GOSPORT war veterans are set to dedicate a tree at the National Memorial Arboretum.

The arboretum was launched in 1994 to create a permanent memorial to those who died defending freedom. It forms part of the national forest being created from countryside and industrial wasteland to transform 200 square miles of Britain.

Now the HMS St Vincent Association is planning to fund an oak tree within the Royal Naval Grove at the arboretum, which will include a "convoy" of 2,500 trees to represent every merchant ship lost in the Second World War.

Organiser Graham Wicks said the tree was now well-established and the group would be visiting it for a dedication ceremony in April.

"Everyone is very pleased about this and we want as many people as possible to be able to come and see what has been done at the arboretum."

A coach has been organised to take non-driving members to the ceremony on April 28 at the Lichfield arboretum in Stafford-shire. Members wanting more information should contact Mr Wicks on 01258 450440.