IT was poignant day last Friday when Peter Robinson marked the 75th anniversary to the day of the sinking of his ship HMS Hermione.
The Dido class light cruiser was on escort duty in the Mediterranean when she was torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 87 lives.
Petty Officer Robinson, now President of the Alcester branch of the Royal British Legion, spent an hour and a half in the water before being picked up.
And on Friday, June 16 he was at the National Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire to pay tribute to his old shipmates.
“As far as I know I’m the last surviving member of the crew and so I went to to the Arboretum to commemorate the 75th anniversary,” said Peter, now 94.
“I thought to myself the next big anniversary would be the 100th and I knew I wouldn’t be around for that one so I thought I’d better go to this one.”
He had hoped to get something in the daily service about the loss of Hermione but found out this wasn’t possible.
“Instead they invited me to address the congregation which I did, telling them who I was and why I was there and I must have gone down well as I received a round of applause,” said Peter.
“I was then told it was the first time ever anyone had addressed the congregation like that after the service, so a bit of a first too.”
The Alcester branch of the Royal British Legion will be marking Armed Forces day this Saturday at 1.45pm on the St Nicholas Church green.
At 2.30pm the ceremony will end and the annual Legion garden party will begin in the grounds of the Old Rectory opposite the church.