UPDATE On Tuesday January 9th 2024 the sinking of HMS Vimiera in 1942 with the loss of 93 lives was commemorated with a return visit by Lt Antonio Valente. The Mayor of Sandbach and other guests attended including two representatives of Sandbach History Society, John Higgins and Richard Vickery. Further details of the memorial are given in the report on last year’s commemoration (see below). It is intended that this will be an annual event.

On Monday January 9th 2023 a memorial was unveiled at Sandbach Town Hall to the men of HMS Vimiera who died when the ship hit a mine and sank in the Thames estuary 81 years before in 1942. It had been adopted by the people of Sandbach in 1941 when the townspeople provided £163,880 for the war effort by buying Government savings bonds during Warship Week. Lieutenant Antonio Valente RN attended and gave a speech outlining the history of the vessel before the Mayor, Cllr. Kathryn Flavell unveiled the display containing the plaque, a replica ship’s bell and a list of all those who died. The text of Lt Valente’s speech is shown below

Commemoration plaque to those who died when HMS Vimiera hit a mine in the Thames Estuary in 1941
HMS Vimiera(L29) in 1940 when she was part of the Rosyth Escort Force for East Coast Convoys