Fogg - SS Storaa
TWO sisters who last saw their father in 1943 have won the latest round in their battle to have the ship on which he died designated a war grave.
Petty Officer James Varndell, a naval gunner, was one of 21 men killed when the SS Storra, a merchant ship, was torpedoed in the English Channel. His daughters, Rosemary Fogg, now aged 73, and Valerie Ledgard, 65, have been campaigning to have the wreck protected from divers.
Case No: CO/132/2005
Neutral Citation Number:  EWHC 2888 (Admin)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
Date: 13th December 2005
MR JUSTICE NEWMAN
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The Queen on the application of
(1) ROSEMARY FOGG
(2) VALERIE LEDGARD
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The daughters of a naval gunner killed when his ship was torpedoed off the Sussex coast during WWII have won their battle for the wreck to be protected.
Rosemary Fogg and Valerie Ledgard, from Worthing, argued that as the merchant ship SS Storaa had been on military duties it must be classed a war grave.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) appealed against a High Court ruling backing war grave status, but lost on Thursday.
Petty Officer James Varndell died with 21 others when the ship sank in 1943.
Two daughters of a naval gunner, who died during the Second World War when his merchant navy vessel was torpedoed, today won the second round of their fight to have the wrecked ship which lies off Hastings protected as a war grave.
Rosemary Fogg, 74, and Valerie Ledgard, 66, won a key High Court ruling last December that the Government must reconsider its decision that the vessel, the SS Storaa, cannot be protected as a war grave as it was a merchant navy ship and so the 21-strong crew died not on military service.
Two sisters' court victory to have their father's final resting place designated as a war grave could mean that most convoy vessels sunk by enemy action will now be protected.
Defence Secretary Des Browne had appealed after a High Court judge quashed his decision that the steamship Storaa should not be designated a war grave under the Military Remains Act.
He argued that if the ruling was upheld, then most merchant vessels sunk while travelling in convoy during the Second World War would have to be similarly protected.
- Sisters' victory for father killed in WW2
- Final decision still rests with defence secretary
Two sisters fighting to have the torpedoed merchant navy ship on which their father died during the second world war designated a war grave scored an important victory yesterday in the court of appeal.
TWO sisters whose father died on a merchant ship in the Second World War won a court battle yesterday to have the wreck designated a war grave. The ruling could lead to similar sites being afforded the same protection.
Petty Officer James Varndell, 44, the father of Rosemary Fogg and Valerie Ledgard, died when the steamship Storaa was torpedoed by E-boats in 1943.
THOUSANDS of merchant shipwrecks from the two world wars could be afforded war grave status after the Ministry of Defence dropped a landmark court action.
The Government has decided not to appeal against a court victory last month by two sisters whose father died on a merchant ship in the Second World War, The Times has learnt.
Rosemary Fogg and Valerie Ledgard's successful court battle to have the wreck of the SS Storaa designated a war grave has brought hope to the Merchant Navy Association, which now plans to help other people to make similar submissions.