HMS Urge to be remembered at Bridgend County Borough ceremony

Veterans will gather alongside representatives from the Royal Navy Association and Royal British Legion outside the Civic Offices in Angel Street at 11.30am on 27 April for a ceremony to remember HMS Urge.

A WWII warship which was funded by the efforts of local residents, HMS Urge was a British U-class submarine which was commissioned on 12 December 1940.

The only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name Urge, she was constructed following an appeal to the people of Bridgend and its surrounding areas during national ‘Warship Week’.

Residents raised approximately £300,000, which is around £10 – £12m now – enough to pay not only for HMS Urge, but also for two other warships.

HMS Urge operated mainly in the Mediterranean, where she sank the Italian tanker Franco Martelli and the light cruiser Giovanni delle Bande Nere before taking on the Italian battleship, Vittorio Veneto.

On 27 April 1942, HMS Urge lefts its base at Malta for Alexandria in Egypt. She never arrived, and was lost with all hands.

A marine archaeology survey team from the University of Malta later located the wreck of the submarine, and the Ministry of Defence officially recognised the site as the last resting place of HMS Urge and those who lost their lives in service of their country.

Throughout her service, the crew of HMS Urge continued to receive parcels of food and luxuries from the people of Bridgend, and were looking forward to thanking residents with a parade through the town at the end of their tour of duty.

Their sacrifice will be honoured and remembered at the ceremony, where guests such as the High Sheriff, Lord Lieutenant and Mayor of Bridgend County Borough will watch service men raise and lower the red ensign before being addressed by Bridgend County Borough’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Richard Young.

It will be one of the final duties that Councillor Young, who also served in the Royal Navy, undertakes as the area’s Armed Forces Champion before he retires at the next election.