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FANYs mark the 80th anniversary of the sinking of SS Khedive Ismail

FANYs mark the 80th anniversary of the sinking of SS Khedive Ismail

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Members supported a Service of Remembrance today at St Mary le Strand Church in London

Communications Officer
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Members supported a Service of Remembrance today at St Mary le Strand Church in London for the women of the WRNS, QARANC, and FANY who lost their lives on SS Khedive Ismail when she was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on 12 February 1944.  During the service, whilst wreaths were laid, one active member read out the FANY Collect which talks of public action and hidden service, giving thanks for our heritage of courage and persistence, so evident in our WWII forebears.

Eight members of the FANY East African Unit, which was formed in 1931, died at sea; the ship was en route from Mombasa to Colombo, to where they had been posted as signallers. Only 214 of the 1,511 military and civilians on board survived, including one FANY, Gloria Smith (West). The sinking was the sad inspiration for the book (later a film) “The Cruel Sea” as most on board initially survived the attack, but when the submarine dived to hide below, it was itself sunk by depth charges dropped by the accompanying Allied destroyers.

The eight FANYs who died are commemorated on our War Memorial at St Paul’s Church Knightsbridge.

During the service, a member of the Corps read the FANY Collect:

Almighty God, who at various times has called your servants of the FANY to public action and hidden service; we give you thanks for our heritage of courage and persistence.  Make us always ready to respond, strengthen us for service and make us joyful and brave in fulfilling our duty. Amen

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