Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Gallery: Merchant Navy Association memorial unveiled on Ipswich Waterfront to the ‘unsung heroes’ of the sea

PUBLISHED: 18:26 13 April 2014 | UPDATED: 08:12 14 April 2014

The unveiling and dedication of the Merchant Navy Association Seafarers' Memorial at Orwell Quay in Ipswich on Saturday
The parade of standards

The unveiling and dedication of the Merchant Navy Association Seafarers' Memorial at Orwell Quay in Ipswich on Saturday The parade of standards

Archant

Thousands of seafarers who lost their lives in times of war were honoured at a poignant ceremony to dedicate a new memorial on Ipswich Waterfront.

Lord Tollemache, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, unveiled the three-ton granite memorial, put in place on Orwell Quay after a year-long £13,000 fundraising campaign by the Ipswich branch of the Merchant Navy Association (MNA).

People gathered close to the University Campus Suffolk buildings as standard bearers of forces associations paraded along the quayside led by the Harwich Pipe Band at the start of the open-air service, attended by VIP guests, including mayor of Ipswich Hamil Clarke.

Acting bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Rt Rev Dr David Thomson carried out the act of dedication before a one minute’s silence in memory of seafarers who have died in conflicts and the laying of wreaths.

Among those laying wreaths was Melton resident Sandra Smith, originally from Barbados and whose grandfather was killed when the SS Traveller, on which he was serving, was torpedoed and lost with all 51 crew killed on January 16, 1942.

It is the first time Ipswich, with its rich merchant navy history stretching back more than 1,000 years, has had a memorial dedicated to the merchant seamen who lost their lives at sea in war time, often taking part in dangerous missions to bring food and other necessary cargo home to Britain.

During World War Two alone, nearly twice as many merchant seafarers lost their lives at sea as Royal Navy seamen.

Capt Geoffrey Hartgrove, chairman of the Ipswich branch of the MNA, said merchant seamen were the “unsung heroes” of the sea

Many generations of sailors had lived in the town and sailed to destinations all over the world.

In peacetime, merchant seafarers go about their business almost un-noticed, yet over 90% of everything consumed in the UK arrives by ship.

He said in wartime there was never a lack of seafarers ready to man the vessels – mostly unarmed – that brought food, oil and other essentials, enduring man-made perils like enemy submarines, bombers and mines.

Capt Hartgrove said: “In WWII alone, it’s estimated that about 35,000 merchant sailors lost their lives.”

Seafarers had been short-changed in the public perception but had a magnificent story and the merchant navy was still as vital today.

Thanking all the organisations, businesses and individuals who supported the fundraising, Capt Hartgrove said: “It is not only the heroism and sacrifice but also hope because our merchant navy can offer a career for those who want something out of the ordinary.”

2 comments

  • @Ipsman - There's one in the attached gallery.

    Report this comment

    Duncan AA

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Well deserved memorial. A photo of it would have been nice to see.

    Report this comment

    Ipsman

    Monday, April 14, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Firefighters will be tackling the fire on Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, into the night, with needles left by drug users and a hazardous building meaning they will not risk entering the property.

It may have been a forgettable season finish for Blues fans at Portman Road on Saturday – but one moment of magic should cheer even the most desolate of supporters.

Seven suspected Ukrainian illegal immigrants have been arrested after their yacht ran aground on the Suffolk coast today.

Former Bread star Giles Watling is hoping to make it third time lucky when he tries again to be elected as Conservative MP for Clacton next month.

Ipswich Town’s home campaign finished with a typically forgettable 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. Blues reporter STUART WATSON gives his verdict.

A critical care nurse is to take on her first ever open-water swimming challenge in memory of her best friend who she lost to meningitis.

One sixth form in Ipswich experienced the glitz and glamour of Hollywood with its own red carpet event last week for its film students.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell helped give Ipswich Labour Party a big boost at the start of the General Election as the star guest at the town’s May Day Festival in Alexandra Park.

Could you open your home to one of these cats and dogs all looking for new homes?

A Harris hawk and kestrel have been brought in to frighten them away in Lowestoft.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24