HMS Forth hosted a wreath-laying ceremony in the Falkland Islands during a remembrance service honouring those who lost their lives aboard SMS Scharnhorst in 1914, say the Royal Navy.

According to a news release, the service took place at the site of the newly-discovered wreck of the German armoured cruiser, 92 nautical miles off the coast of the capital, Stanley.

“The crew of the patrol ship were joined by personnel from British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI), led by Commander BFSAI, Brigadier Nick Sawyer. At an earlier wreath handover ceremony the crew of the A400M transport plane at BFSAI took on the custodian of the wreath of remembrance from Lady Alexandra Norton and Mr Mensun Bound.

Lady Norton, is the great great niece of German Admiral Maximilian Graf Von Spee, who lost his life along with his 800 men when SMS Scharnhorst was lost during WW1 on December 8 1914. Mr Mensun Bound led the team that first discovered the wreck in December 2019 after a five-year search.”

The Royal Navy say that Forth is the first of five second-generation River-class patrol ships “to begin extended missions in regions around the globe under the RN’s broadening Forward Presence vision”.

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Sean Crowley

Remember HMS Ardent and HMS Acasta two little Destroyers who took on this ship and another heavy cruiser in a suicide mission trying to protect they’re Carrier .


Different ship, the SMS Scharnhorst was a Imperial German navy cruiser sunk by RN Battle cruisers during the great war.

The incident you speak of involved the KMS Scharnhorst some 30 years later.


“broadening forward presence vision”, I’ll say no more.

Stuart Wallace

So do the Germans lay wreath at the site of the Battle of Coronel Chile, where this German Sqn sank two obsolete RN ships with the loss of 1,660 RN personnel? This was war and the German Asiatic Sqn presented a real threat to the UK trade and merchant ships. Do we apologize next?


We should not discriminate over the dead, they were once babies and sons and daughters regardless of nationality. I found this very moving and in the right spirit of peace, without which, we all remain bitter and resentful.

Stuart Wallace

UK dead seem to be discriminated against in this case. Do we lay wreaths on the graves of the Waffen SS.


At the height of both World Wars, both sides respected dead servicemen and women with military honors when possible. Many British graveyards have the graves of Luftwaffe personnel who perished whilst over UK airspace.

Alan Reid

Hi Stuart, I certainly wouldn’t compare the men of the Kaiserliche Marine in WW1 with the Waffen SS. And Von Spee appears to have been a decent and honourable man, as were his captains – men like von Müller of the SMS Emden, and von Schonberg of the SMS Nurnberg. There were no survivors from Good Hope or Monmouth – but this was due to rough seas, and falling light, which hindered any attempts at rescue. And von Schonberg gave the stricken Monmouth the opportunity to surrender, but in the traditions of the Royal Navy, she refused to strike her… Read more »

Dave Wolfy

The question is – would we do it for a warship of the Imperial Japanese Navy?
In WW1 they were on our side.


Any ship of any navy if the situation called for it as in this case. However, one has to be careful in the choosing, as it could be misread as a cynical action.

Stuart Wallace

Agree this looks political, buttering the Germans up for a good Brexit? However, may be a good time to commemorate this ship before the Chinese turn up and make off with it?


Fuck me, some people just cannot go one moment without farting out the Brexit word, tying it to any and all actions currently happening. Maybe it’s something else, like respecting a uniformed enemy, especially those who died. Pretty much any person who has seen the shitty end of combat will think the same. Remember, however, history is generally the victors propaganda.


It’s just about respect. I suspect the Germans would show the same respect. Doesn’t matter anyway just doing the right thing is enough.

Simon Stoddart

I suspect that if the wrecks of HMS Good Hope or HMS Monmouth were located at Coronel and a German Navy ship was on regular patrol in that area, then yes, that German ship would very likely participate in such a ceremony.

Ian Skinner

I think they would, given the chance; this sort of thing is very important to sailors, regardless of nationality.


If all the moaning minnies would stop and read properly… and stop bringing in the waffen ss and brexit and how we should stop being apologizing blah blah blah…

The reason this wreath ceremony was held was because the wreck has only just been found, so there has never been any reason until now to commemorate it. So it’s appropriate.

It’s worth pointing out that even as their flagships were going down in their respective battles both Cradock and von Spee behaved honourably in trying to save their own fleets.


Ah yes honour our navy is still about that I hope.


Notably most of those on deck are smiling and laughing. Inappropriate or misleading moment in time pic?


It would be nice to commemorate our dead at Coronel in the same way. But sadly I believe that HMS Good Hope and HMS Monmouth have yet to be located.


Yes they have not been located .


I think probably for the best. Let them rest.