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In memory of UK's worst maritime loss

A service has been held to mark 74 years since thousands of people lost their lives in Britain's worst maritime disaster.

There were thought to be more than 6,000 servicemen and civilians on board - with some estimates as high as 9,000 - when the Clyde-built HMT Lancastria was bombed and sank off the coast of France during the Second World War.

Only about 2,500 survived, representing a greater loss of life than the Titanic and Lusitania disasters combined.

Members of the Lancastria Association gathered in Clydebank yesterday to remember those who died. The service was held at the Lancastria Memorial in the grounds of the Golden Jubilee Hospital, on the site of the former William Beardmore shipyard where the ship was built.

Chairwoman Fiona Symon said: "This annual commemorative service provides support for survivors, their families and the families who lost loved ones during the sinking of the Lancastria.

"It took a long time to erect a major memorial in our country. However, we are grateful that the memorial is freely accessible to all and hopefully will bring some comfort to so many families who have no known grave to visit in France."

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