The Cruiser HMS Neptune sank with the loss of 764 officers and men on the night of 19 December 1941. Just one man was rescued by an Italian torpedo boat, after 5 days in the water. Among those missing presumed dead was John Olivers brother, 20 year old Thomas Oliver. The boat went down as John was preparing to celebrate his birthday on 20 December.
The featured photograph shows 92 year old John, as the oldest surviving member, laying a wreath on behalf of the Neptune Association at the National Arboretum on 14 October 2017.
John and Rosemary Oliver of Main Street Ticknall have attended every Neptune event since the completion of the memorial.
John and Rosemary acquired a ceramic poppy in memory of John’s brother for the spectacular display at the Tower of London and a similar poppy was returned to them which is now in a bracket to the right of the memorial in St Georges church Ticknall.
There is more information about the loss of HMS Neptune on the association’s website at http://www.hmsneptune.com.