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Training Ship Mercury Today

WarMemorial.jpg

The earliest proposal for the construction of a permanent memorial to former Mercury boys who made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War was made during the summer of 1915. However, the Clock Tower Memorial (see right) with a gun metal plate containing forty-six names was not dedicated until 1922. Some years after the Second World War a plate containing the names of Mercury boys who lost their lives in that conflict was added to the Memorial.

After the school closed in 1968 the First World War plate was transferred to Hamble Churchyard but the Second World War plate disappeared. As a result, a new Second World War plate, containing thirty-seven names, was commissioned by the Mercury Old Boys' Association and dedicated in Hamble Churchyard in 1995. This memorial was replaced in 2015 with many errors and omissions corrected (see below). For details of the boys who died during the two world wars please see the Rolls of Honour for World War I or World War II.

For those that venture into Hamble and go inside Hamble Parish Church, they will find the school commemorated in a stained glass window made and presented to the association by Mercury Old Boy Roy Brown (2894). Also, Mercury is represented in a tapestry made by the ladies of the parish in 1994.

A crucifix together with a dedication written by Beatrice Fry can be found outside on the walls of the church
Information Board

The display panel providing information about the area (now called Mercury Marshes) with many references to TS Mercury (click image for more details).

The most obvious reminder of the school for visitors to the former site of TS Mercury will be the street names that have been assigned to the housing estate that now exists there. Such names as Mercury Gardens, Mercury View, Fry Close and St Agatha’s Close. However, down by the old slipway (which still exists) visitors will find various memorials and reminders of the school. Perhaps most obvious will be the Mercury Memorial Plinth erected by the Mercury Old Boys Association in 1985 (and recently refurbished). Nearby is a seat for local residents (also provided by the MOBA) and a tree planted in memory of Mercury staff. Finally, at this site can be found a display panel to which the MOBA contributed. All these are maintained by either the MOBA or Hamble Parish Council. The local residents also keep a watchful eye on their state of health.

The site of the memorials at the slipway. Click over the plinth, seat or tree (behind the bench).
Plinth
Seat
Tree

Memorials


In the Hamble churchyard near the entrance (on the left) can be found the Mercury War Memorial This was dedicated in September 2015 and replaced the previous memorial which had errors and omissions. For details of those who are listed on this memorial please see the World War I Roll of Honour or the World War II Roll of Honour.

The churchyard also contains the graves of two Mercury Boys who died at the school (2339, Frank Ezra and 2775, Richard Greene) as well as a long serving member of staff, James ‘Bandy’ McGavin who died in 1939 after 40 years service.

Today, HMS Gannet may not look like the HMS President Mercury Boys knew. However, to preserve the memory, Mercury Old Boy, Jim Towndrow (3649) built a 1 metre long replica in 2006 and it is intended this will be displayed along with other Mercury memorabilia in the planned new library in Hamble.
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Another location that is, of course, connected with TS Mercury is the restored HMS Gannet on display in the Historic Dockyard, Chatham. Visitors to the ship will find references to her time at the Mercury on various display boards and below decks there is a small photographic display devoted to the Mercury (see right).