Sunday, May 13, 2007

Arctic Hero Wins Fight To Return Ship's Bell

The man who led the campaign to commemorate the Arctic heroes has won another battle.
Commander Eddie Grenfell, along with a German naval comrade, have finally secured the return of a bell from a German naval battleship. The artefact has been on display at the Royal Navy Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for 80 years. But after a two-year campaign, led by the retired navy commander, the bell is to be taken back to Germany. It had been used on the First World War battleship SMS Oldenburg. The ship survived the conflict but it was following her scrapping that the bell came into the possession of the Portsmouth museum.
SMS Oldenburg
Now eight decades later, it will set sail on May 31, bound for display in the German Navy Museum in Wilhemshaven. It is largely down to the efforts of Cdr Eddie Grenfell and Commander Heinz Palaschewski. The pair managed to convince the museum trustees to return the bell as a gesture of friendship to coincide with the launch of a new German Navy corvette, also named Oldenburg, next month. The formal handover ceremony will take place in Portsmouth on May 31 and is open to the public.

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