MEMORIAL services to remember the sinking of wartime ships which led to the deaths of more than 1,500 men took place in Swanage. 

A short service was held on Thursday, June 8, at the Swanage War Memorial and then at St Mary's Church remembering the sinking of HMS Glorious, HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent in World War Two. 

All three ships were sunk on June 8, 1940 by the Germans in their boats Scharnhorst and Gneisenau while on their way back to the UK from the seas of Norway. 

Held by the Reverend Elaine Glover, she joined the mayor of Swanage Tina Foster and John Corben representing the Royal British Legion, amongst others, to remember HMS Glorious at the war memorial. 

Bournemouth Echo:

The total number of men killed or missing from Glorious was 1,207. 

The remembrance then moved on to St Mary’s Church, where the Reverend Ian Bird, who oversees the Church of England churches in Swanage and Studland, and ex-mayor Avril Harris attended. 

They were joined by Mid Dorset and North Poole MP Richard Drax, who shared about his grandfather Admiral Drax. 

He was an expert in laying mines, and Mr Drax cut the cake before handing it out with tea and coffee. 

Reverend Glover said: “He was so helpful and engaged with us. He was such a very nice man.”

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Anna Richard and Sally Maltby, whose fathers survived the sinkings after Glorious went down, were also there along with Royal Marine Henry Donan and Patrick Ian McLauchlen. 

Revered Glover said: “There's a lot of conspiracy theories as to why the German ships Scharnhorst and Genisenau shot those three ships and it's more than likely an intelligence blunder, although it has 100-year ban on what happened. 

“It could be because of lack of fuel and HMS Devonshire 50 miles away was carrying King Hakkon, the Norwegian king and his Government. 

“We can't bring those 1531 men back but we can remember them. 

“I've just had my book published Mystery of operation Alphabet about these ships and conspiracy theories and recently I did a book review of Mystery of Operation Alphabet in Swanage library with Peter McCarthy. 

“But we shall remember them. We will never forget.”