Chatham Naval Memorial, together with its counterparts at Portsmouth and Plymouth, stands in tribute to Royal Navy sailors who have no grave but the sea (Photo: Centenary News)

CWGC call to join remembrance project for those lost at sea

Posted on on 18 August 2017
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Three naval memorials are the focus for a new Commonwealth War Graves Commission project, encouraging people to research the stories of thousands of sailors who have no grave but the sea.

The distinctive trio of monuments - built at the British naval bases of Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham after the Great War - remember the Royal Navy's dead of both world wars. 

CWGC is inviting individuals, community groups, schools and organisations to discover and share the stories behind the multiple columns of neatly engraved names. A resource pack has been produced for participants.


The venture, among events marking the CWGC's own Centenary in 2017, has been launched to coincide with the opening of the Tower of London poppy installation, Wave, at the Plymouth Naval Memorial on August 23.

Jennie Sweeney, Head of Community Engagement at CWGC, said: "We encourage you and any organisation you are associated with to register for the 'For Those in Peril' pack and use this resource as your starting point to research, remember and share local stories.

"Your research and acts of remembrance, will be documented by us to create a snapshot of how communities continue to remember those with no grave but the sea, 100 years after the First World War."

Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock (top left), lost when his flagship was sunk at the Battle of Coronel, is among 10,000  dead of the First World War commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. 'Kit' Cradock perished while leading an unsuccessful attack on the Imperial German Navy's East Asia Squadron - commanded by Admiral Maximilian von Spee - off the coast of Chile in November 1914 (Photo: Centenary News)

The Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham Naval Memorials were built as identical monuments, each taking the form of a distinctive obelisk, providing a landmark for shipping. 

They were unveiled within a few months of each other in 1924, and later extended to include casualties of the Second World War. Today, they commemorate more than 65,000 personnel of both world wars.

The Plymouth Memorial - sited on The Hoe, overlooking the approaches to Devonport naval base - includes the names of Australian and South African WW1 sailors.

The Tower of London poppy installation, 'Wave', is being presented at the Plymouth Naval Memorial from 23 August - 19 November 2017 as part of the UK's 14-18 NOW cultural programme marking the WW1 Centenary.

Some of the 8,571 First World World War losses commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent (Photo: Centenary News)

Also in Centenary News:

'For Then, For Now, Forever' - CWGC Centenary exhibition at Brookwood Cemetery until 19 November 2017.

CWGC founded 100 years ago during the First World War.

Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Images: Centenary News

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