Memorial Service in the Java Sea

HMS Exeter (1931-1942) Memorial Service


On Sunday the 27th of July 2008 the Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Kent held a memorial service over the wreck site of the sunken World War II cruiser HMS Exeter in the Java Sea. In attendance besides the ship's company were four HMS Exeter survivors and their accompanying carers, visiting dignitaries, a media contingent and one of the divers involved in the discovery of the wreck. The following photos are from that event and a visit to the cemetery in Jakarta where fourteen of HMS Exeter's dead are now buried. More information regarding the service can be seen at http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.13429
Dockside in front of HMS Kent

1) Dockside in front of HMS Kent. Left to right; Rob Rae (Midshipman HMS Exeter ‘A’ Turret), George Gaskell (Stoker HMS Exeter ‘A’ Boiler Room), Kevin Denlay (Diver, HMS Exeter discovery expedition), Bill Francis (Stoker HMS Exeter ‘A’ Boiler Room), Joe Asher (Boy Sailor HMS Exeter ‘A’ Shell Room).

Ships Company, visiting dignitaries and HMS Exeter survivors

A) Ships Company, visiting dignitaries and HMS Exeter survivors assembled on the helicopter flight deck of HMS Kent for the memorial service over the wreck of HMS Exeter, 27th July 2008.
(Photo; Owen King, Crown Copyright)

Officers

B) Left to right; Commander Hopper (Commanding Officer HMS Kent), Commodore Cameron (Commodore Portsmouth Flotilla), Ambassador Hatfull (British Ambassador to Indonesia), British Defence Attaché to Indonesia, Chaplain Roissetter (Ships Chaplain HMS Kent).
(Photo; Owen King, Crown Copyright)

Royal Ensign presented by the dive team

C) On behalf of the dive team that discovered the wreck of HMS Exeter in 2007 Kevin Denlay hands over to the survivors the Royal Ensign that he flew over the wreck during the last dive. (Note; another Royal Ensign, supplied by the current HMS Exeter D89 to members of the 2008 expedition, remains attached to the wreck.)
(Photo; Owen King, Crown Copyright)

Preparing to lay a commemorative wreath

D) A solemn moment as HMS Exeter survivors prepare to lay a commemorative wreath over the wreck site of their former ship.
(Photo; Owen King, Crown Copyright)

HMS Exeter Commemorative wreath

E) Wreath away! A poignant moment for the survivors as they remember their fallen comrades entombed below.
(Photo; Owen King, Crown Copyright)

Commemorative wreath on the sea

F) The commemorative wreath floating over the wreck site and war grave of HMS Exeter.

"When you go home remember us and say, for your tomorrows we gave our today."
(Photo; Owen King, Crown Copyright)
Jakarta Cemetery

G) The immaculately kept Combined Dutch and Allied War Graves Cemetery, Jakarta. Indonesia.

Allied section, War Graves Cemetery, Jakarta

H) Allied section, War Graves Cemetery, Jakarta. The second row holds most of the 14 dead killed during the Battle of the Java Sea on 27th February 1942. Several others are in the first row.

A BBC documentary crew records the survivor's comments

I) A BBC documentary crew records the survivor's comments as they view the graves of their fallen shipmates.

HMS Exeter Survivor

J) A moment alone, survivor Joe Asher, a boy sailor at the time of HMS Exeter's sinking, contemplates what might have been.

A wife's husband

K) A wife's husband. The headstone of the eldest HMS Exeter sailor killed on the 27th, February, 1942.

A mother's son

L) A mother's son. The headstone of the youngest HMS Exeter sailor killed on the 27th, February, 1942.

















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