On original site
Attached to a building/structure
- Paper Paper
- Stone Sandstone
- Timber Oak
Inscribed on a plaque
- Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial:
Grimsby Royal Docks was the largest base for minesweepers in the British Isles, and minesweepers from this base used to go out into the North Sea to sweep the shipping lanes, passing the dock tower and Queen’s Steps as they went out into the shipping lanes of the Humber.
After the Second World War, on May 20th, 1948 a bronze plaque, measuring 1830mm x 1220mm was erected on the Dock Tower and an inscription in letters 150mm high, reading
A TRIBUTE TO THOSE WHO SWEPT THE SEA 1939-1945
The scheme to erect the plaque was originated by Dorothy Clapham of Grimsby, who, with a small committee was responsible for carrying it into fruition.
Later in the quieter surroundings of the Town Hall entrance the Admiral unveiled a similar plaque to that on the Dock Tower and the bishop once again performed the ceremony of blessing the tribute. The Member of Parliament for Grimsby, Mr K. G. Younger MP, said “All the men of the minesweeper service were ready to give their lives for their country. Happily, all were not called upon to do so. But today we are honouring them all- those who died and survived to face the problems of peace”
The memorial is on the left hand wall of the stairway, clearly visible and well illuminated. The Town Hall has a security service, so the memorial is quite safe from vandalism.
Beneath the stone tablet is a small plaque that reads
E A PHILLIPS DONOR
A E WADE DESIGNER
DOROTHY CLAPHAM PROMOTER
This section of the stairway wall has been set aside for the memorial to the Patrol Service, who patrolled the shipping lanes of the Humber area, keeping the shipping lanes clear for allied shipping.
There is a picture of the Patrol Service Veterans in front of their memorial on the Dock wall near to the Queens Steps, and the plaque beneath it describing to whom and when it was presented. The picture includes the names of the patrol service that did not return, and includes the names of the ships as well.
On 4th September 2003, the Royal Naval Patrol Service Veterans went to the Town Hall at Grimsby and presented the mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Councillor Peter Barker, with a special photograph of the new memorial at the Queen’s Steps, as described below.
PRESENTED TO THE MAYOR OF NORTH EAST LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCILLOR PETER BARKER BY THOMAS H F WALKLEY CHAIRMAN OF R N P S V 4TH SEPTEMBER 2003
At the same time, as presenting this picture, the veterans presented the Mayor with moulds of the original badges which were placed on the Dock Tower. These are above the sandstone plaque put there in 1948 as described above.
The Mayor presented the veterans with a certificate giving the Freedom of the Borough to the Patrol Service. Both these memorials are shown below.
In time, when the veterans have all passed on the flags of the service which currently fly at the Queens Steps will be brought to this memorial site.
The tablet of stone measures 870mm x 580mm and the letters are 30mm high, the stone is sandstone.
The sandstone tablet that was unveiled on May 20th 1948 has had the badges of the RNPS added to it. These were the original bronze moulds for the bronze plaques that are on the Dock Tower, erected in 1948.
The memorial is in very good condition and is likely to remain that way due to the presence of the Town Hall’s security staff. The Trustees of the Grimsby Borough Council own the memorial, and it will be maintained by them, using funds allocated them by the North East Lincolnshire Council as requested by the Civics Manager.
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