To all involved with the Coastal Forces Veterans Association -
On the anniversary of the sinking of HM ML 916 we are thinking of the nineteen oh so young men who died at that instant in the cold, muddy water of the River Scheldt and whose names are listed on the Remembrance page.
Our families would like to thank all who have contributed to the ongoing story of ML 916 especially the researchers of CFVA. Thanks to them we have two eye-witness accounts of the sinking, photos of the three ML COs concerned and through them I have spoken to Ron Metcalfe who, at 93 years, is probably the only surviving member of the crew of ML 906 (the 'buddy' boat to 916) who picked up and tended to my badly injured father until their return to port. My father wrote from hospital to those who rescued him and to the parents of the dead - letters we had no idea existed until this year - and these have opened my eyes to the anguish these families felt and to the terrible hurt my father carried with him for the loss of his crew.
It is largely thanks to the Coastal Forces Veterans that we now know so much about this event and why they were in the Scheldt and we would love to share this story with the families of these men, if they can be found. I wonder if, like myself they had no idea of the part they played in the opening of the port of Antwerp and its significance in the much bigger picture of the ending of the Second World War. Perhaps the standard letter telling them of the death of their son is the only information they have ever had. We hope not, we hope these families can be traced and personalities given to their names and numbers.
Thanks again from the MacPherson and Heap families.