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The bravery and resilience of Merchant Navy seafarers will be honoured in May 2023 during a weekend of UK events planned for the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

Notably, the most decisive and longest-fought battle of the Second World War will be commemorated in twinned events in Liverpool and Hull. Here is a preview of some of the events to help Nautilus members join the 200,000 people expected to take part.

Liverpool: remembrance services

The Church of Our Lady and St Nicholas
Friday 26 May 2023, by invitation only
Pier Head, Liverpool
Following this will be a dedication in the Church garden of a new Battle of the Atlantic memorial. There will also be an opening of a new light installation, Atlantic Lights, launched on the shores of the River Mersey at Woodside which will be projected into the sky. Guest of honour at the Pier Head memorial launch will be Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, who is patron of the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Charity.

Liverpool Parish Church, Our Lady and St Nicholas 
Saturday 3 June 2023, 11:00

The Cunard Service of Thanksgiving and Commemoration is open to members of the public. A tribute will be placed at Cunard's company memorial inside the church.

Liverpool: art deco steamship SS Daniel Adamson 

SS Daniel Adamson, Canning Dock, Liverpool
Friday 26 May 2023, 14:30

Talk by historian David Hearn about the role of the MN during the BoA

SS Daniel Adamson, Canning Dock, Liverpool
Saturday 27 May 2023, 14:30

Long-time Nautilus member David McNamee who is also skipper of the restored former art deco steamship SS Daniel Adamson will talk about his 50 years at sea. The vessel had a role at the Manchester Ship Canal during the Battle of the Atlantic of towing into port the vessels that had safely crossed the Atlantic destined for Manchester. 

Liverpool: 1940s military village

Pier Head
Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May 2023, 10.00 - 18.00
Explore the riverside 1940s-themed military village at Pier Head. Also planned are vessels visits by Merchant and Royal Navies, fly pasts by vintage aircraft and a final sail out when the visiting vessels leave

Liverpool: Royal Marines Band concert and Drumhead service

Philharmonic Hall
Saturday 27 May 2023, 19:30
Music to commemorate the sacrifice of all involved in the Battle of the Atlantic. Tickets available at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic website

Mann Island, Pier Head
Sunday 28 May 2023, 11:30
Drumhead service, followed by a March for the Medals. BoA veterans will then take the salute from a dais on Princes Parade in Liverpool during a flypast.

Pier Head, Liverpool
Sunday 28 May, 17:30
The Convoy Sails 
Merchant and Naval vessels and a convoy of support from the Mersey's maritime community; a beat retreat from His Majesty's Royal Marine Band as they sail and a flypast display by Navy Wings Aircraft at 1720.

Hull: Drumhead service

River Humber opposite the Deep Aquarium in Hull
Sunday 28 May 2023, 11:00
Combined service marking both the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic and the sinking 41 years ago of the SS Atlantic Conveyor – a British Merchant Navy vessel requisitioned during the Falklands war. Featuring standards, veterans, and drums played by Sea Cadets and army cadets

Nautilus member Keith Thompson (front left) – a Merchant Navy Medal recipient and Falklands Merchant Navy veteran – is organising the Hull drumhead combined service. Image: Keith Thompson


More Battle of the Atlantic events

There will also be an online launch of oral history podcasts recently recorded by the dwindling band of Battle of the Atlantic veterans – including Merchant Navy veterans who responded to an appeal by the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Trust in the Nautilus Telegraph.

Find the latest event information on The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial website, or stay in touch via social media, including Twitter @BoAtlantic80, and Facebook @BattleAtlanticMemorial.


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