On Saturday the 30th September 2017 on the Bognor Regis Pier, the Royal Naval Association of Bognor Regis unveiled a new memorial dedicated to HMS St Barbara, followed by a dedication service.
As a branch of the Royal Navy’s Main Gunnery Training Establishment, HMS Excellent in Whale Island, Portsmouth, HMS St Barbara was commissioned on the Bognor Regis Pier as an anti-aircraft Firing Range and Gunnery Training School for Royal and Merchant Naval personnel.
The training took place on part of pier which was destroyed some years ago in a storm. One claim to fame was on the 10th February 1943 the Piers guns shot down a German Dornier Do 217 bomber aircraft which happened to stray within their sights.
Mrs Joyce Ablitt, is one Bognor Regis resident who actually served at the HMS Barbara, who was in attendance today at 95 years old. Joyce who at the time was a Leading Wren at the school helping to keep the gunners fed during their training and she had to carry food across the narrow gangway that joined the two parts of the pier.
Reynolds kindly donated the new memorial in their 150th year.