Award For Helping To Find A Lost D-Day Wreck
A diving club's help in finding the wreck of a ship lost during D-Day for one of the few who survived its sinking 75 years ago was rewarded with an award at the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) annual conference this month.
Southsea Sub Aqua Club had joined the search for the ship that went down in 1944 with the loss of 35 of the 40-man crew. It started with the chance meeting of archaeologist John Henry Phillips, 25, and naval veteran Patrick Thomas, 95, during a D-Day commemoration. Patrick told John the story of how he had escaped but the ship had never been found and how he wished to honour his teenage friends who died in the sinking.
The story of how John found the wreck and the friendship between the two has been made into a feature-length documentary called No Roses on a Sailor's Grave.
The role of Southsea Sub Aqua Club in helping to identify the wreck has honoured with the Adopt A Wreck Award at the NAS conference in Portsmouth.
The club did extensive research into wrecks in the Baie de Seine and their detailed survey work is to be used in a bid to gain these rapidly decaying ships better protection.
Alison Mayor from the club said: 'The wreck is just one of at least 150 in the Baie de Seine believed to be associated with the Allied forces invasion. Our report has been submitted to the French Maritime Cultural Department and will form part of the documentation supporting the application for UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. We hope that our work will help keep the memory of these events alive and properly recorded within history'.