Service marks sinking of Lancastria
Published 16 June 2012
Members of the Lancastria Association are gathering in Clydebank today to remember thousands of people who died in the UK's worst maritime disaster.
It is 72 years to the day since the Lancastria was bombed and sunk off the French coast in 1940.
Although the exact number of servicemen and civilians on board at the time is uncertain, it is estimated that the ship was carrying at least 6,000 people. Some estimates put the figure as high as 9,000.
The loss was so great that Winston Churchill banned media coverage of the disaster, out of fear that it would weaken morale.
The ship suffered three direct hits by a German bomber off the French coast at St Nazaire on 17 June.
It took just 20 minutes to sink and only around 2,500 people survived.
The service will take place at the Lancastria memorial in the grounds of the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank.
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