Cromwell Lock Memorial

In memory of the ten Sappers from 300 Tp, 131 Indep Para Sqn RE (V) who lost their lives on the River Trent on 28th September 1975



Cromwell Lock Memorial



A memorial to the men of 300 Troop of 131 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers (V), who died on a night Exercise "Trent Chase" on 28th of September 1975. This was an annual watermanship exercise over approximately 80 miles.

In stormy weather and dark conditions 10 out of the 11 Sappers drowned when their assault boat went over Cromwell Weir, including two Brothers, Sappers Stuart and Peter Evenden. 300 Troop were from Scotland.

A memorial was erected next to the Locks, opposite to the weir, made of Scottish granite, with the names of the men inscribed on a bronze plaque.


Sapper Norman Bennett

Aged 29


Sapper James Black

Aged 18

Sapper Raymond Buchanan

Aged 20

Sapper Peter Evenden

Aged 19

Sapper Stuart Evenden

Aged 22

Sapper Ian Mercer

Aged 17

Sapper Alexander O'Brien

Aged 18

Sapper Terry Smith

Aged 20

Sapper Ronald Temprell

Aged 26

Sapper Joseph Walker

Aged 21


Cromwell Lock Memorial Service 2018 by John Lee

The annual Cromwell Lock Memorial Service was held on Sunday 23rd September to remember the 10 sappers from 300 Tp, 131 Indep Para Sqn RE (V) who lost their lives whilst taking part in Ex Trent Chase on the 28th September 1975.

The service was held on a bright sunny morning, in contrast to the weather fore­cast, and was attended by around 40 or so people with members from our Birmingham and 299 Association Branches and representatives from the Newark, Nottingham and Spalding Branches of the Parachute Regimental Association also being in attendance.

The service was organised by Arn Andrews of the Newark Branch PRA and it was conducted by the local vicar, the Rev Mark Adams. Wreaths were laid at the memorial and PRA standards were carried, and the Last Post and Reveille was sounded by Stuart McNair.

I am pleased to say that the memorial is in good shape, although some rabbits have decided to burrow in the flower beds, however, the flowers gave a nice blaze of colour in the morning sun and the site is cared for by a band of volunteers who assist in keeping it spick and span.

After the service guests were invited back to Arn Andrews farmhouse for refreshments introductions were made and the usual reminiscences were made over a beer (or two) and enough food to feed the proverbial regiment.
All in all, a pleasant way to remember the lads from 300 Tp and meet up with old friends.

I would like to express my thanks on behalf of the AEA to the Newark Branch, and Arn Andrews in particular, for organising this event once again and their continuing support over the years.

Cromwell Lock Memorial Service 2012 by Joe Davidson

On the 28th Sept, Dougie Balloch and myself, both former Sqn members, were invited to join the Falkirk Sappers Group to commemorate the 37th Anniversary memorial for the men of 131 Para Engineer Sqn, killed on exercise Trent Chase, Cromwell Weir 28th Sept 1975.

The Memorial stone was raised by the people of Grangemouth Central Scotland to honour the men killed, many of them from the Grangemouth area.

Each year Mr Rab Cruickshank organises the memorial service and the laying of a wreath. Family members of the men lost, as well as members of the Falkirk Sappers Group attended the service.


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themed object
Airborne Engineers Association