Royal Navy Submariners, veterans and families paid their respects to fallen submariners on the anniversary of the unveiling of the submariner memorial at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire.
Submarine service chaplain and submariner Robert Church led the service, with a reading from Leigh Dodds of we remember submariners.
A parade of standard bearers from the submariner’s association and we remember submariners was formed in honour of the fallen in front of the memorial.
The event, which was organised and funded by the submarine family, marked a year since the Commodore-in-chief of the submarine service, the Prince of Wales read a dedication at the unveiling.
Prince William said the finished memorial – two halves of a conning tower split, allowing people to walk through, passing the statue of a submariner as they do – captured “all the elements of the Submarine Service of which I am immensely proud to be the Commodore in Chief – the loneliness of separation, the anticipation of return, the fortitude, and the sacrifice.
He continued: “I’m sure you will agree with me that, inspired by the competition winners and their ideas, Paul Day has created a truly fitting memorial to those lost, and sadly to those who yet may give their lives.
“That all parts of the submarine community: serving, veterans, families and the submarine industries have come together to raise the large amount of money needed is testament to your spirit and energy.”
The monument serves as a tribute to the 5,349 men lost in Royal Navy submarines in 122 years of the Silent Service.
This is planned to be an annual event, taking place in May each year. Further details of next years’ service will be announced when confirmed.