Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

RFA Mounts Bay visits Commonwealth War Graves in Curacao

RFA Mounts Bay visits Commonwealth War Graves in Curacao
2 February 2018
RFA crew and embarked Army personnel from RFA Mounts Bay recently took some time away from their normal duties and hectic schedule to visit and pay their respects to service personnel buried in a small Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) enclosure on the Caribbean island of Curacao.

The six graves are in a large civilian cemetery, the smartness and uniformity of the CWGC headstones and iron enclosure contrasting noticeably with the weather worn local burial plots that surround them.

Eight of the ships company, from across departments, made up the team who tended the graves and laid a wreath on behalf of the ship, which was alongside at Willemstad for a maintenance period.

Engineering Apprentice Mark Brady, who is in training to be an RFA Motorman, said of the day, “I am pleased we had the opportunity to visit the servicemen buried here to pay our respects and make sure their surroundings are well cared for. It’s nice to know that although they are buried on the other side of the Atlantic, they are still remembered”.

I am pleased we had the opportunity to visit the servicemen buried here to pay our respects and make sure their surroundings are well cared for

Engineering Apprentice Mark Brady, RFA Mounts Bay

One of those buried at the cemetery is Merchant Seaman Lench of MV Elusa, a tanker which was sunk by a German U-boat on 21st April 1941.

His headstone stands alongside that of Lieutenant (E) Wright RNR who died whilst serving on board HMS Black Bear, an armed yacht employed as an anti-submarine vessel operating out of Trinidad.

Army Marine Engineer L/Cpl Thomas Macfadyen, someone who normally finds himself maintaining the Mexefloat and Combat Support Boat which is embarked on board Mounts Bay said, “I was very happy to take the time to make the visit, and it was interesting to find that there were soldiers buried here, especially when it is so far away from places we normally associate with the Second World War”. 

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.