A German torpedo boat sunk HMCS Athabaskan off the coast of Brittany in 1944, during the lead up to D-Day. (Courtesy of Royal Roads University)

Royal Roads University to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the sinking of HMCS Athabaskan

Ceremony on April 29 to mark the largest loss of life in the Royal Canadian Navy

Royal Roads University is holding a ceremony this Monday to commemorate the largest loss of life in the history of the Royal Canadian Navy.

A German torpedo boat sunk HMCS Athabaskan in the English Channel in 1944, during the lead up to D-Day.

The lives of 128 men were lost and 83 were taken prisoner by German forces, while 44 were rescued by Haida, a sister Tribal class destroyer.

ALSO READ: Royal Roads prof completes War Memories documentary

Anyone with a connection to the story of the Athabaskan is invited to a private service in the Hatley Castle drawing room at 3 p.m. A public wreath laying will take place at the cenotaph in the Italian Garden at 4 p.m.

The small cenotaph “includes the name of Robert Annett, a young officer who served and perished on Athabaskan after graduating in 1943 from Royal Roads Naval College, now Royal Roads University,” the event announcement states.

The École John Stubbs Memorial School that’s close by is named after the captain of Athabaskan.

The event is part of Royal Roads University’s War Heritage Research Initiative.

ALSO READ: Royal Roads University offers Remembrance Day reverence talk

The project has “produced more than 30 documentary vignettes on sites of war memory, exploring the relationship between sites of war memory, heritage and remembrance,” they write.

The event runs from 3 to 5 p.m. on April 29. Seating is limited. For more information, contact warheritage@royalroads.ca.

swikar.oli

@goldstreamgazette.com

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