The event went ahead in Tamworth despite atrocious weather conditions and guests included relatives of all three men involved in wartime heroics to retrieve Enigma codes from a sunken U-boat during the war.
Colin Grazier lost his life during the successful operation, which is credited with bringing the war to an end much more quickly – and saving countless lives.
The unveiling itself was in St Editha’s Square and was followed by a talk at the church next door, which was packed with almost 1,000 people. Two Enigma code-breaking machine were also on display.
The event was the culmination of a four-year campaign launched by the Tamworth Herald to honour the unsung heroes.
Herald deputy editor Phil Shanahan, who has led the campaign, said the monument was the ‘icing on the cake’, and the weather, though atrocious, actually added to the moving atmosphere.
He said: “It is a fitting climax and I cannot think of a more poignant tribute.
“I would like to thank the many hundreds of individuals, and organisations which have supported us. I hope they are all satisfied that we have commemorated these forgotten heroes in some style.
“This has been one of the most worthwhile projects I have ever been involved in.”
The monument, by top European sculptor Walenty Pytel, features three huge anchors and a genuine ship’s anchor chain.
It was been commissioned in honour of Colin Grazier, but was also dedicated to the two men who helped him rescue vital Enigma codes from a stricken German submarine. Lt Tony Fasson was drowned with Grazier when the U-559 suddenly sank. Tommy Brown survived the incident but was killed in house fire two years later. The three anchors represent the lives of the three heroes involved.
Guests at the ceremony included a party from Grazier’s ship, HMS Petard, 14 of whom were on board the night the codes were collected.
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