Unveiling of GLARAC memorial plaque at the D Day Museum in Southsea, Portsmouth
The fifth GLARAC memorial plaque was unveiled at the D Day Museum in Southsea, Portsmouth on Sunday 16th Oct 2011. The location was chosen as the museum is very close to the Portsmouth Naval Memorial that bears the names of those that were lost on-board HMS Acasta.
Before the service the group of around 70 attendees met at the Naval Memorial to view the names of those lost on-board HMS Acasta on that fateful day of June 8th 1940. The group then moved over to the museum to begin the memorial service.
The introduction was given by David Emery (GLARAC Treasurer) whose father, Leonard Emery, was lost on-board HMS Acasta. The group listened as David outlined the aims of GLARAC and mentioned that today was to serve as an act of remembrance and gratitude to all who gave their lives in HM Ships Glorious, Ardent and Acasta in the Norwegian waters over 70 years ago.
Prayers were said and then the plaque was unveiled by Garry Carter, Grandson of the sole survivor from HMS Acasta, Cyril Carter.
Following the unveiling of the plaque Sheila Welch, whose father, Henry Edward Clarke, was lost on-board HMS Acasta read out a poem she had written:
June 1940 – many years ago
Events stay in our memories that are very sad to know
Aircraft carrier Glorious left Norway’s war-torn shore
Ardent and Acasta they were sailing home once more
With Scharnhorst and Gneisenau they made a gallant fight
But a torpedo from Acasta crippled Scharnhorst’s might
Too late our three brave ships were sunk, at what a dreadful cost
When the final toll was counted over 1500 had been lost
Escaping on Carley floats with no-one at their side
The ocean was so bitterly cold, that one by one they died
Thirty five survived the shock of this horrendous day
And so we remember them all with pride on this and every day'
Following further words of remembrance the service was closed by David Emery. The group were invited to tea and coffee after the event and stories of lost loved ones were shared amongst the members. After the drinks were finished the group were able to tour the outstanding D Day exhibitions on display at the museum.
In the afternoon a buffet lunch was kindly laid on at the home of Sheila and Peter Welch in Fareham for those members who wished to attend.
Some photos from the event. Please click on the image to enlarge
Garry Carter unveils the GLARAC plaque
David Emery says a few words
Sheila Welch reads the GLARAC poem
GLARAC members at the Portsmouth War Memorial
GLARAC wreath at Portsmouth Naval Memorial
GLARAC plaque which is now permanently displayed at the D-Day Museum Southsea