1. Before D-Day
there was “Tiger”
2. Business to
4. News from
5. Small News
1. Before D-Day
there was “Tiger”
Three American Veterans will travel
to Torcross on Slapton Sands, for what is thought to be
probably their last visit to the service of remembrance to
commemorate the servicemen who died in “Exercise Tiger”. Laurie
Bolton from Kingsburg, California, lost her Uncle in Exercise
Tiger; she will be bringing the group of veterans, together with
their families and friends, to attend the 65th ceremony on
Sunday 26th April, at 14.30 hours at the Tank Memorial, Torcross,
South Devon, England.
Organised by the Royal Tank Regiment Association, Devon &
Cornwall Branch, the ceremony is held to remember the fateful
day of April 28, 1944, when German E-Boats attacked US
servicemen on the exercise for the D-Day landings. The wreath
laying and sounding of The Last Post at the Tank Memorial, will be
followed by a Church Service at St Michael and All Angels
Seven hundred and forty nine American servicemen lost their
lives that day in an episode which remains one of the
least-known Allied disasters of the Second World War. Laurie
Bolton explains: “This is the second time I have organised a
visit to Slapton Sands.” “My uncle, Sgt. Louis A. Bolton, (U. S.
Army, 607th Graves Registration Co., 1st Platoon), was killed on
board LST 531.” (the photo is of Louis A Bolton) “His body was
never recovered. He was newly married, but had no children. I
was born on his birthday eight years after he died. His name is
on the Wall of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery in
England, along with many others never found. Those whose bodies
were recovered are buried there.” The three veterans are:
Frank Derby, LST 496, Nathan Resnick, LST 511 and Paul
Gerolstein, LST 515
The similarity between the Start Bay area and the Normandy coast
prompted the use of the area for full scale battle exercises.
Slapton Sands was thought to be perfect to simulate practice
landings for the launch of Operation Overlord on 6th June, 1944,
the D-Day landings on Utah Beach, France. In the early hours of
the 28th of April, 1944, eight Landing Ship Tanks (LST’s), full
of American servicemen were in Lyme Bay, off the coast of Devon,
England, making their way towards Slapton Sands for Exercise
Tiger. A group of nine German E-Boats, alerted by heavy radio
traffic in Lyme Bay, intercepted the three mile long convoy of
vessels. The heavily laden, slow moving LST’s were easy
targets for the torpedo boats which set about the unprotected
rear of the convoy. A series of tragedies including a British
destroyer assigned as an escort being ordered into port for
repairs, life jackets that pitched men forward because they were
wearing them around their waists, rather than their armpits, and
an error in radio frequencies, led to three of the LST’s being
hit by German torpedoes and 749 American soldiers and sailors
died that night, 946 in total during Exercise Tiger.
The loss of life was greater than that later suffered by the
assault troops during the initial attack on Utah Beach. When the
news reached the allied commanders it greatly worried them that
so many lives were lost and that the news might make its way
into German hands revealing the intentions for the D-Day
All the villages surrounding Slapton Sands had been evacuated.
The survivors were warned not to talk about the incident and did
not talk about it until 50 years later. It remained a secret
until a local man, the late Ken Small, then a Torcross hotelier,
learnt about a Sherman Duplex Drive tank and after a long
battle, managed to raise it from the sea in May, 1984. After
long negotiations, he bought it from the US Government for $50.
Thanks to his efforts, a plaque and a bronze memorial stand as
tribute to the sacrifices made by the young servicemen. Today,
his son Dean Small, still looks after the tank and together with
another local man, John Casson, have set up a website dedicated
to the tragedy of Exercise Tiger and to Ken Small –
click here to see
Why not come down and stay for the weekend?
to business show
The Dartmouth Chamber of Trade are
promoting local service and support businesses from the town
and area by holding a trade show on Thursday April 30th from
4-7pm at the Dartmouth Yacht Club.
The idea is that retailers and accommodation providers will
attend the show and meet local businesses who can help them,
whether they be sign-writers or solicitors, web-site designers
or computer specialists, hanging basket suppliers or printers.
The show is free to visitors and is open to all – you don’t have
to be a Chamber member to attend.
Any businesses or individuals wishing to book a table should
contact Sarah Duggan at Baxters on Foss St (Tel 01803 839000.)
Tables cost a minimal £5 for Chamber members and £10 for
The Chamber meets monthly, more information can be seen on their website by
The Chamber of Trade are the only local organisation we know of
who have all the minutes of their meetings in the public domain.
You may wonder what the Naval training vessel has to do with
the Chamber of Trade? Well, BRNC are members and provide so much
employment in Dartmouth.
3. Egyptian visitors
spotted these two unusual Egyptian tourists visiting Warfleet
Creek over Easter...! (It seems they are Egyptian geese)
In their tropical African home
Egyptian geese frequent rivers, marshes and lakes resorting to a
wide range of nesting sites. Cavities and holes in trees and
abandoned nests of other birds may be selected; also ledges on
cliffs and banks.
The clutches of eight or nine eggs hatch after about four weeks.
The downy chicks are similar in markings to those of the
shelduck. Often only one or two young survive locally following
predation by crows and competition with Canada geese and
grey-lag geese. So who knows?
4. News from
here you can read any of the last three years of news that
we have sent out. From the next issue we will be making a
big change. We will be using a mail server from iContact,
which will enable us to work much faster. The only difference
you may notice is that the News will be sent directly to you and
you will be able to see the e-mail address for you which we are
using. Also, at the bottom of the page will be a legal
notice and iContact's logo. To use this service you have
to be whiter than white in terms of spam and I'm pleased to say our News scores
0.00 where spam starts at 5.00, not bad! But why are we
well our local ISP Eclipse Internet at Exeter approved by Business
Link have stopped legitimate and paying business users from sending
e-mails to all of their customers. Very odd considering
you pay more for a business account! But in reality the new
system is very easy to use and we can check constantly if we are
breaking any ICANN Spam rules. Most of you will simply
not notice any change. You could say we are a victim of
our own success?
Much as the DA (the
Dartmouth Arms on Bayards Cove) can be a locals' secret, so
is the Ernest Hawke shop in Duke Street. Here Tony
Hawken will measure in person for your carpet, advise at
length about suitability and budget, show you more carpet in
the back of his shop than you ever thought made and then
arrange fitting. He is a trusted local man who will
look after your keys, do the job, clear up and give you
back the keys next time you meet him. The Dartmouth
dot TV crew have had 'Tony' carpet in many properties and he has
supplied some of the best value for money carpet we have
seen. Just like buying local food, buy your carpet from
a local man you can trust.
Coombe Farm Studios
in Dittisham near Dartmouth, Devon runs residential art
courses in beautiful South Devon with artist and author Paul
Riley. Currently he has last minute places available on his
'Introduction to Watercolour' from May 1st to 5th mornings
only for non-residential students for just £100. Come and
learn to paint with Paul Riley, a truly inspirational teacher
and author of three instructional watercolour books, at his
home and studios in Dittisham by the River Dart.
Click here for more details.
Community Book Pledge - Raising Funds to Raise Child
Literacy Lisa Board
is organising a community book pledge to raise funds to buy
new books for three of our local Pre-schools, Dartmouth Pre
School, Stoke Fleming and Blackawton.
The three Pre schools involved are very excited by this
scheme, they are all run as charities and therefore rely on
fundraising for their operating costs and equipment. This
will be a real boost for everyone one involved in the
schools but particularly the children.
Each school has a wish list of books and during the course
of next week Lisa will be visiting local businesses and
asking them to pledge some money toward the cost of these
books. Businesses can either choose specific books or simply
donate money. Each book donated will have a book plate
displayed at the front showing the name of either the
individual business/person who donated it or a list of all
the contributors. Participants will be asked to display a
small poster in their shop window to show that they have
pledged their support. All the books will be Usborne books,
a multi award winning company specialising in children's
publications. With your support this will be an incredible
gift from the local community. For more details
contact Lisa on 01803 833335
can't Torquay be more like South Hams?
The local press recently ran an article about Torquay's
Click here to read it. We take this as a huge
compliment, but the quality tourism that Dartmouth attracts
is because we are a small town with a beautiful river, 14 bars
and World Class restaurants. We are what we are and
visitors love us!
Former Dartmouth Chronicle reporter
Victoria Vaughan recently got married in St Saviour's Church Dartmouth
Why not come and visit Dartmouth?
copyright Dave Cawley & others.