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Liverpool Cathedral Commemoration

Published: 30 May 2013

In a moving service at Liverpool Cathedral, veterans, serving sailors and invited guests have paid tribute to the thousands of seamen who lost their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Joined by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, the commemorative service was also attended by senior officers of Maritime Organisations, Armed Forces, local MPs, Borough Mayors, the Russian Ambassador and Deputy High Commissioner for Canada.
More than 30,000 Merchant Navy personnel lost their lives in what was the longest continuous campaign of the Second World War.

“The Battle of the Atlantic,” Churchill said “…was the dominant factor all through the war. Never for one moment could we forget that everything happening elsewhere, on land, at sea, or in the air, depended ultimately in its outcome.” These words were reiterated in today’s service.

From the Chancel steps the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend James Jones, said: “Let us give thanks to God for the faith and courage of all those who have lived and died in the course of freedom and justice, and especially for those who gave their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic.”

While Canon Anthony O’Brien, Dean of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, prayed that through such acts of devotion and sacrifice, a just order could be established throughout the world.

Captain Ian McNaught, Deputy Master of Trinity House, representing the Merchant Navy, said thanks had to be given to sailors for their courage and perseverance.

He said: “In particular we remember the men and women of the Western Approaches Command: the leaders, Admiral Sir Percy Noble and Admiral Sir Max Horton, members of the Royal Air Force Coastal Command who supported them from the air, the brave men of the Merchant Navy who did not flinch from their acc ustomed duties, and the Maritime Regiment who served with them.”

The Commemorative Service was followed by a march past of veterans in front of the Cathedral where Her Royal Highness took the salute.
Veterans came from far and wide to be at today’s service with representatives in attendance from Australia, Canada and the USA, while sailors from Poland, Canada, Germany and Russia joined in the march through the streets of Liverpool.

Later in the day Liverpool City Council hosted a Civic Reception for the Royal and Merchant Navies in the Town Hall represented by the First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, Admiral Sir George Zambellas and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, George Millar. During the reception both parties presented the other with paintings relevant to the Battle of the Atlantic.


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