A recent email from Brian Dowling, the head guide, contained some images taken by drone of the upper levels of the Cathedral on the external walls facing Cathedral Close. There are two inscriptions which record the Western Approaches at sea and in the air. The inscriptions are not easily accessible and difficult to photograph, so it was good to have these drone images.
The inscriptions were carved after the commemorative services were held in the Cathedral. A service of “Recollection of the Western Approaches” took place on Thursday, August 9th, 1945. During the anthem, Dean Dwelly, Admiral Sir Percy Noble and Admiral Sir Max Horton made their way to “a place high above the city, a lookout to the sea.” The marks were made by the Commanders in Chief to give thanks for the sacrifices made by the Royal Navy. At one corner is the consecration mark and on the right the Cathedral lozenge. The record of the service was placed in the Archives and can now be viewed in the case in the Memorial Chapel.
On Saturday, September 15th a Coastal Command memorial service was held. At the service, the Dean led the company to the Corona Gallery where the roundel for the Coastal Command was made.
As the choir sang “We will remember them” the RAF leaders moved with the Dean to “a place high over the city a look out to the coast”. Here the stone of thanksgiving was marked on the stone which is nearest to the gap made by enemy bombs.
Air Marshall Sir James M Robb; AOC in C Fighter Command: Air Marshall Sir Leonard Slatter; AOC in C Coastal Command and Dean F W Dwelly had their names inscribed. The emblem of the Coastal Command is visible in the right hand corner.
The beautiful service covers designed by Edward Carter Preston are kept in the Archives.
Acknowledgements: Roy Redman. Zone images ©Richard Stoddern. Service covers © Alan Cookson.
If this has sparked an interest to know more about our “Hidden Treasures” you can visit our Archive exhibition in the Memorial Chapel from September 20th – October 2nd. You will see items from the Archives that are not usually on display and learn more about the inheritance that we have in our Archives.