Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal today unveiled a new national memorial to those who fought – and won – Britain’s longest battle at sea: the Battle of the Atlantic.
Eighty years to the week that the Germans pulled back their submarines from the grey wastes after being mauled by allied naval and air forces, an impressive monument – not just to those who died at sea, but those who survived as well – was dedicated in the grounds of Our Lady and St Nicholas’ Parish Church in Liverpool.
Princess Anne told those present at the dedication of the memorial and garden of reflection – which replace a much smaller and far less accessible monument – that it was crucial the story of the Battle of the Atlantic was “properly told.”
The Royal Navy provided a Royal Guard for proceedings, following a service of thanksgiving and remembrance attended by national, international and local dignitaries and leaders, including Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key.
Guests were treated to a fly past from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and vintage naval aircraft from the Naval Wings collection as the ceremony ended on a beautiful day in Merseyside.
The dedication of the memorial is the first act in a weekend of commemorations on the Mersey.
As well as being one of the country’s most important merchant harbors in World War 2, Liverpool served as the headquarters of the Western Approaches Command – from where the struggle to defeat the U-boat was conducted.
HMS Defender and Biter, plus sailors from HMS Eaglet, Sea Cadets, the Royal Naval Association and veterans groups are taking part in events, alongside comrades from the French destroyer Bretagne and US warship USS Ramage.