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Posts tagged with 'merchant navy'

Red Ensign flying for Merchant Navy Day

3 September 2014 by Jen

Red Ensign flag flying above the Pilotage building.

The Red Ensign flying above the Pilotage building.

Anyone visiting us down at the Liverpool waterfront this week might have noticed a distinctive red flag flying above the old Liverpool Pilotage building next door to the Museum of Liverpool. Bright red, with the Union flag in the top left corner, it’s known as a Red Ensign. Yesterday myself and a couple of colleagues had the slightly hair-raising task (it looks a lot higher up once you get up there!) of climbing up to the roof and raising the flag in time to mark Merchant Navy Day on  3 September. Read more…

Flying the flag for Seafarers Awareness Week

23 June 2014 by Sam

logo with text: An island nation, Seafarers Awareness Week 21-29 June 2014

Ben Whittaker, curator of port history at Merseyside Maritime Museum, explains why Seafarers Awareness Week is important, and how we can all get involved:

“Are you reading this blog on a computer, smartphone or tablet? Chances are it was brought to this country in a metal box on the back of a ship, along with your TV, clothes and most of your other possessions. Read more…

An amazing escape

3 April 2014 by Sarah

A black and white photograph of sea and sky with an upturned table barely visible in the centre of the image.

Photograph taken during the aftermath of the sinking of Nova Scotia, Mozambique Channel, 28 Nov 1942 (Maritime Archives reference DX/2592).

This photograph doesn’t look like much, just a grey sea and sky, but if you look closely there is a speck in the middle of the image.  This is a photograph of the aftermath of the wreck of the Liverpool registered Furness Withy ship Nova Scotia which was torpedoed on 28th November 1942 off the coast of Mozambique.  The speck is Read more…

Remembrances

10 November 2013 by Simon

Plan of the first floor of Sudley House in 1943

Plan of the first floor of Sudley House in 1943

“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 featured on a special edition First Day Cover!

15 October 2013 by Jen

Stamps-final

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!

Read more…

Battle of the Atlantic weekend

24 May 2013 by Sam

ships in the Albert Dock

View from the top of the Pilotage Building, with ‘HMS Pembroke’ moored in front of Merseyside Maritime Museum

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…

Dan Snow to lead Battle of the Atlantic events

5 April 2013 by Sam

Dan Snow

Image courtesy of Dan Snow

Our waterfront venues have a packed programme of events for this year’s River Festival, which includes activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

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…

Letters from Mother

8 March 2013 by Sarah

Photograph of young man in maritime navy uniform

Willie Dailey, apprentice, c1886 (Maritime Archives reference DX/1924).

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…

Remembering SS Ceramic – lost 70-years-ago today

6 December 2012 by Dickie

photo of a ship

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…

Merchant Navy Day

30 August 2012 by Sarah

Image of document belonging to seafarer Thomas Crone

Mariner’s Register Ticket, issued to Thomas Crone, reference DX/850

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…

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.