Lancashire Evening News
Relatives of 'forgotten' soldier sought
Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 09:26
RELATIVES of a Kingsteignton soldier who drowned off Ireland are being sought to attend a ceremony in Ireland later this year. Private Edward George Lane, of the Devonshire Regiment, drowned in 1940 while serving as a military escort on SS Arandora Star.
The vessel was sunk by a torpedo from a German submarine when sailing off Malin Head, Donegal. A few months earlier this submarine had carried out one of the most daring attacks undertaken on a British home-base area when it sailed into Scarpa Flow and sunk the Royal Oak ship, for which the German captain was personally decorated by Adolf Hitler.
Most of the bodies aboard the Arandora Star were never recovered, but a few were washed ashore along the Irish coast. The body of Private Lane was one of those.
John Basquille, Ernie Sweeney and Michael Feeney, members of the Mayo World War Remembrance Committee, have spent recent years restoring the graves of those who died.
Earlier this month they refurbished the grave of 21-year-old Private Lane.
Mr Feeney said: "The story of Edward George Lane is tragic. He was another casualty of the Second World War.
"His body remained down at the bottom of the cemetery for 69 years, practically out of sight and out of mind. "It is known, however, that an elderly nun made regular visits to the grave, and she was seen to pray and lay flowers at the grave for many years.
"I've visited the grave many times during the past 10 years, and I was shocked at its poor condition, so I resolved to have it properly developed to give dignity to the young soldier.
"Our committee are now hoping that a rededication ceremony will be organised for July 19 when relatives of the young man, if they exist and are located, councillors and residents from his hometown of Tiegnmouth & Kingsteignton, as well as members of the Devonshire Regimental Association, may be in attendance." Anyone with connections to Private Edward George Lane should call Mr Feeney on 094-90-22562.
Last Updated (Sunday, 13 May 2012 11:42)