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PROUD TO LEAD COMMEMORATIONS ON 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF LOSS OF HMS DASHER IN HOUSE OF COMMONS

I secured and led a debate in the House of Commons last night to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the sinking of HMS Dasher.


The HMS Dasher was a converted aircraft carrier which mysteriously exploded on 27 March 1943, during World War II, in the Firth of Clyde between Arran and Ardrossan. Of the 528 crew on board, 379 lost their lives and the remains of the carrier lie some 140 metres below the waters, close to the ferry route from Ardrossan to Brodick.


Despite this terrible event which was the single biggest loss of life of service personnel not to have been caused by enemy action in WW2, the loss of HMS Dasher remained undisclosed until 1945, since the government of the time was eager to avoid damage to morale during the war. As a result, the local media was ordered to make no reference to the tragedy, and the authorities buried the dead in mass unmarked graves, with families of those who died never being told the true story. To this day, these families are still seeking answers as to where their loved ones are buried.


The wreck of HMS Dasher is an official war grave, designated as a controlled site under the Protection of Military Remains Act. Memorial plaques have been erected in Ardrossan and Arran to commemorate this tragic event.


To those who were on board HMS Dasher that night, to those who survived, and to those who did not, we will always remember their bravery and sacrifice.



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