Thursday 3rd October
A memorial dedicated to the victims of a Japanese merchant ship Hirano Maru, which was sunk by the German navy during the First World War, was unveiled last week by the Duke of Gloucester in Angle Churchyard exactly 100 years after the sinking.
Only 30 of the 240 sailors and passengers on board the Hirano Maru survived when the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the Irish Sea on October 4, 1918 - 10 of which were buried in the churchyard in Angle. A monument had been placed on the grave but that had disappeared over the years and David James, secretary of the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society had made it his mission to replace it. Funds were raised for the memorial which was carved by a local stonemason.
Attending the service on Thursday, October 4th were HRH Duke of Gloucester, Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards alongside representatives from the Japanese Embassy and Nippon Yusen K.K, the company that owned the ship. Descendants of the victims also attended the churchyard ceremony. At the service flowers were left by seventy-two-year-old Yoshiko Nakamura, whose grandfather Shintaro Yamamoto - an officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy was among the victims.
The event attracted media attention and was broadcast on the national news. In his interview, David James said “I was delighted to see so many Japanese people here. With so many people coming together in an act of remembrance and commemoration.”
Saturday 29th September
Saturday 29th September afternoon saw the launch of our Secretary David James’ latest book ‘Hancock’s Shipbuilding Company in Pembroke Dock: the ships and the men who built them’. Appropriately, the event took place in Hancock’s Yard, where we are based. David is author of several maritime books and a popular speaker. His popularity is such that the book launch, organised by Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society, drew large numbers. The History Society has a publications’ arm and this is its third major local history book.
P&M Chairman Linda Asman opened the event by thanking Mr Peter Hancock MBE for travelling back to Pembroke Dock to attend. Mr Hancock spoke of the time he set up his company, returning to Pembrokeshire in 1962 wanting to live his dream of building ships like his grandfather had done – and for almost the next 20 years he did just that. He thanked David for gathering together the stories and memories of the company, stating that it was a privilege to have worked as part of that wonderful community of men who displayed such pride in their work. Together they built over 40 craft of one sort or another.
Many ex employees attended the event and enjoyed the opportunity to reminisce, wander around the boat yard and visit the maritime museum which the WWMHS has set up in one of the buildings. The book proved popular too – 105 books were sold during the course of the afternoon!
Thanks were extended to the committee of the History Society for supplying refreshments and also to Mr Keith Johnson for his much valued work in editing the book which was printed by Gomer Press.
Click here for book review
Saturday August 29th
Tenby Lugger's Maiden Voyage to Tenby
On Saturday, August 25th three WWMHS members – Skipper Rob Phillips with Gareth John and Stuart Asman as crew – sailed our Tenby Lugger Heritage from Hancock’s Yard, Pembroke Dock to Tenby. They were met by Nathan Spiller, Commodore of Tenby Sailing Club, off Caldey and escorted by Sailing Club members into the harbour. After a blessing service by Canon Andrew Grace, a reception was held in the Sailing Club for the Crew and invited guests. Click here for more