DOVER PARADES AND SERVICES HONOUR WAR HEROES

 

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Dover to pay their respects to those who were killed and wounded during the Zeebrugge Raid 100 years ago which was the most audacious amphibious attack of the Great War.

 

The raid on the Belgian port was a desperate attempt by the Royal Navy’s Dover Patrol to stop German submarines wreaking havoc among allied shipping. During the raid on 23 April 1918, 277 men were killed and 356 wounded.

 

Parades and services were organised by Dover Town Council on St George’s Day (April 23) at both St James’s Cemetery and in the town centre, culminating in the striking of the Zeebrugge Bell at Maison Dieu at noon by Mayor Neil Rix, a remembrance ceremony undertaken each year since the raid.

 

At the cemetery’s Zeebrugge memorial where many of those killed are buried, wreaths were laid including those by Mayor Neil Rix, Commandant General of the Royal Marines Major General Charlie Stickland, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports – The Lord Boyce, Lord Lieutenant of Kent Viscount De L’isle, Governor of the Province of West Flanders Mr Carl Decaluwe, German Embassy Defence Attaché Commander Steffen Handrick, Australian High Commission Royal Australian Naval Advisor Captain S Craig, New Zealand Defence Staff Lieutenant Commander T McCall, Charlie Elphicke MP, other civic dignitaries from Kent and Flanders, descendants of the war heroes, Royal British Legion and other armed forces associations.

 

Services were officiated by Honorary Chaplain for Dover Town Council Reverend Dr John Walker, Royal Naval Chaplain The Venerable Ian Wheatley and Bishop of Dover Rt Reverend Trevor Willmott.

 

Royal Marines Band Collingwood led the town march followed by a guard and detachments of the Royal Navy HMS Somerset, Royal Marines, RNLI Dover Lifeboat Station, Dover and Deal Sea Cadets Corps, Dover District Scout Council, Duke of York’s Royal Military School students, Dover Federation for the Arts Combined Cadet Force, Goodwin Academy students.

 

The Dover event followed two days of commemorations at Zeebrugge and Ostend (April 21 – 22), which were attended by Mayor Neil Rix. He said: “The strength and reverence of this year’s commemorations was overwhelming, and I’d like to thank all those who participated and the people of Dover who came to pay their respects.”

 

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