Doncaster Features: Famous Doncastrian: HMS Lightning
During World War II different areas of the country were asked whether they could raise funds under a Warship Week National Savings plan to fund the naval battle with Germany. The Borough of Doncaster was set a huge target of over £500k, and on 25th March 1942, destroyer HMS Lightning was adopted. It turned out that Doncaster and the surrounding Boroughs had raised over £800,000 in National Savings and effectively paid for the ship, and more.
Commander Walters said "I have seen her in all conditions of sea going service and you know the sea has got many moods. I have seen her under some of the enemies moods as well. I am extremely grateful for the presentation of this plaque because it is going to form a link between the Lightning and the area which has adopted her. I am not going to talk carelessly. I can't tell you where we have been or anything at all. But I want you to know that you ought to be just as proud of this ship as I am and believe me I am extremely proud of it".
A party from the ship including Commander Walters presented the ship's badge to the Council on 15th October 1942, while she was refitting at Chatham.
Sadly The notice of her sinking in the Sicilian Channel in the Mediterranean Sea on the 12th March 1943 after being hit by a torpedo. Commander Walters and many of the crew were reported to be safe. 45 of the ship's company didn't survive, plus eight others were injured, and 183 survivors.
The badge is still on display in the Mansion House in Doncaster.
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