HMS Dasher Memorial, South Beach 44 27 March 2011
On the afternoon of Saturday 27 March 1943, the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Dasher was sailing in the Clyde Estuary between Ardrossan and Arran. At 4.40 pm, there was an enormous explosion. Within a short time, the ship sank. Of the 528 men on board, 379 were killed by the blast or drowned. The memorial stone and plaque, in the Sunken Gardens on South Beach, were unveiled on 27 March 1993, exactly fifty years after the tragedy. Every year since 2000, there has been a commemoration service on the Sunday of or before 27 March. The picture above was taken after the 2011 service. The Isle Of Cumbrae Royal British Legion Scotland Pipe Band accompanied by members of the British Legion, Ardrossan Sea Cadets and Stevenston Boys' Brigade marched to and played at the beginning and end of the service. The service was conducted by Canon Matt McManus, Parish Priest of the Church of Saint Peter in Chains. Pipe Major David Mitchell played the lament on the bagpipes. Floral tributes were laid by the families of sailors who were aboard the Dasher, the British Legion, Ardrossan Sea Cadets, Stevenston Boys' Brigade, Kenneth Gibson local Member of the Scottish Parliament, Provost Pat McPhee, the Police and others. Refreshments were later served to participants in Saint Peter's Parish Centre.