On Saturday the St John marine ambulance Flying Christine III took part in a special sea service to mark the 80th anniversary of the sinking of HMS Charybdis and HMS Limbourne.
St John offered to assist after the organisers of the event made a last minute public appeal for an extra boat to carry families of those who were lost on the the Royal Navy cruiser and destroyer during World War 2. The volunteer crew of the Flying Christine were delighted to help. The Flying Christine joined the St Peter Port Lifeboat, enabling all those who wanted to to travel into the Little Russel for the short ceremony.
Our involvement in the wreath laying service was especially fitting because 80 years ago, during the Occupation of Guernsey, St John Ambulance personal retrieved the bodies of 21 sailors who were washed up on Guernsey’s beaches. Every year we remember those who were lost at sea and representatives of Guernsey’s ambulance service and the St John charity also take part in the memorial service at La Foulon cemetery.
This year the Chief Executive of St John Ambulance and Rescue Service, the Cadet of the Year and Badger of the Year placed wreaths on the war graves in the service attended by His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor and island dignitaries.
A total of 504 servicemen died in the sinking of British the warships during Operational Tunnel.