Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Work began at Ardrossan Cemetery on Monday and a team archaeologists began their excavation on Tuesday morning 23 October 2012 to try and resolve an unsolved mystery dating back to World War 2. They are endeavouring to determine whether victims of a war-time sea tragedy are buried in a mass grave.
The aircraft carrier HMS Dasher exploded and sank in the Firth of Clyde on 27 March 1943 with the loss of 379 of her 528 crew. Of the 68 bodies recovered, 24 were buried at Ardrossan Cemetery and it is not known what happened to the other 44. Local historian John Steele believes some of these missing 44 who perished in the tragedy may also be buried in the cemetery. He persuaded North Ayrshire Council to petition a court for permission to excavate part of the cemetery suspected of being the mass grave.
Much secrecy still applies to this disaster and it's to be hoped that these excavations will go some way to answering some of the unresolved questions hanging over the event.