Navy pays tribute to sailors who lost their lives in Fareham base bombing

NAVAL staff gathered to commemorate lives lost at their base 75 years ago.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th June 2018, 9:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:56 pm
The Last Post is sounded    Picture: Keith Woodland
The Last Post is sounded Picture: Keith Woodland

Thirty-three sailors were killed and 30 more wounded when a German bomb was dropped on an accommodation hut at HMS Collingwood in Fareham in 1943.

The sailors, all volunteers to ‘Serve King and Country’, were mainly 17 and 18-year -olds who had only been in the Royal Navy for just over a fortnight and were still under training.

Current staff, trainees and the base’s band gathered at the precise location where the bomb was dropped in the early hours on June 18 during the Scond World War to sing hymns and say prayers in honour of the trainees who lost their lives.

The Last Post is sounded Picture: Keith Woodland

Commanding Officer Captain Rob Vitali said: ‘It is quite a small memorial service for something that happened 75 years ago and it is something which is quite poignant.

‘I think with modern training at an estate like this you often forget these things that happened a long time ago.’

Captain Vitali laid a wreath at the commemorative service, which also saw a guard of honour and The Last Post performed to mark the occasion.

A six-piece band were also present at the service and played The National Anthem to end the memorial.

Capt Vitali added: ‘Thirty-three people were killed and we like to mark these events.

‘I think it brings something home to the people serving here, both the new and the old and the young sailors here as well.’