A memorial to the more than 4,000 victims of the UK’s worst maritime disaster was unveiled by Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, on the site of William Beardmore’s shipyard, Clydebank, on 1 October. The memorial, sited on the exact spot where HMT Lancastria (below) was built in 1920, represents the steel hull plates of the Cunard vessel, which was sunk by enemy action on 17 June 1940 off Saint Nazaire, France.

The event was organised by the Lancastria Association of Scotland and was attended by survivors of the sinking. Winston Churchill ordered that the sinking be kept secret during World War II in case it affected morale, and the Lancastria Association of Scotland has campaigned hard for the memorial both to commemorate those who died and as an important part of Clydeside’s maritime heritage.

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