The Atlantic Memorial Campaign
HRH The Princess Royal becomes Patron of Battle of the Atlantic Memorial campaign
The charity behind the campaign to build the UK’s national memorial to the Battle of the Atlantic in Liverpool is today announcing that HRH The Princess Royal, has become its Patron.
In a letter to the campaign Her Royal Highness said:
“The Battle of the Atlantic, a six-year long campaign, was enormous in its scale, both geographically and logistically. In total over 100,000 people lost their lives in this epic struggle between the convoys and the U Boat packs. It required the combined efforts of huge numbers of men and women of many nationalities across their navies, air forces and merchant navies. The City of Liverpool, the command headquarters of the battle, became a target for some of the heaviest bombing of the Second World War due to its vital role as a port of entry to the UK. The city’s seafarers, dockworkers, shipbuilders and inhabitants were crucial in winning the battle together with port communities around the country.
However, The Battle of The Atlantic, whilst being a story of sorrow, is also a story of success. Through the alliance of many countries, and along with technical innovation, intelligence, dedication and bravery, the onslaught at sea was weathered, Britain was kept supplied and the tide of the war was turned. It is important to remember that the fuel for the planes in The Battle for Britain came across the Atlantic, so did the U.S. and Canadian soldiers who fought with us on D-Day to liberate Europe, as did so much else and so many others to keep the war effort going.
“The establishment of a permanent commemoration of the international achievement in Liverpool is one I fully support, and I lookforward to the legacy and engagement it will create to inspire future generations.”
The Princess Royal is the Chief Commandant for Women in the Royal Navy. HRH has a long connection with the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS); she is Patron of the WRNS Benevolent Trust, the Association of Wrens and was Patron of the WRNS100 Project. The Princess Royal is also Commodore in Chief (Portsmouth).
Hundreds of Royal Marines served in the Battle of the Atlantic on HM Ships including 23 that lost their lives on the first Royal Navy Ship to be sunk HMS Courageous.
The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest campaign of World War Two. It began on September 3 1939 and lasted until VE Day May 8 in 1945, in total five years eight months and five days. The cost of the battle was extremely high for both sides. It is impossible to be sure how many died but an estimated 26,500 British merchant seamen were killed while the Royal Navy lost more than 23,000 seamen. The allied war dead of naval and merchant seaman is estimated at more than 20,000 from Canada, USA, India, China, Poland, Norway, Holland, Greece, Belgium, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Russia. In total around 3,500 merchant ships were sunk and 15 million tons of allied shipping was lost.