Sea Cadets remember the Lancastria’s dead

Methil Sea Cadets joined colleagues at the Lancastria memorial ceremony.
Methil Sea Cadets joined colleagues at the Lancastria memorial ceremony.

SEA Cadets from Methil and District recently remembered the 4000 people estimated to have lost their lives on the HMT Lancastria, in Britain’s worst maritime disaster.

On June 17, 1940 the ship, containing embarked troops, RAF personnel and civilian refugees, was torpedoed and sank off the coast of St Naziare, France.

The cadets travelled to the dedicated memorial site at the Golden Jubilee Hospital, Glasgow, located on the shore of the Clyde where the Lancastria was built.

They were joined by a number of other youth groups, including their Fife friends from 51st Scouts Glenrothes, students and teachers from Glenwood High School, the Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch Battalion and Glenrothes Army Cadet Force.

A representative from each of the organisations laid a wreath, watched on by the families and friends of the Lancastria.

During the ceremony, Fiona Symon, vice-chair of the Lancastria Association of Scotland, praised the cadets.

She said: “It is wonderful to see young people involving themselves in such an event.

“They are a credit to their organisations, staff and officers.

“They have made such an effort - I feel very proud to be in their company.”

She then awarded Cadet Sergeant Cameron Sekkat (16), of Methil and District, a watch engraved with ‘HMT Lancastria’ for playing a major part in the organisation of the trip to Glasgow.

Sgt Sekkat said the gift was an honour he would treasure.

He added: “Attending the parade and raising the awareness of young people about such disasters as the Lancastria is important.

“It is part of our history and it defines us as a nation.”