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RFA Mounts Bay personnel visit Commonwealth War Graves cemetery

5 February 2018
Personnel from RFA Mounts Bay paid their respects to Servicemen buried in a Commonwealth War Graves cemetery on the Caribbean island of Curacao.

Naval Service personnel, along with embarked Army personnel, visited the six graves, which are in an enclosure of a large civilian cemetery.

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: “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. 

I am pleased we had the opportunity to visit the servicemen buried here to pay our respects

Engineering Apprentice Mark Brady

“It’s nice to know that although they are buried on the other side of the Atlantic they are still remembered.”

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 April 21 1941.

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

Army Marine Engineer L/Cpl Thomas Macfadyen, 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.”

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