The 70th Commemoration of the;
BOA70: Battle of the Atlantic
Members & Supporter’s of ‘The Indefatigable Old Boys Association’ in attendance were;
Sir Michael Bibby (IOBA – President), Bill O’Leary 74/76 (IOBA – Chairman), Pamela Brown (Hon IOBA Member), Revd Canon (Bob) Evans (Hon IOBA Member), Mac McNeill 1941/42, Pat Moran (Hon IOBA Member), Marc Hardman 1961 (IOBA – Standard Bearer), John Aspinall 59/60 (IOBA – Standard Bearer), Val Aspinall, Malcolm Williams 75/76, Angie Williams, Tony Eastham 75/76 & Steve Humphries 75/76.
After the Service of Remembrance in the Cathedral, there was a march around the Anglican Cathedral led by Veterans, which included the Merchant Navy, RFA in addition to Regulars, Reservists and Cadets from RN, Army and RAF.
Mac McNeill 1941/42
Service of Remembrance in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.
The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, at its height from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943. The BOA demonstrated the enduring importance of control of the sea to provide a highway for the transport of raw materials, munitions, and men, to maintain the nation’s security and to project power across the globe.
In a moving service at Liverpool Cathedral, veterans, serving sailors and invited guests 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 at the cathedral service.
The Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend James Jones, had 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 RC 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.
Canon Bob Evans invited the Bishop of Liverpool to dedicate the refurbished Lectern and Library of Remembrance, for those who have given their lives in service of their nation during times of war.
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 accustomed 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.
Merchant Navy 70th BOA Anniversary Celebration;
On Saturday 25th May, There was a Merchant Navy Service of celebration of the ending of the Battle of the Atlantic on the Pier Head. A memorial to Polish seamen who died in the Battle of the Atlantic was unveiled and dedicated during the ceremony. All serving and retired Merchant Seamen and their families were invited, as this was the Merchant Navy memorial service. Attendees pay homage to Atlantic Star Holders who have crossed the bar and honour those who remain.
Pat Moran: Chairman Merchant Navy Day Committee, kindly organized this event.
John Aspinall 59/60 acted as IOBA – Standard Bearer.