January 4, 2016
Prime Minister's comments to be unveiled on Burnham seafront plaque

A new unveiling ceremony is set to be held on Burnham-On-Sea seafront later this week to mark the addition of comments from the Prime Minister to a wartime plaque.

Last September, a pair of plaques were unveiled on the sea wall to mark 75 years since America gave Britain 50 destroyers to fight Hitler’s German navy - one of which was named HMS Burnham.

Prime Minister David Cameron sent a letter to organiser Neville Jones giving his support to the memorial, as pictured on the right.

And this Saturday, 9th January, a section of Mr Cameron's letter will be added alongside the plaques and formally unveiled.

Neville told "This Saturday, under the two plaques that already exist, we'll be adding a couple of sentences which the Prime Minister sent in his letter, recording the fact that what we have done here in Burnham-On-Sea is part of a national monument to the Battle of the Atlantic."

"It's very important that although Burnham saw nothing of the Battle of the Atlantic to any great degree, it did have a destroyer named after the town, HMS Burnham, which was one of the so-called 'gift horses' which Mr Churchill acquired from President Roosevelt. These ships had a vital role and the plaque in Burnham-On-Sea recalls the names of those which were lost at sea."

He added: "I read out the letter from the Prime Minister to those who attended the reception after the plaques unveiling last autumn, but it has not been readily available to the general public, so a couple of straplines will be taken from it and added to the sea wall. The letter itself will be given to the Town Council to hang in their chambers."

Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: "I want to extend my admiration in honour of the personnel and the 50 First World War destroyers acquired by Sir Winston Churchill form our close American Allies during the Second World War. I join you in paying respect to those who have given their lives in defence of the freedoms which we hold dear today."

The plaques marking the occasion were formally unveiled on the North Esplanade opposite the Royal Clarence Hotel by Captain Michael Garrick of the USA Navy and Cllr Ian Dyer, Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council.

Also see:
Seafront plaques unveiled in Burnham-On-Sea to mark wartime link


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