"AGE shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."
The simple words of the well-known prayer sounded out over Rothesay's High Kirk cemetery on Saturday afternoon as the Submariners' Association chaplain, Pat Lang, led an act of remembrance for the midget submariners buried in a quiet part of the cemetery with its views over Barone Hill.
Three men lie buried here after drowning in an accident on board the midget submarine XE11, when she hit a boom defence vessel in Loch Striven in the penultimate month of the second World War.
Lieutenant Aubrey Staples SANF (V), the submarine's commanding officer, died along with Able Seaman J.J. Carroll and Stoker E. Higgins on March 6, 1945 when XE11 struck the boom defence vessel Norina while rising to the surface in Loch Striven.
The vessel's first lieutenant, Sub-Lt Bill Morrison RNVR and E.R.A. Les Swatton, both survived, setting a world record for the deepest unaided ascent in the process after XE11 hit the sea bed at a depth of 210 feet.
As well as the three sailors lying at rest in Rothesay, Pat Lang also prayed for all of their comrades for whom there is no grave other than the waters of the deep sea.
The party of former submariners and their families, which inluded for the first time the widow of Mr Swatton, arrived in Rothesay on board the fleet auxiliary vessel Omagh and visited the two submariners' memorials in Port Bannatyne before going up High Street to the cemetery.
The party had a busy day, having also visited the cairn at Lochranza near to where HMS Vandal sank in 1943 with the loss of 37 lives, and Dunoon cemetery, where they paid tribute at the graves of the 36 crew of HMS Untamed, who died when their submarine was flooded by sea water off Sanda, also in 1943.
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Weather for Rothesay
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North