Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

Gallery: Ipswich honours Merchant Navy heroes

18:32 03 September 2014

Ceremony to mark Merchant Navy Day on Ipswich Waterfront attended by Ipswich Mayor Bill Quinton and community members

Ceremony to mark Merchant Navy Day on Ipswich Waterfront attended by Ipswich Mayor Bill Quinton and community members

The sacrifices made by those serving in the Merchant Navy were marked today on Ipswich Waterfront.

The commemoration recognising the role played by the seafarers in peace and war, took place for the first time at the memorial on Orwell Quay.

Passers-by stopped and paid their respects as Captain Geoffrey Hartgrove, chairman of the Ipswich branch of the Merchant Navy Association (MNA), and Reverend Andrew Dotchin took part in a service, which coincided with other commemorative events across the nation.

Today marked the anniversary of the first maritime casualty of the Second World War, when the S.S. Athenia was torpedoed on September 3, 1939. During the ensuing Battle of the Atlantic some 30,000 allied seafarers lost their lives.

The three-tonne granite memorial on Ipswich Waterfront was put in place in April after a year-long £13,000 fundraising campaign by the Ipswich branch of the MNA.

Those in attendance yesterday read a seafarer’s version of Psalm 23, the Lord’s Prayer, and sang Abide With Me, while there was also a minute’s silence to remember the fallen seafarers.

Capt Hartgrove said: “I’m honoured to have been able to do it.

“I hope the various buildings are flying the Red Ensign today.”

Ipswich mayor Bill Quinton, who was also in attendance along with his wife and mayoress Barbara, said the service was brilliant and added: “The memorial is in it’s home.

“It’s a wonderful place to celebrate this occasions, it’s a lovely setting.

“It was lovely to see lots of people here.

“The seafarers deserve all the credit. Without them we wouldn’t be here today.

“It’s great to be part of the celebration.”

The Merchant Navy

The Merchant Navy is the name given to the UK’s commercial shipping industry.

During both world wars it became known as the “fourth service”.

A policy of unrestricted warfare meant that merchant seafarers were at risk of attack from German U-boats.

The tonnage lost in the First World War was around 7,759,090 tons, and around 14,661 merchant seafarers were killed.

In honour of the sacrifice made by merchant seafarers in the First World War, George V granted the title “Merchant Navy” to the service.

In the Second World War, German U-boats sank nearly 14.7 million tons of Allied shipping, which amounted to 2,828 ships (around two thirds of the total allied tonnage lost).

The UK alone suffered the loss of 11.7 million tons, which was 54% of the total Merchant Navy fleet at the outbreak of the Second World War. Some 32,000 merchant seafarers were killed aboard convoy vessels in the war, but along with the Royal Navy, the convoys successfully imported enough supplies to allow an Allied victory.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The closure of a “crucial” day care service would be a “real loss” to an Ipswich community, a councillor has said.

Commuters faced delays in Norwich Road in Ipswich this evening due to two crashes.

In the last few weeks he has made his return to The Voice UK but back in 1992 Welsh superstar Tom Jones was gracing the stage in Ipswich.

A tiny independent mini-state off the Suffolk coast is bracing itself for an influx of migrants – due to the votes for Brexit and Donald Trump.

A man apparently tried to abduct an eight-year-old boy in Ipswich on Saturday morning.

A stolen Land Rover was driven at its owners at their property and rammed a police car during a pursuit in the Suffolk countryside in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A woman who worked as a nurse for 32 years has been struck off after falsely claiming to have received medical qualifications from the University of Suffolk.

An extremist “systematically” gunned down innocent holidaymakers – including two Suffolk men – on a Tunisian beach in 2015, an inquest has heard.

It was a country like no other. Here’s what I loved about the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago and why you should grab the chance to visit.

Council tax bills across Suffolk are set to rise by just under 3% in April to help pay for social care across the county.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24