West Wemyss Naval Mine Victims

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Reference WMO/269795


Main Street

West Wemyss



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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
Description: Other sculpture
  • Metal Metal (any)
  • Stone Granite
Lettering: Incised
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: The memorial is on the coastal path near the parish church. Text edited from the web-site of Bruce Walker, the sculptor of the memorial. Just before 11 am on January 23rd 1941, an explosion rocked the Fife coastal village of West Wemyss. Five men were killed in the explosion, the youngest was just 15 and the oldest was a 69 year old miner. Special Constable George Storrar, a 38 year old miner and Special Constable with Fife Constabulary, was alerted to a floating object in the sea. With the help of Colin Smart, a 36 year old Home Guard volunteer, they found a sea mine had been dislodged from its moorings. They knew that it was highly likely that it was still armed and if left, it could drift towards the village with grave consequences. They decided to try and tether the mine, fully aware of the dangers to themselves. They gathered ropes and with the help of 58 year old James Anderson, retired miner David Laing and 15 year old Peter Graham, tried to secure the semi-submerged sea mine. The explosion shook the village and 3 men died instantly and the other 2 soon succumbed to their injuries and died. The men are all buried in the graveyard of the village church of St. Adrian’s. After a Church service at St Adrian’s, the sculpture was unveiled on Sunday 23rd January at 11am, 70 years to the day and hour of the fateful explosion. The sculpture was unveiled by Mr. Andrew Wemyss and representatives of the Home Guard and Fife Constabulary joined the villagers to honour these brave men of West Wemyss.
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"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it" Thucydides, a Greek historian. Also the names of the five who died.

James Anderson, Peter Graham, David Laing, Colin Smart and George Storrar,

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