Crew of town’s ‘adopted’ World War Two ship remembered

A MEMORIAL service will be held later this month for crew members of a World War Two escort ship, which was adopted by Saffron Walden.

One hundred and fifty eight officers and men of H.M.S. Lapwing’s 219-strong crew lost their lives when the ship was torpedoed by a U-boat on March 20, 1945. It had been escorting a convoy of ships to the Kola Inlet, northern Russia.

As part of the Government’s War Week in 1941, the town raised over �250,000 to sponsor the corvette and have its coat of arms placed on the quarter deck – a huge amount considering the average wage was about �3 per week.

A reunion weekend organised by the H.M.S Lapwing Association will take place from March 23-25.

Saffron Walden Mayor Councillor Cliff Treadwell will be joining members of the town council, Royal British Legion, Russian Convoy Veterans, Royal Navy Veterans and Royal Navy Reserve Veterans for a memorial service on the Saturday in the Close Gardens on the High Street.

Four wreaths will be laid at a memorial in the garden – one for the lost crew, another for their widows, one for relatives and a final wreath by the mayor on behalf of Saffron Walden.

The town’s Air and Army Cadets will also be in attendance, along with the Bugler from the Saffron Walden Boys Brigade Company.

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The service will begin at 2.30pm on March 24.

The association has asked anyone who would like to join them to be at the Close Gardens for 2pm.