Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 29°C

min temp: 19°C

Search

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

18:26 13 April 2014

The unveiling and dedication of the Merchant Navy Association Seafarers

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

The scene of police activity on St Matthews Street, Ipswich

Police who carried out a raid at an Ipswich town centre flat found it had been turned into a cannabis factory with more than 200 plants at different stages of growth, a court has heard.

Manningtree band Superglu

A band from north Essex will be headlining at stage at one of Britain’s biggest music festivals this weekend.

Great Eastern Rail Campaign members at Ipswich Station: 
Jonathan Denby, David Burch, Chris Starkie, Chloe Smith MP and Bun Gummer MP

In the second of five three-minute interviews Ben Gummer, the MP for Ipswich, gives his reaction to Abellio Greater Anglia being awarded the rail franchise for East Anglia.

Sydney Mini Market, Ipswich

Three establishments in Ipswich have been given one star food hygiene ratings after latest inspections.

What can you do with the kids in the last few days of the summer holidays?

There is just over one week left of the summer holidays but there is plenty still to do before the schools open their doors for a new term.

Ipswich Blue has proven to be one of the most popular of the sculptures

The much-loved and popular pig sculptures from the Pigs Gone Wild art trail will be going, going, gone at an auction soon.

The stretch of A12 at Seven hills

A tractor has shed its load of potatoes on the A1156 at Seven Hills this morning.

The summer sun will be good news for beachgoers this week

Suffolk is set for a scorcher of a week as temperatures are set to soar to 30C (86F).

Mugger hunted

Police are hunting a mugger who attacked a 75-year-old man in Felixstowe and stole his wallet.

The aftermath of a flare being let off during the Sky Bet Championship match at Portman Road.

Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Two men from Essex are to appear in court charged with breaching an order during the police operation for the Ipswich v Norwich game on Sunday.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24