Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Dunkirk ship Mona's Queen memorial held on Isle of Man

Memorial Service
Image caption The Mona's Queen anchor was returned to the island as a memorial in 2011

Hundreds of people have attended a memorial service on the Isle of Man dedicated to the crew who died on board the Mona's Queen in World War II.

The Steam Packet vessel was sunk near France during the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940 after it struck a German mine.

Seventeen of the vessel's 24 crew were from the Isle of Man.

In 2010, the ship's starboard anchor was recovered from the sea and restored before being returned to the island as a permanent memorial.

Speaking in 2011, former Steam Packet chief, Captain Hamish Ross, said: "These men would have been sailing between Douglas and Liverpool on normal ferry business and a month or two later they were on their way into Dunkirk.

'Absolute hell'

"It was an absolute hell of a place where they were attacked from the air, the water and the shore."

The ship was one of eight from the Isle of Steam Packet company which rescued a total of 25,000 troops during the evacuation.

Two other Steam Packet ships, the Fenella and the King Orry, were also lost.

Port St Mary Commissioners held the annual service at Kallow Point where the anchor now rests.

Rushen MHK Laurence Skelly said it was a "fitting tribute to the brave crew who lost their lives".

He said: "The anchor faces Cregneash where many of the crew were from and is surrounded by the sea. It is a fitting tribute and the anchor's spiritual home.

"This is a very important part of Manx history and I was delighted to see so many paying their respects."

As part of the service the Steam Packet's Mannanan ferry sailed past and sounded its horn as a mark of respect.

The anchor, which was restored at Cammell Laird in Merseyside where the ship was built in 1934, arrived on the island in October 2011 and the memorial was unveiled on 29 May 2012.

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