For Rose, one year ago today.
On this day of remembering I will especially think of the Merchant Seamen who lost their lives during both wars.
The merchant seamen contributed enormously to the final victorious outcome of the Battle of the Atlantic, and without their amazing world-wide contribution to the war effort, final victories over the Axis powers would not have been possible. The price was incredibly high -- over 50,000 Allied and neutral merchant seamen lost their lives keeping the Atlantic life-line to Britain intact. In addition to those who died on the "high seas" of the North Atlantic -- and the South Atlantic which was the favoured haunt of Italian submarines -- many other merchant seamen faced death while serving in dangerous "coastal" waters such as the Gulf of St.Lawrence, the Caribbean Sea and the highly strategic and fiercely contested Mediterranean Sea. Throughout the far reaches of the Indian and Pacific Oceans merchant seamen fell victim to marauding German surface raiders and Japanese submarines. Still others paid the ultimate price while keeping the life-line to Russia intact on the vital Murmansk--Archangel convoy routes of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Even after crossing the oceans safely and reaching Britain's coastal waters, merchant seamen still faced the hazards of deadly mines and savage aircraft attacks -- there were no "safe waters" for merchant seamen. Today, we must remember how much we owe those brave civilians who risked so much in the cause of Freedom, and who for so many years have received so little recognition.
Merchant Seamen Tribute