3rd December 2016
HMS Mercury Blue Plaque Scheme pays tribute to The Rising Sun
- Author: Geoff Rehr
- Published: 28th October 2014
The HMS Mercury Blue Plaque Scheme is the brainchild of ex HMS Mercury serviceman David Morris, which is being enthusiastically endorsed by many of the 500,000 servicemen and women who were based there, including the support of Commodore Peter Swan (Retired). The RN base at Leydene House has now disappeared and the Blue Plaque Scheme is being set up to commemorate HMS Mercury’s existence by situating blue plaques at those buildings which were important to the servicemen based at nearby Leydene House.
The first such accolade has been given to The Rising Sun, a home from home for many service personnel. David Morris, addressing the large crowd that had come from far and wide for the unveiling said that The Rising Sun, which used to be a prefabricated structure, was one of the most important buildings outside of Leydene, and was an obvious choice to display the first plaque in the Blue Plaque Scheme.
Commodore Peter Swan RN (Retired), gave an entertaining account of the important role the Rising Sun played in the lives of the half a million personnel that served at HMS Mercury. Affectionately known as ‘The Japanese Embassy’ the Rising Sun was not only a much loved watering hole, but served a very important community function for service personnel and local residents alike. Commodore Swan said the Rising Sun will be remembered with affection (apart from the long walk back up the hill). He ended by thanking all those that attended, in particular the current landlord and landlady Chris and Rosie Lynch.
The actual unveiling of the plaque was carried out by a very distinguished RN veteran indeed. Commander Keith Evans who served on HMS Hood in 1938 and 1939 before she was tragically sunk unveiled the plaque to much applause.
The unveiling was attended by ex-service personnel and their families from every corner of the UK as well as by local residents. A fitting tribute to an institution that has served its community well, and continues to do so to this day.
Additional photos of the event are in the gallery.
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