Gainsborough’s part in building war time submarines was celebrated last week as a special blue commemorative plaque was dedicated and unveiled.
The plaque is dedicated to the HM Midget Submarine X-24, which was built by Marshall and Sons in the town back in 1943.
Local dignitaries were joined by the families of the men who built the submarine 70 years ago for a special ceremony and the unveiling of the plaque at Marshall’s Yard.
Speaking at the dedication, Frank Powell, chairman of the Lincoln Branch of the Submariners Association, said: “Today we are here to witness the unveiling of a Historic Plaque not only to HM Midget Submarine X-24, but also to Marshalls and Sons who built her, the crews that manned her and the two successful attacks conducted by the submarine.”
“This has been made possible by Mr Dransfield, the owner of Marshall’s Yard, of which we are extremely grateful, and by the Lincoln Branch of the Submariners Association.”
“It should be recognized that the contract placed with Marshalls and Sons to produce these highly technical Midget Submarines was an enormous call upon the company’s resources and particularly for a company that normally manufactured Tractors & Agricultural machinery.”
The X-24 was involved in two operations in 1944, one in April and the other in September. Both were designed to destroy the 500 ft floating dock in Bergen, Norway, which was being used by the Germans to maintain their U-Boats.
“The target area was completely under German control, well protected, with numerous minefields, anti-submarine nets, coastal defence and was thirty miles from the open sea,” continued Mr Powell.
“The men that manned the X24 during both of the attacks were very brave men.”
“What the Midget Submarines achieved during the Second World War may be estimated from the awards made to officers and men of the X Craft Flotilla,” he added.
The X-24 was fully restored at Portsmouth Dockyard in February 1973 and put on display at HMS Dolphin.
It is the only complete Midget Submarine remaining and is currently on display at the Submarine Museum, Gosport, as a permanent memorial to the officers and men of the Submarine Service.
For more details about the X-24, visit www.submarine-museum.co.uk