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Naval Campaigns (60Th Anniversaries)

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for commemorating the 60th anniversaries of major naval campaigns and events in the Second World War. [112267]

During the first few years of this century, to 2005, there was and will be a succession of 60th anniversaries of significant actions in the Second World War. It is not possible for the Ministry of Defence to mark all of them and so it was decided that the Department would fund a commemoration of one representative battle for each of the Services, with a triService commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of the War. The actions chosen by the Services were the Battle of the Atlantic for the Royal Navy, the Battle of El Alamein for the Army and the Battle of Britain for the Royal Air Force.The Battle of Britain was commemorated by the Royal Air Force in 2000. The Army organised a Service of Thanksgiving on 23 October 2002 in Westminster Abbey to mark the Battle of El Alamein and the Royal Navy have just organised an event in Liverpool to mark the Battle of the Atlantic.The Government will also be organising events in 2005 to mark the end of the war, but planning is at an early stage and no details are available.