A visit to the new Remembrance Centre at the National Memorial Arboretum was an emotional one for Spalding Water Taxi pilot Terry Day.
Terry, the secretary of Spalding Royal Naval Association, was invited with his wife Shirley to attend a preview event before the £15 million facility opened to the public. The visit gave them the chance to explore the new centre, discover Heroes’ Square and the Boyes Garden.
While there they discovered moving stories in the new Landscapes of Life Exhibition.
Terry says that following the dedication in the main Remembrance Centre, the guests were led into Heroes’ Square for a short prayer.
In the square they saw for the first time a memorial paving stone dedicated to Terry’s dad, Reginald Day, who was a Merchant Naval Seaman who served during The Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War.
Terry says: “While returning home from the Far East on board SS Aeneas in Convoy OA176 off the coast of Devon, being the largest ship in the convoy, it was singled out for aerial attack by the Luftwaffe. The ship was sunk with the loss of 19 lives.”
Three months later, while serving on board SS Eurymedon in Convoy OB217 in mid-Atlantic, his ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank two days later, with the loss of 28 lives.
Due to his injuries Reg was discharged from the Merchant Naval Service and was unable to go to sea again.
Terry says: “This was devastating to Reg, who had been going to sea for the past eight years, since he was 16 years old.”
Terry says to be invited to the preview and see the transformation was a great honour, and added: “I would definitely recommend a visit by all ages. It’s a rewarding, uplifting experience.”