Royal Naval Association backs Time to Remember campaign

Halesowen's warship HMS Achates.

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First published in News

THE STOURBRIDGE and District Royal Naval Association have backed the Time to Remember campaign in honour of Halesowen's warship HMS Achates which was sunk in World War Two.

The Naval Association is holding a flag day at the Cornbow Centre on Saturday where members will be displaying models of warships and be on hand to discuss the Russian Convoys in which HMS Achates perished.

The Time to Remember campaign is aiming to get a permanent reminder of the HMS Achates, which was sunk in the Battle of the Barents Sea in 1942 with the loss of 113 crew, in the town.

Chairman of the Naval Association Chris Peace said: "The heroes of the HMS Achates deserve to be honoured and the Time to Remember campaign is wonderful way of recognising the sacrifice those men made.

"We have several members who served on the Russian Convoys, which were some of the most perilous missions of the war, and who have received their Arctic Star medals."

The townspeople of Halesowen took the HMS Achates to their heart after adopting the vessel in Warship Week and helped raise money for repairs and sent regular parcels and correspondence to its sailors.

Mr Peace explained though land-locked the Black Country has a long affiliation with the Navy.

He said: "We have now got about 30 members but there has always been a special relationship between this part of the world and the Navy.

"I'm not sure whether it is because Halesowen, Stourbridge and Dudley are so far away from the sea that local people have always seen a life at sea with a sense of adventure."

The RNA will have scale models of HMS Hood, HMS Birmingham and the new Daring class on show at the Cornbow Centre throughout Saturday.

Mr Peace said: "As well as our ships there will be different generations of members to talk to those interested in the Navy and its history - including the Arctic Convoys in which the HMS Achates was sunk.

"We are also always happy to have new members, either ex-servicemen or those with an affiliation to the Navy."

The RNA meet on the first Friday of every month at the Royal British Legion, Enville Street, Stourbridge.

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