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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Honour for early submariners in Barrow built submarine

EX-SERVICE people and schoolchildren gathered to honour those who served onboard Barrow-built Australian submarines during the First World War.

The Barrow branch of the Submariners Association led a commemorative service for the crews of HMAS AE1 ad AE2 yesterday at the memorial plaque in Ramsden Square, Barrow, which lists the names of the fallen.

AE1 and AE2 had crews including both British and Australian submariners.

The submarines were launched in 1913 and sailed to Australia the following year.

In September 1914, AE1 was lost off the coast of Papua New Guinea and has never been recovered.

AE2 was scuttled in the Sea of Marmara in April 1915 and its crew were taken as prisoners of war in Turkey. Four of the crew died while the rest were released in November 1918.

The Barrow service was held on Anzac Day and included army and air force veterans, and a group of 36 children from Year One at Brisbane Park Infant School who recited the verses of the Australian national anthem, Advance Australia Fair.

The memorial plaque was unveiled in May last year.

Sheila Lockwood, of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, was visiting Barrow yesterday to take photos of the memorial on behalf of her daughter who is a descendent of one of the crew of HMAS AE1.

Mrs Lockwood, 61, had no idea there was a service happening and was pleased to meet the ex-submariners honouring the crews.

Her daughter, Zara Lockwood, is the great-granddaughter of Petty Officer Henry Hodge who died on AE1. PO Hodge was born in Preston in 1881.

Mrs Lockwood said: “I came to take photographs and videos and then people arrived with flags.

“It is a pure coincidence that I have visited on the day that there is a service.”

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