On St George’s Day 1918 a daring raid took place against the German port of Zeebrugge. The raid included an old cruiser, HMS Vindictive, which was modified to carry marines and sailors right up to the mole. The raid was a qualified success and led to many gallantry awards being issued. HMS Vindictive was used again as a block ship in a subsequent raid a few weeks later. After the war the scuttled block ship was raised and scrapped, but a section of the bow was preserved as a memorial on the harbour in Zeebrugge and this postcard of the memorial dates from the 1920s, soon after it was installed:
The memorial has been modified a few times over the years, including being mounted in a new location:
The memorial stands as a fitting tribute to the daring raid that took place in April 1918. Harry Adams was aboard HMS Daffodil, alongside the Vindictive and he recalled the carnage aboard the ship:
I came up in line with one of her portholes and the sight that met my eyes was ghastly- Good God! Have I got to come to this, I thought! For it was terrible- made you very sick at heart, you forgot the guns and din for the second. I can’t ask you to imagine this,- you couldn’t.
There was about a foot and a half to two feet of water on her mess desk, and every time she rolled, it swished from side to side with a mixture I never wish to see again as long as I live- yet I have it so clearly in my mind’s eye as I write.