Recently we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
I believe this to be the perfect opportunity to remind us all of the sacrifices made by the men of the Merchant Navy.
The Canadian Merchant Navy lost over 1,700 seamen during the Second World War. The British Merchant Navy lost in excess of 32,000, the highest per capita rate than any of the other forces.
During the conflict, the Merchant Navy saw continuous action in the longest battle of the war, the Battle of the Atlantic. Without them, there would have been no Battle of Britain or, indeed, other fronts around the world.
Admiral Leonard Murray stated, “The Battle of the Atlantic was not won by Navy or any Air Force, it was won by the courage, fortitude and determination of the British and Allied Merchant Navy.”
Part of Churchill’s speech, at the end of the war, included the following comment: “If blood was the price we had to pay for our freedom, the men of the Merchant Navies, have paid in full.”
Sept. 3 is designated in England, Canada and the rest of the Commonwealth as Merchant Navy Day. In honour of our war dead I respectfully request the Red Ensign is flown from City Hall and our Royal Canadian Legions.
Dennis McGuckin. (MN retired)