HMS Neptune Commemoration Service and Closing Ceremony
On Sunday evening, 18 December at theHall of Memories, Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, we will commemorate the greatest single loss ever sustained by our Navy, the sinking of HMS NEPTUNE. The service will also mark the end of our 75th anniversary.
Unfortunately the Wellington weather hasn’t been kind to us today, due to the high winds and expected rain our service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park tonight will be held in the Hall of Memories. This now means that there will be no public viewing points. We will do our best to LIVE stream the service on Facebook.
2016 marked the 75th anniversary of the foundation of our Navy. This occasion was celebrated with a programme of commemorative events and activities collectively named Operation NEPTUNE.
The name “Operation NEPTUNE” has been chosen to highlight the greatest single loss ever sustained by our Navy. HMS NEPTUNE (a sister ship to HMNZS ACHILLES of River Plate fame) was being prepared for transfer to the Royal New Zealand Navy when she was lost in an enemy minefield in the Mediterranean on 19 December 1941 with the loss of all but one man, including all 150 of the New Zealanders who had already joined the ship.
As her company fought to save NEPTUNE during those perilous hours, there would have been many acts of gallantry and heroism that went unrecorded. The loss of NEPTUNE remains the greatest single tragedy New Zealand Naval Forces have experienced.