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Mersey Maritime confirms long term support for Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Charity

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime is pleased to announce its long term support for the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial charity. At its annual Mersey Maritime Industry Awards, held at St George’s Hall in Liverpool in March, the charity was one of two chosen to benefit from the proceeds raised on the evening through giving by those in attendance. Now Mersey Maritime can confirm their intention to promote and back this important cause, which includes HRH The Princess Royal as its Patron, and many of its existing partner organisations such as the Royal Navy as key supporters, in the long term.

Commenting, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, Chris Shirling-Rooke said:

“The Battle of the Atlantic was one of, perhaps the, most important campaigns of World War II, as without its success, other strategic events would not have been possible. It was the longest continuous campaign of the war, lasting from September 1939 right through to VE Day in May 1945. It deserves to be recognised in an appropriate and visual way for all future generations to see and reflect upon. This cause, to create a permanent overall memorial in the United Kingdom to the campaign, has our full support. And it has a very special place in the hearts of all those in our region. The toll was high on all sides of the campaign with more than 3,500 merchant ships sunk and thousands of naval personnel losing their lives.

“One of the most powerful elements of the MMIA video we produced this year, was the scene where Gary Doyle, Group Harbour Master at Peel Ports and chairman of the charity, reflected upon the sacrifices made by previous generations to keep our city, our country and the world free from tyranny. The Liverpool area played an absolutely vital part in that. It is right that our organisation, with its depth of knowledge and interaction across the whole of the maritime sector in this region, continues to recognise, support and honour the memory of all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We are deeply proud to do so.”

Gary Doyle, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial charity, commented:

“As a maritime nation it is perhaps a surprise that we have not commemorated our greatest maritime achievement. The charity aspires to bring to life the sacrifice and enduring lessons of that campaign and recognise the crucial role played by Merseyside and indeed all the other west coast ports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  As the hub was Merseyside, I am of course absolutely delighted that Mersey Maritime have given their long term support to the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Charity and recognises that not only the past, but the future of the country relies on the beating heart of a prosperous Merseyside maritime industry.”   

The name “Battle of the Atlantic” was coined by Winston Churchill in February 1941. It has been called the “longest, largest, and most complex” naval battle in history.  The campaign started immediately after the European war began, during the so-called “Phoney War“, and lasted six years, until the German Surrender in May 1945. It involved thousands of ships in more than 100 convoy battles and perhaps 1,000 single-ship encounters, in a theatre covering thousands of square miles of ocean. The situation changed constantly, with one side or the other gaining advantage, as participating countries surrendered, joined, and even changed sides in the war, and as new weapons, tactics, counter-measures, and equipment were developed by both sides. The Allies gradually gained the upper hand, overcoming German surface raiders by the end of 1942 and defeating the U-boats by mid-1943, though losses due to U-boats continued until war’s end.

The concept is to provide an appropriate memorial of international significance that recognises the totality and importance of the battle and to commemorate the sacrifice and contribution of all the men and women of all nationalities who served supporting the Battle of the Atlantic (BOA) on land, at sea and in the air.  Secondly, to recognise the important part played by Merseyside as the hub of the operation.  The development of a supporting Heritage trail that links sites across the area physically and virtually and internationally to support what is seen as the key educational role of the memorial. This will also be achieved by working closely with the Western Approaches Museum and the Merseyside Maritime Museum. With further enhancement, the aim is to possibly develop an academic centre where institutions, researchers and interested parties can visit to access information and learn more about the Battle.

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Mersey Maritime
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Mersey Maritime confirms long term support for Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Charity