Yesterday I attended the Merchant Navy Memorial event in Tower Hill. Over 30,000 members of merchant navy and fishing fleets gave their lives to ensure vital supply lines were kept open during World War Two. As the historian John Keegan recounts:
“The 30,000 men of the British Merchant Navy who fell victim to the U-boats between 1939 and 1945, the majority drowned or killed by exposure on the cruel North Atlantic sea, were quite as certainly front-line warriors as the guardsmen and fighter pilots to whom they ferried the necessities of combat. Neither they nor their American, Dutch, Norwegian or Greek fellow mariners wore uniform and few have any memorial. The stood nevertheless between the Wehrmacht and the domination of the world”.
It was a privilege to honour them.