On the afternoon of Saturday 27 March 1943, the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Dasher was sailing in the Clyde Estuary between Ardrossan and Arran. At 4.40 pm, there was an enormous explosion. Within a short time, the ship sank. Of the 528 men on board, 379 were killed by the blast or drowned.

In commemoration of the tragedy, a memorial stone and plaque were unveiled in the Sunken Gardens on South Beach across from the Church on 27 March 1993, the fiftieth anniversary of the tragedy. Another plaque was installed on a sea-facing wall of the Church in 1996.

The photograph shows the dedication ceremony for the Church plaque in 1996. Father Michael Lynch is at the left. The man in the centre is John Steele, researcher and author on HMS Dasher.

Every year since 2000, there has been a commemoration service in the Sunken Gardens followed by tea and coffee in Saint Peter's Parish Centre. It takes place on the Sunday of or before 27 March.

Other photographs of the HMS Dasher Memorial may be seen on the Pictures page.