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Posts tagged with 'second world war'

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…

Waves on the Mersey

15 February 2013 by Lucy

image of a giant radio

The Waves on the Mersey team with the giant radio located at the Museum of Liverpool

Hurrah for half term! Aside from all the great half term events that are taking place at our venues next week, we are also set for some radio interference across the city from 18 – 22 February.

Waves on the Mersey is a project that has been created by Open the Door Theatre in Education, who are bringing five giant radios into the city to broadcast documentaries about major historical events that have shaped Liverpool’s history.

The documentaries have been created by young people between the ages of 14 and 21, who have researched, interviewed and devised radio shows and plays on each topic. They have also decorated the radios, which will be located at five locations around the city, broadcasting a different documentary every day. 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…

Britain’s Black Community on the home front

19 November 2012 by Sam

Vikky Evans Hubbard from the International Slavery Museum has news of a talk this Thursday:


archive photo of a young Black evacuee holding a suitcase

An evacuee. Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

During this month of remembrance, the International Slavery Museum are pleased to welcome author and historian Stephen Bourne, whose work documents the history of Black communities living in Britain.

Stephen’s book, ‘Mother Country – Britain’s Black Community on the Home Front, 1939-45’, unearths a ‘hidden history’ of Britain and the Second World War.

At the International Slavery Museum this Thursday 22 November at 1.30pm, Stephen will give an illustrated talk highlighting some of the forgotten Britons he features in the book, including the community leaders Dr Harold Moody and Learie Constantine, Esther Bruce, singer Adelaide Hall and bandleader Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson. Read more…

Iceberg

21 December 2011 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of crew clearing ice from deck of ship

Clearing ice from the deck of Montrose, 1928 (reference PR 154)

I have been trying to find a photograph on a Christmas/Winter theme for a festive blog post to advertise the Maritime Archives & Library online exhibition Christmas at Sea. I discovered this photograph of the crew of the Canadian Pacific vessel Montrose shovelling ice off the deck after the ship struck an iceberg in fog off Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.  I could have passed this off as a winter event, but unfortunately it happened on Easter Monday in April 1928.  This is not the festival I was looking for, but a good reminder of how harsh conditions can be at sea.  The Montrose was requisitioned during the Second World War and renamed HMS Forfar.  It was torpedoed and sunk on 2nd December 1940 with the loss of 184 crew – a tragic winter event. Read more…

Maritime Tales – Roaring Twenties

12 December 2011 by Stephen

Painting of shi[p

Image courtesy Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

 

I have some fabulous foxtrot 78 rpm wax records from the 1920s which evoke the crazy days when people reacted to the horrors of the Great War.

 

This was also a time when countries such as the United States started to put restrictions on immigration after the great free-for-all when virtually any healthy person could settle.

 

The three sister ships took settlers to Canada in the closing years of the great age of emigration which lasted from 1830 to 1930. Read more…

Unexpected shrapnel

10 November 2011 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of box containing documents

File of papers relating to postwar repair of the Port of Liverpool building (MDHB collection).

The Maritime Archives & Library holds a very large collection of records relating to the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board (MDHB), who ran the Liverpool & Birkenhead dock system from 1858 until 1971. The MDHB, like most large organisations, were keen on committees and reports, and produced a lot of documents.  These are a great resource for studying the history of Liverpool, but can be a little overwhelming.  Occasionally a box reveals something unexpected, such as this piece of shrapnel stored amongst a file relating to the repair of the Dock Office, the Port of Liverpool Building at the Pier Head.  The note on the envelope states that the shrapnel was taken out of the ‘copper covering of Dome, Dock Office’. The Port of Liverpool Building was hit by a mine on the morning of 3rd May 1941 which caused a fire that destroyed most of the east side of the building before being brought under control. Read more…

Politicians

26 September 2011 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of Harrison Line ship named Politician leaving Liverpool

Politician, Harrison Line, leaving dock in Liverpool (reference McR/38/142).

Ok it’s a poor link, but as we don’t have any photographs of politicians, apart from ex-merchant seafarer John Prescot, I thought I’d throw in this photograph of the Harrison Line vessel Politician while the Labour Party Conference is on in Liverpool. 

T & J Harrison, like many shipping companies, used a theme when naming their vessels.  In their case it was professions, which are slightly easier to remember than Blue Funnel’s(Ocean Steamship Company) use of characters from Greek mythology.  Harrison Line never named a ship Archivist, but they did have 3 vessels named Custodian, which is pretty close to my job description.  Read more…

Maritime Tales – Secret Victory

7 June 2011 by Lisa

A WREN at work

Image courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post and Echo.

I think this story illustrates how timing and quick-thinking can create major shifts in events. 

In wartime things move very quickly and often with momentous consequences. I have often wondered what would have happened if war leaders had made different decisions. So often the individual plays a key part in the drama.

 

The controversial sinking of a British liner just hours after start of the Second World War and the foundering of a German U-boat submarine are strangely linked. Read more…

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