Museum Remembrance Area

The Friends are investing heavily in enhancing the remembrance area at the Museum to make it a more fitting space to contemplate the sacrifice made by those whose names are listed on the Wall of Remembrance.  The pictures show the arrival of three 120 year old olive trees (about the same age as the Submarine Service).  Some of the new planters can also be seen thought they have yet to be put into their final positions.

7 Comments

D A Feary

Letter from Cdr. J.J. Tall, Director, RNSM.

The Area of Remembrance

It was during a routine walk-round of the JFB and its surrounds, that the Chairman spotted the potential of using the starboard side and quarter of JFB as an Area of Remembrance, a long un-satisfied ambition of the Museum, and one which increasingly looked impossible to fulfil.

In fact the area identified has everything needed for an area of ‘reflection’. It is secluded, discreet, large enough to have a water feature and house a number of memorial benches (the Dolphin Branch of the Submariners Association has already voted to provide one), contains enough wall-space to create a boat-by-boat nominal list of those lost on operations, and it is overlooked by HMS X24 from within JFB.

It is this area, which will be paved and appropriately lit, that the Committee of the Friends has agreed to fund with a grant of £15,000. The Submariners Association have also agreed to provide a grant of £5,000, and this combined sum will provide an area worthy of those who paid the ultimate price. (25% in WWI, 36% in WWII, plus many more who lost their lives in peacetime accidents).

I pay tribute here to Mr Dennis Feary of the Museum’s Archive Working Party and Society of Friends who spent many months of painstaking research in the National Archives to complete the records.

Commander J.J. Tall, OBE, RN(Rtd)
Director Royal Navy Submarine Museum.

Thermopylae

Good afternoon Jeff. I seem to recall that many years ago those of us on the then Board of Trustees, chaired by your good self, discussed the possibility of having the statue of ‘The Submariner’ in the area of Remembrance. It was pointed out that the statue was too heavy! I was never convinced of this along with several others. I would like to think that this could be re-visited, assuming we can locate it.

David Yeomans

Unfortunately, in the past, this area has not been given the respect it deserves. I remember one occasion when the duty manager in charge of the museum on that particular day allowed it to be used as a cooking area for a bar-be-cue. A protest to this by all the guides present was met by an angry threat of instant dismissal.
Not, I think, that particular man’s finest hour.
David Yeomans

Jock McLees

David, you are so right! One of the reasons for the Friends’ decision to upgrade the area was that it had deteriorated to the point where it more resembled an inner city back alley than an area of remembrance. Also, the fact that the original purpose of the museum as whole was, in part, to be a memorial to those who had made the ultimate sacrifice was beginning to be forgotten. Now we just need the NMRN to play their part and repair or replace both the canopy that juts out from the JFB and the one that shelters the wall along its length. It is the Friends’ job to enhance; it is for the NMRN to to the maintenance. We are also working towards correcting a number of known errors on the Wall, but that will take some time …

aherman@hotmail.co.uk

From the panoramic pictures the Memorial Garden looks excellent and a fitting tribute to the many submariners who gave their lives in defence of their country and also more respectful to the families who visit.

Rob Forsyth

I took a group of personal friends to dine on Alliance the other night. One was Charlie Ross, TV auctioneer, who ran a high value charity auction for the appeal on Victory a couple of year ago and this was my way of saying thanks.He was wearing the cufflinks & badge he was given on that occasion by Tim Mclement. They spent a lot of time in the Memorial Garden and found it very moving and commented on just how simple, peaceful and well kept it looked – enhanced by the new olive trees.

David Yeomans

While this area has, at last, been upgraded other parts of the museum have been neglected for far too long. The sound system on Alliance has not been working for many months, if not years, and enquiries by the guides have been met with a dismissive comment

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