With the 77th Anniversary of the raid almost upon us, here is the schedule of events both in the UK and in Saint-Nazaire.
Saturday 23rd March - London
Society lunch for Members and Associate Members in the Gascoine Room, Union Jack Club, London, (opposite Waterloo Station): starts at 11.30; finishing approximately 15.00. This year's Guest of Honour will be Captain Jolyon Woodard RN, Commanding Officer, Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Following the meal there will be an illustrated talk, on the subject of Bletchley Park, wartime home of the Government Code and Cypher School, given by the Park's Research Historian Dr, David Kenyon.
Wednesday 27th March - Saint-Nazaire, France
Remembrance Service at Escoublac Military Cemetery at 15.00.
In the evening there will be a Society Dinner in honour of our friends in France, to which Associate Society Members are welcome.
Thursday 28th March - Saint-Nazaire, France
The main Society commemoration will take place at the Commando Memorial, Saint-Nazaire, 11.30. This will be followed at 12.00 by a Vin d’ honneur hosted by the Mairie.
If you plan to attend the main ceremony on the 28th, please can you let the Society know in order to ensure access to the Monument du Commando.
For information relating to the Cemetery at Esacoublac see here - https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/2081103/escoublac-la-baule-war-cemetery
A sample of the several plinths and commemoratives plaques which comprise the body of the Operation Chariot Memorial at the base of Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth.
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Other Ceremonies and Memorials
Aside from the major commemorations, those who wish to pay their respects to the memory of the fallen might bear in mind the National Memorial Aboretum at Alrewas, near Lichfield, Staffordshire, where can be found memorials to both the Commandos and to Combined Operations Command (www.thenma.org.uk) The Naval Memorials at Plymouth, Portsmouth and Chatham contain the names of many of the Naval personnel who lost their lives on the Raid; and a number of Commando personnel are commemorated in Brookwood Military Cemetery, in Surrey. Each year the Commando Veterans' Association will hosts its annual Summer Service at Alrewas; and over in November, the CVA holds its annual Remembrance ceremony at Fort William and Spean Bridge. This is a significant event, amidst the beauty of the Highlands, and you can find further details at the CVA website - http://www.commandoveterans.org/site/events
Special commemorative events
Over recent years there have been a number of privately organised and funded expeditions to Saint-Nazaire, mainly carried out by representatives of our Armed Forces wishing to pay their respects in a rather more unconventional manner - be it via a sponsored cycle ride, or a trip to the port by motorcycle. While these do not involve the Society directly, we might, were we to be informed beforehand, be able to assist with information, local contacts and even publicity where appropriate. Details of how to do this can be found on our 'Contact Us' page.
Events and Commemorations...
Events Associated with the 77th Anniversary, March, 2019