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COPP Heroes of Hayling Island




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The COPP Heroes Memorial Fund was established in 2010 to raise awareness of the COPP (Combined Operations Pilotage Parties) contribution to the allied war effort in WW2, and to raise funds to create and maintain a fitting memorial to these wartime heroes on the seafront at Hayling.

The top secret COPP Depot was set up in 1943 on Hayling Island under the instruction of Lord Mountbatten. Small teams of sailors and soldiers trained as frogmen and canoeists for covert beach reconnaissance and other essential clandestine operations prior to the Allied landings on enemy occupied territory throughout the world.There are now very few members of the unit still with us:

John Ashford COPP 3 and COPP 10
Lieutenant Jim Booth RNVR, COPP 9
Peter Palmer, COPP 4 and 6
Roger Gilbert, COPP HQ
John Bowden, COPP 6

On Hayling Island there was nothing to commemorate the bravery of this small band of servicemen, and after 65 years, still so little is known of their exploits locally or nationally.

To put that right, we worked to create a permanent memorial to Hayling’s Heroes - the men of the COPP unit and we are honoured to have as the patron of COPP Heroes Memorial Fund, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales. The memorial was dedicated in a ceremony on 27 September 2012 by Countess Mountbatten, and is a fitting tribute to the very brave men of COPP.


Copyright © COPP Heroes -
HRH Prince of Wales Patron.


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Read the Copp News May 2014