Tommy travels to England to honour lost shipmates

89 YEAR old Lisburn man Tommy Jess travelled to Saffron Walden in Essex recently to take part in a memorial service in honour of HMS Lapwing, which was torpedoed during the Second World War.

Tommy, who lives in Warren Gardens, was one of just 61 survivors when the ship sank on March 20, 1945 off the coast of Murmansk, Northern Russia. 158 of the crew were lost.

Tommy was the only survivor able to make the trip this year and he said he was “honoured” to take part in the service.

“I felt both honoured and emotional at being the sole representative of my shipmates at the service,” he said. “I was delighted to be able to lay a wreath at the Lapwing memorial erected four years ago by Saffron Walden town council to remember the ship and its crew.”