The “Affray” Submarine Memorial Fund

2014 Gosport & Alderney Memorial

I’ve been very busy work-wise recently and I’ve not had the time to organise an Affray event this year, but there will be a modest wreath laying ceremony both in Gosport and in Alderney on Wednesday 16th April. Contingents from the Submariners Association and the Special Boat Service Association will lay wreaths at the memorials. I have not organised any formal speeches or indeed any seating for guests, as it involves a lot of planning. In the case of Gosport it involved a Road Closure Order from Hampshire County Council and risk assessments have to be approved, etc. To keep down costs, this year will therefore be a modest occasion, but several friends and relatives of the Affray crew will be in attendance at both locations.

 The annual maintenance inspection of the Alderney memorial has revealed  some slight damage to the paved area on the West corner of the public seating area. The foundation of the concrete slab has been eroded slightly in the recent stormy weather, but thankfully the memorial itself is unharmed. It would be prudent to undertake some repairs to the foundations before things get worse, even though it is not serious at the moment, the damage cannot be ignored. It is proposed that the main slab will be diamond drilled and the void underneath will be pressure injected with a cement grout. Since the design of the foundation is unknown (it existed in part,  before the memorial was erected), it seems to be the best solution. The memorial stone weighs in excess of 6 tonnes and beneath it has a properly designed structural foundation so it is not at risk, but we obviously want to avoid any failure of the surrounding paved area which would detract from the memorial. We have public liability insurance in place for the site and we have a duty of care to the public. We can’t allow the memorial to become a safety hazard, if cracks in the paving subsequently appear and there is a tripping hazard as a result. Later this year, (when the good weather is here, hopefully!) the necessary repairs will be carried out, just in case the next winter does not make matters worse and thus the repair costs increase. This will ensure the good condition of the memorial and it will remain a credit to those who lost their lives, as well as being an attractive feature for the inhabitants of Alderney and the visiting tourists.  I will be seeking to raise the money in the coming month for these repairs, which are estimated to be about £4,000.

Please consider making a donation to the memorial if you have not already done so and I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday 16th April, if you are able.

Martin Allen