Unveiled by Queen Mary in 1928, The Merchant Navy Memorial commemorates men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died in both World Wars and who "have no grave but the sea." In the First World War, the role of this civilian navy, the 'Mercantile Marine', was the lifeblood that kept the Royal Navy and Britain supplied with all goods ranging from food, fuel, ammunition and aided in troop transport.
Picture provided by R J Hoefling.
The First World War section of the Memorial commemorates almost 12,000 Mercantile Marine sailors who were lost at sea. Sir Edwin Lutyens designed the memorial with the sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick. This Grade I-listed memorial has helped the national conversation for those unaware of the role the Merchant Navy has continued to play within our national story; just unfortunate that 27 years later, an extension will be added.
Here is a silent video of Her Majesty Queen Mary, accompanied by Princess Mary, unveiling The Merchant Navy Memorial on 12th December 1928.
Just as the first, in the Second World War, casualties were high, peaking in 1942. Thousands gave their lives in service to their King and Country and were often at the mercy of the German U-Boats that patrolled the UK's shipping lanes. Below is a video of when HM Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the Second World War extension on 5th November 1955. This Grade II-listed extension, which lists almost 24,000 names, was designed by Sir Edward Maufe with Sir Charles Wheeler, its sculptor.
HM Queen Elizabeth II unveils the extension to The Merchant Navy Memorial, 1955
by British Pathé https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVAA38M33FBTQTPR56GE7TWGKGZ3-NEWS
Please click here for more information on the Memorial or the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, please click here.
Remembrance Sunday Services
Every year, the Honourable Company of Master Mariners organises the annual Service of Remembrance on Remembrance Sunday in Trinity Square Gardens. The service is from 1030 till 1130 and is open to all. To see our latest service, please click here and search our news articles.