Adoption By the Borough of Doncaster
On 25th March 1942, Lightning was adopted by the Borough of Doncaster as
part of a Warship Week National Savings plan. Doncaster and the surrounding
Boroughs raised over £800,000 in National Savings and effectively paid
for the ship.
A party from the ship including commander Walters presented the ship's badge
to the Council on 15th October 1942, whilst she was refitting at Chatham.
The notice of her sinking was announced in the local press on 7 April 1943.
The badge is still on display in the Mansion House in Doncaster and I was
able to see it again at the civic reception to commemorate the fiftieth
anniversary of her sinking.
Press Cuttings of the Period
Doncaster Chronicle, Thursday February 5, 1942.
"All Hands" call for Warship Week
Doncaster starts its warship week with the objective of raising £700,000
tomorrow (Friday) and "all hands" are summoned to action. The
County Borough and the urban areas of Adwick, Bentley and Tickhill are joined
in the effort, and there is confidence that the people will rise to the
occasion and bring honour to the town and neighbourhood by topping the target
figure.....The aim is to pay for HMS Lightning, a destroyer.
Doncaster Gazette, 19 February 1942.
Doncaster with the active co-operation of the urban districts of Adwick,
Bentley and Tickhill, has "done it again".
The £700,000 target for HMS Lightning has been exceeded by over £146,902,
the latest official figures being £846,902.
Doncaster Chronicle, Thursday October 15, 1942.
THE NAVY IS HERE
...The ceremony of exchange of plaques between the Mayor, representing the
town and Naval Officers on behalf of HMS Lightning takes place this afternoon
in Doncaster Market Place.....Commander H G Walters commanding HMS Lightning
will attend today's ceremony in the Market Place, when the plaque commemorative
of the effort of the town and district in Warships Week will be presented
to the destroyer. Commander Walters has been in command of HMS Lightning
for the last nine months. On behalf of the Admiralty a plaque will be hung
permanently in the Mansion House.
Doncaster Chronicle, Thursday October 22, 1942.
HMS Lightning was a "Very Good Buy"
The contribution which Doncaster, Bentley, Adwick and Tickhill made to the
Royal Navy when they raised over £800,000 in National Savings, and
adopted HMS Lightning was commemorated by the exchange of plaques at a ceremony
in Doncaster Market Place last Thursday. Particular interest attached to
the visit of the captain of the Lightning, who said how proud the area ought
to be of a grand ship.
......Commander Walters said it was evident that Doncaster fully realised
what sea power meant and why it was so essential to this island nation and
Empire. He would like to remind them that their magnificent response in
Warship Week had sent to sea one of the most powerful destroyers. He could
assure them they had made a "very good buy". "I have seen
her in all conditions of sea going service and you know the sea has got
many moods. I have seen her under some of the enemies moods as well. I am
extremely grateful for the presentation of this plaque because it is going
to form a link between the Lightning and the area which has adopted her.
I am not going to talk carelessly. I can't tell you where we have been or
anything at all. But I want you to know that you ought to be just as proud
of this ship as I am and believe me I am extremely proud of it".
Following the adoption, a Sea Cadet corps - TS Lightning was formed in Doncaster.
This is still in existence and proudly formed the guard of honour at the
civic reception held in March 1993 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary
of the loss of the Lightning.