HMS Protector Association
The HMS Protector Association has been in touch to draw the attention of the Trustees to the deaths of two seaman, Leading Seaman Reg Hodge and Able Seaman Lane, who lost their lives whilst prepping a depth charge for seismic research on 6th December 1963, and has requested that we should include them in our roll of honour. This we are honoured to do.
The inscription on the memorial to be placed in the crypt of St Paul's Cathdral is for All those who lost their lives in the pursuit of science in Antarctica to benefit us all. Their names will also be added to the script around the stainless steel needle, the part of the monumental sculpture to be erected in the South, and in the Book of Remembrance which we are planning to lodge at the Scott Polar Research Institute.
HMS Protector was a familiar and often very welcome sight for expeditioners in the British Antarctic Territory. Her rather bulky helicopter house on the aft of the ship gave a can-do air about her which spelled out security. FIDS were always welcome below decks especially at the traditional tot time. The Association website states Protector was The Best Loved Ship in the Royal Navy by Those Who Served on Her. A not surprising sentiment.
HMS Protector was built as a Net Layer in 1938 and converted to an Ice Patrol Ship in 1955. She was decommissioned in 1968. From 1955 to 1968 she was the Falkland Islands and Dependencies protection vessel. During her time both before and after her change of use from Net Layer to Ice Patrol Ship, thousands of "jolly jacks", as the website describes them, served aboard her. The Association is actively seeking as many of the ship's ex-company as possible. If you served aboard her at any period between 1938 - 1968 or you know of someone who did please contact the Association. Reunions are held regularly each year.