from Colonel Tom Sherman

A simple Service in the unique Chapel of the National Memorial Arboretum to dedicate a Tree and a Seat was attended by six ‘Charioteers’ with wives and friends on the 4 September 2002.

The Reverend David Childs RN (Ret’d) read appropriate biblical extracts and Collects of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Commandos - a moving Service which included that Sailors’ Hymn - ‘For those in peril on the Sea’.

The Chair with the inscription ‘In memory of the Royal Navy Sailors and Army Commandos killed in the raid on St Nazaire on the 28th March 1942’ was dedicated in the Chapel, after which, in brilliant sunshine the Tree was well and truly dug in, using the spade last used by our Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, and dedicated ‘In memory of the Royal Navy Sailors and Army Commandos who took part in Operation Chariot, the raid on St Nazaire, on the 28 March 1942’. The tree is an Alder.

All this was due to the initiative and generosity of Jacqueline Downing, the niece of Able Seaman Bill Savage VC, and her daughter Caroline Carr.

From the beginning it was felt that The Chapel should be the one place within the United Kingdom where the two minute Silence was observed every day of the year. To achieve this, the Last Post and Reveille were recorded by the band of the Royal Marines and an introduction to the Silence made by the BBC News Reader, Peter Donaldson.

At 11 o’clock every day a light shines onto the altar from the bearing and elevation of the sun at 11.00 on the 11th November, Armistice Day. All those in The Chapel or ampitheatre at that time are invited to stop in silence and recall those who have lost their lives in conflict.

For more info:
Telephone : 01283 792333
Email :
Website :
Write : The National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR