Footpath name will commemorate Dereham-funded second world war submarine HMS Safari

She was a second world war heroine who owed her very existence to the people of Dereham, but whose memory sunk without a trace in the decades that followed.

But now submarine the HMS Safari will be put firmly on the map when a footpath in the town that funded her construction is named in her honour.

Dereham raised �250,339 for a new submarine as part of a series of Warship Weeks that encouraged cities, towns and villages to lend money to the nation to fund a particular type of ship, depending on the size.

The boat served with distinction in the Mediterranean where she sank German and Italian transport ships, tankers and minelayers, but ironically she herself sank in 1946 as she was being towed to a breaker's yard.

She was all but forgotten in Dereham until a dusty-covered shield presented to commemorate the town's fundraising efforts was discovered by town council staff in the 2010.

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Now the town council has agreed to name a footpath between South Green and the Lynn Hill mini-roundabout after the submarine to preserve her memory for future generations.

Dereham town councillor Phillip Duigan said: 'The idea was that because it is part of Dereham's history it would be nice to have it commemorated in some way because it showed great credit to the people of Dereham of the time.

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'If you take inflation into account, it's an absolutely huge amount. It's the sort of money you could not normally expect to raise these days.

'We all thought it was important to have this bit of Dereham history remembered because it had been lost, It's a bit of Dereham history that should not be forgotten.'

Andrew Lambert, a history of naval history at King's College, London, researched the submarine's history and delivered a lecture to a capacity audience at this year's Dereham festival.

His father David Lambert, president of the Dereham and District Royal Naval Association, said: 'It's a reminder of what was achieved in the war in rather straitened times. The town did rather well to raise the money to lend to the government to enable it to build these things.

'The submarine had a wonderful war record. The amount of damage it did to the axis powers in the Mediterranean in a couple of years was amazing, really. It was one of the best record of all submarines.'

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