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HMS Neptune Commemorative Service and Closing Ceremony


Sun 18 Dec 2016, 8:30pm–10:30pm

Where: Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Buckle St, Mt Cook, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: NZ Navy

On Sunday evening, 18 December, we will commemorate the greatest single loss ever sustained by our Navy, the sinking of HMS Neptune.

The service will also mark the end of our 75th anniversary.

2016 marked the 75th anniversary of the foundation of our Navy. This occasion was celebrated with a programme of commemorative events and activities collectively named Operation Neptune.

The name “Operation Neptune” has been chosen to highlight the greatest single loss ever sustained by our Navy. HMS Neptune (a sister ship to HMNZS Achilles of River Plate fame) was being prepared for transfer to the Royal New Zealand Navy when she was lost in an enemy minefield in the Mediterranean on 19 December 1941 with the loss of all but one man, including all 150 of the New Zealanders who had already joined the ship.

As her company fought to save Neptune during those perilous hours, there would have been many acts of gallantry and heroism that went unrecorded. The loss of Neptune remains the greatest single tragedy New Zealand Naval Forces have experienced.

- 8:30pm - HMS Neptune Commemoration Ceremony (public attendance welcomed at Pukeahu Park)
- 8:30pm - Narration of HMS Neptune story
- 9:00pm - Catafalque Party take post at the Tomb of the unknown Warrior. VIPs and guests seated.
- 9:30pm:
Choir/RNZN Band and Guard Royal Salute
Welcome and speeches
Choir/RNZN Band
- 10:00pm:
NZ names read out by Sea Cadets
Lay wreaths
Ode, Bells, Last Post
Minute silence
RNZN Band Sunset, Beat the Retreat (3 Volleys Fired)
- 10:30pm Closing address - close of ceremony

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