ABP honours the fallen

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Remembrance at the Royal Naval Patrol Service memorial in Grimsby


A moving service was held at the Royal Naval Patrol Service (RNPS) memorial at Associated British Ports (ABP) Port of Grimsby on Friday 10th November.

Guests, including families of those named on the memorial, and dignitaries from across Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire including the Deputy Lord Lts of Lincolnshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire, Mayor of North East Lincolnshire and the MP for Great Grimsby, joined Simon Bird, Regional Director for the poignant service led by ABP colleagues Tony Lewis and Christopher Hughes. The Act of Commitment was led by the Revd Canon David Truby.

The annual service commemorates those who served in the RNPS, known as Harry Tate’s Navy in the First World War, and Churchill’s Pirates in the Second World War. In both wars it comprised of trawlers commandeered for minesweeping duties, and the crew were mainly fishermen.

The memorial was the concept of and created by the Royal Naval Patrol Service veterans led by the late Tom Walkley, and with assistance from ABP. It was officially opened in 2001 and is a tribute to the 128 men and 39 trawlers who were lost during the last great war.

The Port of Grimsby, known then as HMS Beaver, was the base for these men who swept the channels to keep the vital shipping lanes of the Humber Estuary and North Sea, its approaches, and its ports open.