Ceremony at Kylesku on 23rd September 2023, on the Eightieth Anniversary of Operation SOURCE

Author: Tim Honnor, Commander Royal Navy

Initiative to Refurbish Memorial Cairn

Kylesku XII Submarine Flotilla Cairn

This is being organised by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Sutherland, Major General Patrick Marriott, CB, CBE, assisted by Mr. Jonathan Brett-Young, DL, who served in the Royal Australian Navy.

Whilst I have been involved in the preparations, the arrangements are totally those of General Marriott. He has kindly taken on this remit, to act as a catalyst to the refurbishment of the cairn, with the addition of some information boards; understanding the great importance of this site to the submarine service and WWII history.

Commander Ray Hunter, who will be attending the ceremony on behalf of all retired submariners, has kindly agreed to write up a ‘Patrol Report’ for subsequent promulgation. I will promulgate the Anniversary Wreath-laying programme as soon as it is finalised.

Initiative to Refurbish Memorial Cairn and Provide Information Boards

I have been heartened and delighted by the general positive response to my proposal to refurbish the memorial cairn and provide two information boards on the site.

 The proposals
  • One large board specifically for Operation SOURCE, perhaps showing the tracks of the X Craft to TIRPITZ in the north of Norway. In this I believe the Submarine Museum should lead on content and design.
  • One board, of a more general nature, depicting the world-wide operations of X Craft. Submarine Museum to again lead on detail.
  • Refurbishment of the cairn, including the wording on the bronze face, some of which has been almost completely obliterated by wind and weather. I am still trying to find out who, if anyone, has ownership of the cairn and is responsible for its upkeep. It is sited on land belonging to the Duke of Westminster.
  • Possible provision of two additional seating all weather benches; maybe dedicated to Donald Cameron VC, and Godfrey Place VC.
  • The custody and responsibility for the new boards and the refurbished cairn must be clearly laid down. ‘Submarine family’ to decide who.


It has been suggested to me that a ballpark figure of £12k will be needed to complete the work detailed in the paragraph above.

I have already had offers of financial help by both submarine associations and the submarine family, as well as from industry and private persons. To this end Commander Peter Jeanneret has set up a ring-fenced blank account within the Submarine Memorial Fund, in which donations to this cause can be deposited. Peter has sent me the following details, that will be printed on the final programme for the 23rd September ceremony.

The best way to donate to our appeal is to make a BACS payment to Submariner Memorial Appeal

RBS Business Account
Sort Code 15-80-00
A/C 11690028

This account is administered by the Society of Friends of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum.  This account is ring-fenced for funds in support of the Kylesku Memorial. 

Once the ceremony is over, I will be the liaison with the local authorities, including the Duke of Westminster Estates, as to planning permissions and sitings of the information boards at Kylesku, including the necessary repairs to the cairn.

The Route N500, around the north of Scotland is much promulgated, and as a result, a greatly increased number of visitors now pass by the cairn. I therefore that hope that these proposals can be achieved by May of next year, so that next season’s influx of visitors will be better informed of the brave deeds that were mounted by submariners, from this beautiful place. I will also try to publicise the site so that information can appear in tourist literature on the north of Scotland. 

I am most grateful to the support and enthusiasm that there has been to these proposals, and request that this brief edited or otherwise is given general promulgation within the ‘submarine family’, including those serving.

Tim Honnor

Commander Royal Navy
Westhill House
Inverness IV2 5BP