Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, has today announced the category and overall winners of a national competition to find inspiration for a memorial which will be installed at the National Memorial Arboretum next year honouring submariners.

The Under 11 category winner is Heather Dent from Ulverston. 10-year-old Heather’s brother is a serving submariner and her father works for BAE. The judges particularly liked the tunnel aspect of her design giving the impression that people were inside a submarine.

Heather Said: “Very very proud and exciting to be picked!”

The 11-18 winner is Zoe Perowne from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Zoe’s grandfather is a retired submariner and Zoe is a Sea Cadet serving in TS Dauntless, Gosforth. The judges like the connection between boat and dolphin within the wave. Zoe said: “The dolphins symbolise the souls lost at war and becoming free and part of the oceans in which they served and perished.”

Zoe said: “I’m really happy I got picked because I do sea cadets and grandad was in the navy. I’m really proud.”

The overall winner and over 18 category winner is the Groves Family. Grandfather and Father are both retired submariners and the son and his girlfriend are currently both serving in boats. The judges were inspired by the idea of walking into the memorial seeing the water above, represented by blue glass.

Chris Groves said: “We brought in our three generations of submariner, my father Adrian who joined the navy in 1960 he joined submarines and did his training on HMS Opportune, I then joined the submarine service and I and did my training on HMS Opportune and my son Nick who now is away on patrol in an SSBN joined the submarine service and he did his training in HMS Victorious on which I was the navigator. Nick’s partner Emma also joined us and is a submariner and Si Ellis who’s dad was on HMS Rorqual as a submariner.

“We are really passionate about the Submarine Service and we wanted to create a design that would fittingly be a memorial for all the submarine family. We will be hugely proud of the eventual memorial.”

The competition’s three categories; under 11s, 11-18s and over 18s were open to members of the public of all ages, including nearly 15,000 Sea Cadets from over 400 units around the country. The prizes were £100 for the category winners and £1000 for the overall winner, runners up received £50 and a number of entries were awarded Highly Commended certificates. The winners are also invited, to attend the opening of the memorial in 2022 by HRH Prince William, Commodore-in-Chief Submarines.

The Submarine Service

Often known as the ‘Silent Service’ the Royal Navy has always been at the forefront of underwater warfare and has built an enduring reputation for professionalism and courage. Submarines combine qualities of stealth, endurance and flexibility, characteristics which give them unparalleled freedom to operate worldwide in support of national and coalition operations.

Since 1968, the Royal Navy has deployed the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent by maintaining one nuclear missile armed submarine at sea on patrol continuously. Other nuclear powered submarines carry the Tomahawk cruise missile and have been involved in all recent UK military campaigns from Kosovo to Afghanistan and Libya.

For more information on Submarines: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/the-fighting-arms/submarine-service

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