Our War Graves, Your History – new digital resources honour heroes

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial commemorates almost 2,400 sailors of the Royal Naval Patrol Service. Pi

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial commemorates almost 2,400 sailors of the Royal Naval Patrol Service. Pictures: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Credit: Archant

It is a poignant memorial to almost 2,400 sailors that commemorates those who were killed in the Second World War and have no other grave but the sea.

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial commemorates almost 2,400 sailors of the Royal Naval Patrol Service. Pi

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial commemorates almost 2,400 sailors of the Royal Naval Patrol Service. Pictures: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Credit: Archant

And now, ahead of a Remembrance Sunday like no other this year, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is encouraging people to ‘Go local’ for remembrance.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has unveiled new digital resources – Our War Graves, Your History – allowing people to discover the World War heritage on their doorstep this autumn.

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial commemorates almost 2,400 sailors of the Royal Naval Patrol Service. Pi

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial commemorates almost 2,400 sailors of the Royal Naval Patrol Service. Pictures: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Credit: Archant

People in Lowestoft are being encouraged to learn more about overlooked war grave locations across the UK – including the notable example of Lowestoft Naval Memorial – as there are more than 5,196 war dead commemorated at 333 sites in Suffolk.

During the Second World War, Lowestoft was the central depot of the Royal Naval Patrol Service.

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial commemorates almost 2,400 sailors of the Royal Naval Patrol Service. Pi

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial commemorates almost 2,400 sailors of the Royal Naval Patrol Service. Pictures: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Credit: Archant


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The headquarters, HMS Europa, was in the Sparrow’s Nest Gardens with other bases around the town.

Their main roles included mine-sweeping, anti-submarine work and coastal protection, to keep the vital supply lines open.

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The names of the 2,397 members of the RNPS who were lost at sea is commemorated on a memorial at Belle Vue Park in the town, and here earlier this month the Royal Naval Patrol Service Association (RNPSA) held their 45th annual service of remembrance.

Now, ahead of Remembrance Sunday, CWGC is encouraging people to discover your local World War heritage with Our War Graves, Your History.

The digital resources include local stories, downloadable walking tours and tips on how to understand the history in your hometown.

The sites CWGC maintain also includes scores of churchyards and burial grounds that contain just a few war graves, often spotted by the green Commonwealth War Graves signs at their entrance.

Barry Murphy, CWGC’s Director General, said: “We’re encouraging people to seek out the stories in their local area, using the new Our War Graves, Your History digital resources.”

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial looks over at the shores which these men protected and stands as a permanent reminder of their service.

You can discover more about the memorial’s ties to Lowestoft’s World War history at www.cwgc.org/exploreGB

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