Henley Probus Club – Raids on Zeebrugge & Ostend Talk

The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming members and then summarised plans for the Club for the first 6 months of 2022.

The Chairman then introduced Commander Tom Cunningham RNR who gave a talk and presentation entitled ‘Raids on Zeebrugge and Ostend on 23/4/1917’. The environment in 1917 was one of Germany, having stopped fighting with Russia, had moved a significant number of troops to the Western Front and allied ships were being sunk, at a high rate, in the English Channel. The German Navy had a key naval base in Bruges which accommodated 30 submarines with access to the English Chanel by canal to Zeebrugge where there was a moat structure which provided the access to the English Channel. It was this moat structure which became the target of the British Navy. Tom, having conducted a vast amount of research, presented the story of how the Navy undertook the demolishment of the moat thereby rendering the Bruges German Naval Base inoperable albeit the Base itself was not actually attacked. The success of the operation then allowed the British and Allied navies to secure control of shipping in the English Channel which had a materiel affect on the outcome of the First World War.

The members thanked Tom for his presentation and the incredible research work he had undertaken to unveil the story of the operation.

Henley Probus meets at Badgemore Park on the second Tuesday of each month; it starts with an informal gathering of its members (plus Visitors) for a discussion and coffee, with the formal meeting commencing at 1130 followed by a lunch. If anyone is interested in joining the Club, please make themselves known to Roger Griffiths our Membership Secretary (01491575137/email regriffiths@waitrose.com) or to any Club member that you may know.