Royal Navy family win design contest to inspire new national memorial to submariners

MEMBERS of a Royal Navy family have won a national competition to inspire the design for a national memorial to submariners.

The Groves family were announced as the overall winners of the competition and will see their design translate into a memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum next year.

The judges were inspired by the idea of walking into the memorial seeing the water above, represented by blue glass.  

Chris Groves said: “We brought in our three generations of submariner, my father Adrian who joined the navy in 1960 and joined submarines and did his training on HMS Opportune.

“I then joined the submarine service and I and did my training on HMS Opportune and my son Nick who now is away on patrol joined the submarine service and he did his training in HMS Victorious on which I was the navigator.

“Nick’s partner Emma also joined us and is a submariner and Si Ellis, who’s dad was on HMS Rorqual as a submariner.  

“We are really passionate about the Submarine Service and we wanted to create a design that would fittingly be a memorial for all the submarine family. We will be hugely proud of the eventual memorial.” 

We are really passionate about the Submarine Service and we wanted to create a design that would fittingly be a memorial for all the submarine family. We will be hugely proud of the eventual memorial.

Chris Groves

Head of the Submarine Service, Commodore Jim Perks, said: “The Vanguard, Astute and future Dreadnought-class submarines bear little resemblance to those of yesteryear but the spirit, professionalism and ultimately, sacrifice, of the people who serve in them are identical. Today’s submariners remember with pride those who have gone before and support the new memorial with all their hearts.”

The under-11 category winner was ten-year-old Heather Dent, from Ulverston, whose brother is a serving submariner, while Zoe Perowne, from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, won the 11-18 category. Her grandfather is a retired submariner and Zoe is a Sea Cadet at TS Dauntless in Gosforth.

The competition’s three categories; under 11s, 11-18s and over 18s were open to members of the public of all ages, including nearly 15,000 Sea Cadets from over 400 units around the country.

The prizes were £100 for the category winners and £1,000 for the overall winner, runners up received £50 and a number of entries were awarded Highly Commended certificates.  

The winners are also invited, to attend the opening of the memorial in 2022 by Prince William, Commodore-in-Chief Submarines. 

The Submariner Memorial Appeal is a registered charity set up to create a fitting memorial to submariners who have lost their lives in the Service and to the sacrifice of their families.

For details about the appeal please visit www.submarinermemorial.uk