On Sunday 5th May 2019, deputy lieutenant The Hon Patrick Seeley DL attended the 77th Anniversary of the Defence of Cowes and East Cowes by the Polish destroyer ORP Blyskawica on Cowes Parade. Retired deputy lieutenant Mr John Matthews DL, representatives from the Polish Navy, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and Isle of Wight’s civic dignitaries also attended.
ORP Blyskawica and her sister ship ORP Grom were built in a local shipyard J.S. White & Co. The Friends of the ORP Blyskawica Society annually commemorates the defence of Cowes and East Cowes by Polish destroyer ORP Blyskawica, an event which took place on the night of the 4/5th May 1942 claiming the lives of 70 townspeople from the two towns. The loss of ORP Grom in Rombaken Fiord Norway on the 4th of May 1940 was also commemorated.