WE are approaching the 77th anniversary of the loss of HMS Dasher, which sank on March 27, 1943 in the Firth of Clyde between Ardrossan and Brodick.

At the time, the loss of this fleet aircraft carrier was shrouded in mystery, arguably for understandable reasons of wartime security. What is less understandable is that these mysteries remain to this day. Most importantly, the families of the sailors lost are still seeking answers as to the last resting place of their loved ones. Of the 379 fatalities, only 13 lie together in marked graves in Ardrossan Cemetery. Of these, one, John Melville, is almost certainly the “Man Who Never Was” immortalised in the classic war film of Operation Mincemeat and who therefore cannot be buried in Ardrossan. Despite contemporary eye-witness accounts that many more bodies were recovered and further rumours of mass graves somewhere in Ayrshire, the families of the lost sailors are still no nearer finding the whereabouts of their loved ones. Of course, stories and conspiracy theories abound, all of which could be neutralised by honest and transparent answers. However, successive governments have refused, and continue to refuse, to answer questions. Ironically, and shamefully, some of the first and greatest clarity has come from the German Navy. which authoritatively stated the sinking was not due to its action.

The full, tragic, story is told in John and Noreen Steele’s excellent book The American Connection to the Sinking of HMS Dasher. It is to be hoped that in these days of the Government’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, and as we approach this anniversary and the commemorations associated with VE Day, that at last the families, whose grief is still fresh after all these years, will be provided with answers. Surely, this is the very least of their entitlement.

Graham Short, Kilmarnock.

Out on parole

HAVING just returned from sneaking out to collect my Herald during my permitted exercise time, I was pleased to learn that I had not yet received my morning random phone call from our middle-aged son, now turned "probation officer". No, I had not joined the early morning queue awaiting the opening of my local supermarket.

I am still trying to persuade him that "independent" does not equate to "thrawn".

A big "thank-you" to Rosemary Goring whose article ("To see middle-aged children policing their parents is another sign of a world gone mad", The Herald, March 25) rang not a few bells in our Anderson shelter.

Malcolm Allan, Bishopbriggs.

Solitary pleasures

I CAN'T agree with Alan Fitzpatrick's suggestion of Vera Lynn making a comeback in the current crisis (Letters, March 25 March). I prefer listening to more upbeat and apt music such as Spendid Isolation by Warren Zevon and 'Keep Your Distance' by Richard Thompson.

Jim Kelly, Glasgow G69.

WHAT a cracking letters page we had today (March 25) across all subjects. I had my first laugh when I read Ian Lakin's defence of Margaret Thatcher – recognising Boris Johnson's embrace of socialism, but only in the short term: a bit like a naughty boy hiding behind his mum's socialist skirt, but only so that he can emerge later to be naughty again. Then a smile at the Letters Editor posting my own diametrically-opposed view immediately after.

But my biggest laugh was provided by Robert McCaw: "Haw, Corona, get yer backside in the hoose", and Alan Fitzpatrick: "We'll meet again don't know where don't know when". Vintage stuff.

John Jamieson, Ayr.