Thursday, February 22, 2007

HMT Lancastria

Earlier today, I found a rather interesting news article (quoted below) about the troop ship Lancastria. This is a story that is quite close to my heart, as my grandfather was being evacuated from France around the same time as the disaster. A few months ago, I posted a review of a book about it by Jonathon Fenby, which can be read here.

Bombed ship 'should be war grave'

A man who survived the sinking of a ship during World War II in which 4,000 troops died is urging the government to declare the site a war grave.

The troop ship Lancastria was bombed and sunk in St Nazaire bay off the coast of France on 17 June 1940.

Reg Brown, 87, of Bedworth, Warwickshire, said he was "disheartened" after hearing divers are looking for souvenirs on the wreck.

He is to hand a 3,000-name petition to Downing Street next week.

Thousands of troops and refugees were on the ship as part of the evacuation of France.

Mr Brown, who boarded it an hour before the attack, was one of 2,000 men rescued.

He said: "As the boat sank and turned over upside down, there were hundreds singing 'roll out the barrel'. They knew they were going to die.

Source: BBC News Website

If you're interested in signing the petition, you can do so here:

Petition at lancastria.org.uk

Thank you for reading this,
Nick

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