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100-Year-Old Veteran Travels Across The Atlantic For Reunion

Lloyd Seaward, who survived the sinking of HMS Exeter in 1942 and was taken prisoner by the Japanese, travelled over for a reunion of HMS...

Lloyd Seaward, who survived the sinking of HMS Exeter in 1942 and was taken prisoner by the Japanese, travelled over from his home in Canada for the HMS Exeter Association's reunion. 

As part of the reunion over the weekend, he visited Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth, where his former ship was repaired following a battle, and went to Exeter Cathedral for a special service and civic reception. 

Veteran Sailor Lloyd Seaward at the reunion of HMS Exeter veterans

HMS Exeter was badly damaged during the initial stages of the Battle of the River Plate off Uruguay in 1939.

The battle in the South Atlantic was the first major naval battle of World War Two, which ended with Germany's Graf Spee being deliberately sunk by her captain. 

After it was repaired in Devonport Dockyard, HMS Exeter escorted Atlantic convoys before being sent to the Pacific at the start of the Pacific War in December 1939 - after the Japanese military bombed Pearl Harbour.

Mr Seaward was onboard HMS Exeter the following February when was sunk during the Battle of the Java Sea.

According to a history of the Royal Australian Navy, 652 men from the vessel, including Captain Gordon, 44 officers and 607 ratings, were taken prisoner by the Japanese. 

Mr Seaward survived the sinking and was taken prisoner by the Japanese until 1945.

During an interview with CBC News for his 100th birthday, he said he lost over half his body weight during that time - going down from 150 pounds to 78. 

Veteran Sailor Lloyd Seaward travelled from Canada for the reunion

This weekend at the HMS Exeter Association's reunion, a service was held to mark the 70th anniversary of the Exeter Window - a stained glass window in St Andrew's Chapel within Exeter Cathedral that was commissioned in memory of the officers and crew of HMS Exeter, who were lost or presumed dead in World War II. 

Mr Seaward was at the ceremony to rededicate the stained glass window to HMS Exeter.

Lloyd Seaward at the reunion of HMS Exeter veterans
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