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Post Info TOPIC: Sinking of RMS Lancastria,17 June, 1940


PWSTS Standard Bearer

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Sinking of RMS Lancastria,17 June, 1940
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I will be parading the Standard in Glasgow on Saturday June 13th at the memorial service commemorating the sinking of RMS Lancastria when she was bombed and sank in 20 minutes off St Nazaire, France with the loss of 4,000+ on 17 June, 1940.

She was cruise liner commandeered as a troopship and following the fall of Dunkirk was sent west to pick up the remainder of our retreating troops. They were told to pick up as many as possible and to ignore any safe-loading instructions with the result that in the haste and confusion nobody kept an accurate count so that when she was attacked from the air and hit by three bombs and sank in 20 minutes it could only be estimated that 4,000+ (note the +) had lost their lives, including 375 of her crew. At the time the news was suppressed and even today the British gov refuses to classify her as a war grave.

The main memorial service will be in St Nazaire but there will be another on Clydebank because that was where she was built.

The service is at 14.30hrs at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank, Glasgow which now stands on the site where she was built and I would be pleased to be alongside anyone that can make the trip and will in any case be honoured to fly our standard in such a worthy cause.

Mike

 

 



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Mike,

I think that might just be doable from Warrington, are you planning to do it in a day, or does it involve an overnight stay?

Elwyn



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PWSTS Standard Bearer

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Hi Elwyn,

I'll be going up on the Friday by train to stay with friends in Edinburgh, go over to Glasgow for the service, train then taxi out to Clydebank, then back to Edinburgh at whatever time Saturday to return to London sometime Sunday.
It's a stretch to do it in one day from here as it means getting back so late I couldn't get home so it's not worth the rush but I'm happy to spend as long as it takes with anyone that attends before making my way back to Edinburgh Sat evening. (Or straight back to Edinburgh if that suits better.)

Hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you and anyone else if possible.

Mike

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Hi Mike

Thanks for your reply, I've just booked the train to arrive Glasgow Central 1116, return home 1740. I understand there's a buffet at the hospital for 1300, and muster at the memorial at 1415, so I'll see you at one or the other on the day. Look forward to the day, hope some more can make it.

Elwyn



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PWSTS Standard Bearer

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Hi Elwyn,

According to Google Maps the hospital is 8.6 mile/30 min cab ride away from Glasgow Central or 5 min cab after 30 min train to Clydebank from GC, train every 20 mins or so.

I'm looking at the 10.55 Edinburgh/1210 Glasgow Central, 12.52 GC/ 13.12 Clydebank, cab to site but can check it out for earlier if you like. I don't mind meeting up wherever, Glasgow Central?, or would it be best to go direct to site independently so we're not waiting around in case either has problems and at least one of us will be there representing. What do you think?

Mike

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I suggest that as I am due there first, I will meet you off platform 3 at 1210. I will be in my blazer and cap, and we can share a cab or, if you prefer a train, to the venue. If by chance I am not there you make your own way as planned. If you are not on that train I will also make my own way there.

Does that sound feasible, or I can be flexible. Looking forward to the day.

Elwyn

 



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PWSTS Standard Bearer

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Sounds like a plan Elwyn.

I only suggest the train cos I still get free travel but I'm easy (as the actress said to the bishop!) so whatever works is fine by me.

Should be good, look forward to seeing you there.

Mike

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Hi,

Some pictures from our trip to Glasgow. I hope I haveuploaded them correctly.

Elwyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSCF0361.JPGDSCF0362.JPGDSCF0363.JPGDSCF0364.JPGDSCF0365.JPGDSCF0366.JPGDSCF0367.JPGDSCF0343.JPGDSCF0344.JPGDSCF0345.JPGDSCF0346.JPGDSCF0347.JPGDSCF0348.JPGDSCF0349.JPGDSCF0350.JPGDSCF0351.JPGDSCF0352.JPGDSCF0353.JPGDSCF0354.JPGDSCF0355.JPGDSCF0356.JPGDSCF0357.JPGDSCF0358.JPGDSCF0359.JPGDSCF0360.JPG



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PWSTS Forum Member

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Well done, fine effort and show of our colours

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Cool Colin, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.



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Absolutely splendid. Well done lads great effort.

 



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Thanks for being there a good lot of photos.

EJ



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E. J. Ford


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Thanks for being there Elwyn and thanks for the photos that show a little of what a great event it was as neither of us expected it to be as high powered as it was. Not a huge turnout but OK and great given the location with some very important people in attendance in a high class venue with champers and Scottish shortcake in addition to the usual wines and soft drinks. I couldn't get a run down of exactly who was there but there were mayoral chains, polished brass, gold braid, swords, spurs, armsful of badges and accoutrements, medals and sashes galore and posh frocks, diamonds and pearls (real I'm sure) for the many well-heeled ladies also in attendance, all overshadowed I'm glad to say by a few representatives of the survivors families who made it a very poignant and realistic occasion.

Both Elwyn and I were made extremely welcome and the standard was well received by all and given the occasion was insisted to be at the front of the parade alongside the Saltaire, just behind the National flag and the MNA standard leading the way with a couple of British Legions following behind. The Guard of Honour was from HM submarines, pin-sharp in unison, with the West of Scotland Military Wives Choir, let down slightly by poor amplication, still adding greatly to the occasion. The whole thing was held together by a pipe band that was a pleasure to march behind, the usual speeches and supplications were kept to an acceptable level I thought and all in all it was good to be there, well worth the effort and I don't regret any of it for one moment.

I made a special effort to try to find the organisers to make sure they knew that we were there, and who we were, and eventually was successful in that the lady committee leader, very posh but very friendly and appreciative, was blown away as I explained that even though primarily we were there to pay our respects on behalf of the Lancastria we were also there to honour the Clyde and what it represents to all merchant seamen as if they hadn't built them then we couldn't have sailed them.

She did say however that as it took a lot of organising and the folk doing it all were getting a bit frail that it would probably be the last event of it's kind so I'm doubly pleased we made the effort to parade the PWSTS standard at such an important landmark in our history.

Mike

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Very well done Mike and Elwyn, you have both done our association proud!

Roger.

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Excellent, thank you both.

Regards John



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Celer et Audax



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Thank you all for your very kind words, but it was a privilege.

Thanks Elwyn



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Well done Mike and Elwyn thank you both and photos where are great

Thank you again

Paul


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Paul Ditchfield


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Well done Guys, You make me proud to be a member of our "Old Boys Association"..

Thankyou

Dave.

PS Hope to see you in September in London..

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