Posts tagged with 'merchant navy'
“Remembering is often what keeps us from repeating mistakes and other peoples memories can inform and instruct us, without forcing us to undergo the often painful experiences ourselves”. This quote is from a letter sent to me after a visitor came to Sudley House during the commemorations of the Battle of the Atlantic. Heather Harrison was visiting in the hope that she could discover more about her mothers “small part in all of this”, and hoped that we could help her find some details about the time her mother spent working and living here in Sudley House. Read more…
The Merseyside Maritime Museum is delighted to be featured on a recent First Day Cover for The Association of Great Britain First Day Cover Collectors.
Those of you unfamiliar with the world of stamps and stamp collecting might be wondering what on earth a First Day Cover is… let’s find out!
This weekend Liverpool is marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic with lots of free events at the waterfront. It has been fantastic watching lots of ships arriving in the docks over the last few days ready to take part.If you have been down at the waterfront you may have noticed the red ensign flag, the flag of the Merchant Navy, flying from the flag pole on top of the Pilotage Building. Maritime Museum staff braved blustery conditions to raise the flag yesterday as a mark of respect for the crucial role the Merchant Navy played in the Battle of the Atlantic. Britain’s merchant fleet were a vital lifeline for the country throughout the Second World War. Read more…
5 April 2013 by Sam
A highlight of the programme will be a talk by TV presenter and historian at Merseyside Maritime Museum. Dan explained to us why the events are so important to him:
“It is extremely exciting to be coming to Liverpool to mark the official anniversary of a desperate and hugely important battle that raged from the first day of the war to the last. The Battle of the Atlantic was nothing less than a long running attritional struggle for national survival. Britain’s enemies, as so often before in our history, attempted to shut off supplies to our island nation on which we depended. Had they succeeded the war would have been over, a starving population, and a weaponless army would have given the government no option but to sue for peace, on the enemy’s terms. Read more…
8 March 2013 by Sarah
This handsome young man is Willie Dailey of Stafford who decided he wanted a life at sea and persuaded his parents to apprentice him on a voyage of the ship Benares, from Dundee to Chile and San Francisco, USA. It was 1886 and he was 16 years old.
The Maritime Archives and Library hold some letters by Willie and his family and the ones from his mother would be achingly familiar even today. His worried mother, Jane, tells Willie to mind his manners, wash his clothes and eat well. She hopes his Captain is kind, his crewmates friendly and that he is warm enough, dry enough and not sea sick. She tells him off when he fails to write. Read more…
Liverpool liner SS Ceramic sunk on 6 December 1942.
At first families back home in Liverpool were oblivious to the horror that had befallen their loved ones.
On November 23 1942 my grandmother watched from Crosby beach as Liverpool liner SS Ceramic left the River Mersey. Her husband Fred was aboard working as a steward. Clutching her three-month-old baby, Annie Felton waved the ship off, unaware that this would be the very final farewell.
The 18,400 ton Ceramic was launched in 1912 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast. She was the first ship built by White Star Line after Titanic and spent her years sailing the Liverpool to Australia route. Read more…
30 August 2012 by Sarah
Whilst remembering the contribution the merchant navy has made, and continues to make, to Britain, you may be tempted into a little family history research on your seafaring ancestors.
Merchant seafarers are well documented compared with other professions. Most of the records are held at the National Archives although to complicate matters the documentation changes over time as each system set up by the Board of Trade was overwhelmed by the growth of Britain’s merchant fleet. The Maritime Archive & Library has an information sheet that explains how to track the records down. Read more…
29 August 2012 by Rebecca
The Red Ensign or “Red Duster” is the offical flag of the British merchant marine (or fleet)
Sunday 2nd September marks National Merchant Navy Day which commemorates the 40,000 seafarers who died whilst in Britain’s Merchant Navy during the Second World War.
Those seafarers ranged in age from 14 years old to 78 years old, and also included 8,500 Asian seaman and seafarers from across the World who served in the British Merchant Navy.
The 3rd September marks the day when war was officially declared between Britain and Germany, and the nearest Sunday to this date is usually chosen to commemorate National Merchant Navy Day. This year the 2nd is the closet Sunday, and there will be a midday service at Our Lady & St Nicholas’ seafarers Church in Chapel Street, Liverpool.
After the church service there will be a parade from the Pier head, please see the link for details. Read more…
4 May 2012 by stepheng
The Lusitania story is one of my favourites because not only does the disaster seem unbelievable to this day but because this was Liverpool’s favourite liner.
8 March 2012 by Sarah
This is an entry from a wages book for a voyage on the Blue Funnel vessel Anchises beginning in August 1922. It might not look significant, but it is. This is the first voyage of Victoria Drummond, signed on as 10th Engineer and paid £12 a month. Drummond was the first woman to qualify as a marine engineer and she managed to have a successful career at sea despite encountering prejudice and discrimination. She was awarded the Lloyd’s Bravery Medal and an MBE for heroic actions during the Second World War when her ship Bonita was bombed. More information about her life can be found online here and the Maritime Archives & Library holds a copy of her biography. Her pioneering life is also remembered by the Victoria Drummond Award given by Nautilus, the Merchant Navy Union, to women whose achievements boost the profile of women at sea. Read more…