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Warship crest honour for veteran

crest honourA TENBY man – the last surviving crew member of a cruiser sunk during the wartime Arctic Convoys – has been presented with a specially commissioned replica of the ship’s plaque.

The presentation to John Farrow, 92, in County Hall, Haverfordwest, last Monday evening was made by Commodore Jamie Miller CBE, the Royal Navy’s Regional Commander for Wales and Western England. Earlier this year, Mr Farrow featured on television and national newspapers when he was a guest of honour at the Last Night of the Proms when a special march dedicated to HMS Trinidad was played.

He was just 20 and a gunner on the ship when, in 1942, it was crippled by one of its own torpedoes while escorting a convoy to Russia through the deadly northern waters – known to those involved as ‘suicide missions’.

Thirty-two crewmen were killed in the blast but John and his shipmate, George Lloyd survived.George, a Royal Marine bandsman, had been responsible for writing the warship’s official march before they sailed.

HMS Trinidad limped to Murmansk for repairs and two months later set off for home only to be attacked by German bombers. This time it was the end of the 8,000 ton vessel.

Sixty-three men were lost but John Farrow again cheated death.In the audience at the Last Night of the Proms in September and wearing his Arctic Convoy white beret and medal, the great grandfather saluted his fallen comrades while George Lloyd’s HMS Trinidad March was played by an orchestra for the first time in the UK.

The occasion also marked the centenary of the prolific composer’s birth. He died in 1998.Monday’s presentation to Mr Farrow was hosted by Pembrokeshire County Council Chairman, Councillor Arwyn Williams, and also attended by the Authority’s Vice Chairman and Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Tom Richards.