The Duke of Cambridge has unveiled a new memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum and paid tribute to the “continued resilience” of the Royal Navy’s Submariners and their families. The unveiling took place at the Staffordshire site on Wednesday.
While at the Arboretum, Prince William met with Submariners, veterans and some of their families including the family of Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux, who was murdered on HMS Astute after it docked in Southampton in 2011.
At the unveiling ceremony, Prince William gave a short speech, “The Submarine Service has, for over 120 years, been at the forefront of our nation’s defence. However, to many it is an invisible force which is so often out of sight and out of mind. The risks and sacrifices associated with such service are clear, and you would be hard-pressed to find a more challenging environment to serve in.”
“All of you will in some way be familiar with the long periods of separation, the lack of contact with loved ones, and the uncertainty of what the next day holds. It is because of the continued resilience in the face of such challenges that we are gathered here now.”
The National Memorial Arboretum is site of national remembrance whose objective is to honour the fallen, recognise service and foster pride in the British Armed Forces. There are many features and memorials within the Arboretum including the Burma Railway Memorial, the Christmas Truce Memorial, the Shot at Dawn Memorial and the Royal British Legion Poppy Field.
A competition was launched in 2020 to help design the new Submariners memorial and the Duke concluded his speech by mentioning this, “Inspired by the competition winners and their ideas, Paul Day has created a truly fitting memorial to those lost, and sadly, to those who may give their lives in years to come. To those serving, our veterans, the families, and the submarine industries, you have my heartfelt thanks for donating, no matter the amount.”