Alderney to honour 75 sailors who died in the HMS Affray tragedy.

A wreath was laid at the spot where the Portsmouth-based submarine sank off the Channel Islands in mysterious circumstances that have sparked much debate since.

Affray left Portsmouth on April 16, 1951, and submerged about 30 miles south of the Isle of Wight at 9.15pm.

But she failed to resurface, prompting a search and rescue operation which involved 26 ships and submarines and every available aircraft.

The submarine was not found for two months until she was located seven miles north west of Alderney.

At the ceremony was Kevin Cook, son of Leading Seaman George Cook. He said: ‘We’ve had memorial services in Portsmouth, Gosport and so on, but actually being here so close to Affray and having this monument looking out towards where Affray is lying meant more than anything.’

The navy’s official inquiry concluded Affray sank because of a mechanical fault.

But controversial theories suggest there was a mutiny – or that the boat was sabotaged.