Fogg - SS Storaa

Sisters win battle over war grave

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.

R (oao Rosemary Fogg and Valerie Ledgard) v Secretary of State for Defence & John Short

Case No: CO/132/2005

Neutral Citation Number: [2005] EWHC 2888 (Admin)





Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL


Date: 13th December 2005


Before :




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Between :


The Queen on the application of





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Court victory over WWII war grave

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.

Daughters win round two

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.

Sisters' court victory over father's war grave

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.

Wrecks may get war grave status

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.

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