Posts tagged with 'merchant navy'
Last December I blogged about Brenda Shackleton’s fight for greater recognition of the remarkable story of the Merchant Navy Rescue ships and their vital contribution to the Second World War. Men of the Merchant Navy, including Brenda’s father Bill Hartley, crewed these small coastal vessels following the Allied convoys from 1940 onwards, with the sole purpose of rescuing survivors should any of the ships be torpedoed. It was a dangerous and difficult task but their actions succeeded in saving the lives of 4194 men throughout the Second World War.
The ships on all the convoys suffered high risks and terrible losses but there was one particular convoy route described by Churchill himself as:
“The worst journey in the world.”
3 September 2014 by Jen
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…
23 June 2014 by Sam
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…
3 April 2014 by Sarah Starkey
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…
10 November 2013 by Simon
“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 Starkey
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…