During 2014, the Association will mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle with three key events. Funds are being raised to finance a memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum. Approval has been given and a site allocated by the NMA and the Dedication is planned for 1130 on Saturday 12th April 2014. In June, Members of the Association will travel to the town of Ajax, named after the cruiser, near Toronto as they mark the anniversary. The highlight will be the presentation to the town of Commodore Henry Harwood’s Admiral’s uniform in addition to talks by Jonathan Harwood, the Commodore’s grandson. The final event will be a lunch to be held in Portsmouth on Saturday 13th December. More details can be found on the Memorial Fund Page.
The Association is keen that crew members and their families, of the various commissions of both HMS AJAX, EXETER and ACHILLES, who are not already members of our Associations, attend these celebrations and also support the appeal for funds. Please contact the Association for further details.
Henry and Stephen Harwood, the Commodore’s sons, are producing a book of approximately 120 pages entitled ‘Harwood and the Battle of the River Plate – including a brief biography’. The events leading up to the encounter of the three cruisers with the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee on 13th December 1939 are explained followed by a narrative of the battle which drove the Graf Spee to seek Shelter in the Uruguayan port of Montevideo and subsequently to scuttle herself. There is discussion on how and why the memory of the battle still stimulates books and films, three quarters of a century later and pays tribute to the Veterans Associations, the British Uruguayan Society and to the town of Ajax, which have helped keep the story alive. The book will be available from 1st April from the author: telephone 02392 632494 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Captain SCP Harwood, Royal Navy, Hunters Cottage, West Street, Hambledon, PO7 4RW, Hampshire.
The book is at a not-for-profit price of £6 (inc UK p&p – contact author for overseas rates) and cheques should be made payable to HMS AJAX and River Plate Veterans Association and sent to the author - any excess money will go to Naval charities.
HMS Ajax in action D Day
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