Lancastria Bill decorated medal

Long Overdue Recognition Campaign

mod on Lancastria MedalDuring the past three years David and Jayne Dalrymple have made a constant effort with the British MOD. Her Majesty the Queen. And Camilla Parker Bowles to get some long overdue recognition in the form of a medal for the survivors and those lost. We believe it is the Lancastria survivors right to see two of the letters received to date. To reiterate the British Governments stand on this: "What it finally boils down to is that the British Government in principle are in acceptance of a medal being given to the survivors and the relatives of those lost. As long as it is by the Scottish Parliament. And not by Her Majesty The Queen or a British Government"-David and Jayne Dalrymple

Feel free to download the MOD Letters in full Here

Lancastria heros
Adolf Hitler

Letters from Kevan Jones Minister for Veterans / Dr Andrew Murrison MP

Andrew Murrison MPThank you for your letter of 29 September on behalf of David and Jayne Dalrymple who have heard that the Scottish Parliament has introduced a medal for the sunrivors and families of personnel who were aboard the ex-Cunard liner, His Majesty’s Troopship (HMT) LANCASTRIA, when it was sunk by enemy action oft the coast of France on 17 June 1940.

The sinking of the HMT LANCASTRIA remains the United Kingdom’s greatest maritime disaster and, notwithstanding the longstanding controversy about the number of people who were lost on that tragic day, it is right and proper to commemorate the incident and to acknowledge the death of so many brave souls. I commend the Lancastria Association of Scotland, as I do the other organisations that seek to commemorate the loss of the vessel and its passengers, for their sterling work in maintaining contact with the sunxivors and relatives of those lost on that fateful day and for persuading the Scottish Parliament to commission a commemorative medal for suwivors of the incident and their families. Although the loss of the HMT LANCASTRIA occurred over 68 years ago, the sacrifice of many thousands of servicemen and civilians and the endurance ot those who were saved that day must never be forgotten.

I fully understand the motives and reasoning behind the initiative, though, as it was made clear by the Prime Minister late last year, it is not one that the Government plans to implement. Commemorative medals are only instituted to recognise Royal Coronations and Jubilees. Official medals approved by The Queen are only instituted for military campaign service, long service, individual achievement, and for individual acts of gallantry. There is no tradition in the United Kingdom to offer medals to commemorate specific incidents, like the sinking ofthe HMT LANCASTRIA.

Dr Andrew Murrison MP

Kevin Jones MPMr and Mrs Dalrymple will be interested to learn that whilst it was the original intentionof the Scottish Executive to limit distribution of the HMT LANCASTFIA Medal to Scottish sunrivors and their families, they have since invited all survivors or their next of kin to apply for one. I am sure that this generous offer will be welcomed.

It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the Scottish Executive’s decision to introduce a commemorative medal. Nevertheless, they have made it clear that whilst it has not been approved for wear by The Queen, as all recipients will be veterans and civilians they are bound by no legislation which might prevent them from wearing the medal.

Over the years there will have been many individual incidents, actions and events that could have been acknowledged by the award of a medal and even more that could be remembered by the institution of a commemorative medal. It would not be practical to choose which of these to commemorate in this way and there would always be groups who would feel that their particular incidents had been overlooked.

I agree that the memory of all those that died in the sinking ofthe HMT LANCASTRIA on 17 June 1940 and recognition of those who were saved that day should be commemorated in some way, but we are not able to do this in the form of a medal.

I hope this explains the situation.


"If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed."
           Adolf Hitler

Lancastria Cover Up News Clip
June 17 1940
Pocket Guide

Pocket guide issued to solders in WAR II

careless words

Finally Some Recognition

The Scottish Parliament in gratitude to those who endured and died that fat full day 17th June 1940. Have issued a commemorative medal to those who endured the greatest Maritime disasters of all time.

Scotish Lancastrai Medal Lancastria Medal front Lancastria Medal Back

One of many posters about keeping secrets to yourself

Crewman Bill Hughes collects his Scottish medal from Alex salmond 12 June 2008.

Special Memorable Moments

Harry Higton LancastriaHarry Higton Lancastria survivor, (Harry's story), seen here with his brothers-left to right-Jack-Harry-George-Alan-plus the Madam Mayor of Eastwood Josie Smeze recently at his 90th birthday bash. On the night as usual, Harry with his unselfish-like-attitude raised a staggering £440 for his own charities.

Harry HigtonHarry Higton presented with a copy of a 3 Shillings WW2 pamphlet from David & Jayne Dalrymple on his 90th birthday. It holds an amazing picture of him being released from a POW camp by the Allies along with Churchill, the surrender on Luneburg Heath and the Americans meeting up with the Russians. When he was asked, 'what was the secret of his longevity', Harry replied, 'I'm not sure, it must be something in the water'.

Jayne Dalrymple with Ilse Harding, wife of Survivor Harry Harding on a pilgrimage to France 2005. Harry met his wife later on during WW2 in Germany and were married soon after their first meeting.

Youngest Survivor from Lancastria Bill Hughes meets for the first time on camera Jacqueline Tanner (nee Tillyer). baby onboard the Lancastria. The youngest survivor who was two years old when the Lancastria sank.

John Chambers  Survivor John Chambers here with David at Hotel in France on the 2005 Pilgrimage. John sadly passed away late 2007. He was looking forward to his story being told for the first time.

alrewas Lancastria Monumnet unveilingDavid Dalrymple with Crew member Bill Hughes at Alrewas Staffs just after the unveiling of the Lancastria Monument

Sadly Missed

Alec CuthbertSadly Alec Cuthbert died on August 19th 2008 following a fall at home. Alec Cuthbert is another who was always very forthcoming with information for the film which he is so much part of. He joined the 1st batch of the Militia in 1939 and was transferred in 1940 to the HRS Number 2 repair shop who were based in France at the time of the sinking. He died this year ten days after his 90th Birthday.

Bill Bill was in the KIngs Own Light Infantry as a corporal when the Lancastria sank. Bill sadly passed away this year aged 93. We became good friends with him and his immediate family over the three years of filming. He had a great sense of humour and was always a great joy to be with, as if we were visiting and talking to a close relative, telling some amazing stories of the sinking of the Lancastria and of his hard childhood upbringing. Bill always seem to have an answer for most problems. For us it has been a profound privilege working with him with his memories for the film, we shall miss him greatly. David & Jayne Dalrymple X

After returning from the 2005 pilgrimage Jess Fenton was one of the first to be filmed after Harry Higton. We had a bit of a lottery of who was next off the list of survivors to be filmed. We just didn't realize our decision was to be a critical one because between us Jayne and I decided on Jess Fenton. Jess who lived in Nottingham not to far away from where we lived, that decision turned out to be the right one because no sooner had we finished filming Jess at his home with his family, a short period later he suddenly passed away. His own story is truly amazing, as Jess was always forthcoming with his bitter feelings about the disaster. Especially about the way the British Government has treated the survivors over the years, the lack of attention, the none existent recognition and the same story appearing every year in the papers, with it's, 'no comment, no information available on this matter', from the British MOD. He was much loved a family man and like all the survivors involved elated that he was able to tell his story for the first time on film.

The Elizabeth Cross, Queen's silver salute to war dead

Before you read on. This is not. This is not! I repeat the new British medal specially made for the survivors and families of the Lancastria disaster, for some long overdue recognition. Once again the whole episode of the sinking of the ship has been overlooked by this British Government, who seem to think by keeping one eye on the past is enough to appease the British people for some of the horrendous losses in the past-

The Queen is to ho our the families of Britain's war dead with a new award in her name. Those who have lost loved ones on the frontline or in terrorist attacks will be presented with the Elizabeth Cross. In a radio message to the armed forces on the British Forces Broadcasting Service the Queen said: 'I greatly hope that the Elizabeth Cross will give further meaning to the nations debt of gratitude to the families and loved ones of those who have died in the service of our country.'
It is the first military honour granted by a monarch since the Queen's father King George VI created the George Cross for civilian heroism in 1940. Next of kin of the 8,000 service men who have perished in the line of duty since the end of WW2 will receive the sterling silver cross. Defence chiefs have also revived a tradition last used for the fallen during the Korean War. They will present spouses and parents with a commemorative scroll carrying an inscription written by the former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion.
Details of the new award were agreed after pressure from the families of those who lost relatives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Cross bearing the Royal Cipher, the rose of England, the Scottish Thistle, The Irish Shamrock and The welsh daffodil, will be given for regular and reserve personnel who die during combat Operations. A miniature badge of the same design will also be granted for relatives to wear as a lapel pin. Others eligible include military personnel who die in terrorist attacks high risk operational duties or of injuries incurred on active duty.
It will cover operations in Palestine from september 1945 to the end of 1947, and other operations after that date including the falklands and Northern island war, as well as Iraq and afghanistan. MOD officials will contact the families of those who have died since 2000. Others will be able to apply for the award. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: 'It will be very special and a fitting tribute for the great debt we owe to those personnel, as well as for the enduring loss felt by their families.'
Air Marshal Sir Jock Stirup, the Chief of the Defence of Staff, said: This is much more than just a thank you'.

With grateful thanks to The Daily Mail, Article: Thursday, July2, 2009

We must state, that we acknowledge the losses of all those in the wars in the above article and do not wish to cause any offence to their families or relatives of those lost. But for the people that were lost in World War two, including those lost in the Lancastria disaster had no choice but to go to war for their country. The majority being conscripted into the British Army. Those lost on the Lancastria, it seems are destined never to be recognised, by a British Government whatever.

We wish no offence to her Majesty the Queen. But over the past four years we have battled tirelessly to get this form of a British medal struck for the survivors and the families of those lost in the tragedy of the sinking of the Lancastria 17th June 1940.

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