HMS Dasher Memorial, South Beach 9 29 March 2009
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 during the 2009 service. The Isle Of Cumbrae Royal British Legion Scotland Pipe Band accompanied by members of the British Legion and Sea Cadet Corps, 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. Sarah Seggie played the Last Post and the Reveille on the trumpet and Pipe Major David Mitchell played the lament, Flowers of the Forest, on the bagpipes. Floral tributes were laid by survivors of the Dasher, their familes, the British Legion, the Sea Cadet Corps, Provost Bobby Rae and the Police. Refreshments were later served to participants in Saint Peter's Parish Centre.