Submariners help Harry

Harry Melling
Harry Melling
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Submariners rallied round to help a Wigan veteran who served his country beneath the waves after he was robbed in his own home.

Submariners rallied round to help a Wigan veteran who served his country beneath the waves after he was robbed in his own home.

Serving personnel and trainees joined forces to get 97-year-old Harry Melling, from Newtown, to London for the Submariners’ Remembrance Service and Parade.

The fund-raising started after submariner Andy Knox heard how Mr Melling had been the victim of a callous and cowardly attack when an intruder pushed him to the ground, pulled his trousers down and stole his wallet.

The command warrant officer (CWO) drove to Mr Melling’s Wigan home to meet him and mentioned the London event.

CWO Knox said: “Harry was really keen to attend so I decided to go to my fellow submariners at HM Naval Base Clyde to see what we could do to raise money to get Harry there. It became a sort of mission for us – let’s get Harry to London!

“It was an amazing example of the unbreakable bond which submariners share, regardless of the years which separate them. We very much take the attitude of ‘once a submariner, always a submariner’ and were delighted we could help.”

A JustGiving page rapidly reached the £500 total, eventually raising £1,500 with the help of 20 junior submariners who raised £305.

Harry, who served in submarines during World War Two, attended a service at Westminster Abbey and then joined 400 people for the parade at Middle Temple Gardens.