The Shipwrecked Mariners' Society remembers 2nd World War with new film
70 years after the guns fell silent in
Europe, a national maritime charity has marked VE Day, (8 May) by launching a
new video looking back at the work it undertook during the 2nd World War, and
how its role has changed in the years since.
During the 6 years of conflict the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society gave financial support to thousands of shipwrecked survivors; not just sailors, but soldiers, airmen, nurses and civilians, all who were landed at British ports after being rescued.
To mark the anniversary, the Society released an appeal video, featuring its Vice President and former 1st Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, filmed onboard Britain's most iconic ship, HMS Victory, a ship, which co-incidentally, was launched 250 years ago on 7 May 1765.
During WW2, the Charity helped over 60,000 people with assistance ranging from providing money for clothing, food, accommodation and rail passes to survivors arriving back in Britain, to financial support for the bereaved families of some of those lost.
In Greenock alone, one of the 21 ports across the country where survivors were landed during the Battle of the Atlantic; Britain's worst maritime conflict, that has a major Liverpool connection as the Allied Forces Command Center was based in the City. Over that conflict the Society helped 3,120 survivors from 311 ships in 1941, 4,357 from 288 ships in 1942 and 3,680 from 252 ships in 1943 and that was just one port, there were 21 others.
Shipwrecked Mariners' Society Chief Executive, Commodore Malcolm Williams,
said:- "During the conflict, the number of people we assisted was immense,
difficult for us to comprehend in today's world. These days, with shipwrecks
being much rarer (usually single manned fishing vessels) the Society's name is
more of a metaphor for our work; but our primary purpose remains the same; to
provide financial help to ex-merchant seafarers, fishermen and their dependants
who are in need. They may be retired or unable to work at sea owing to an
accident, ill health or for compassionate reasons or they may have found
themselves unemployed often in their late 50s and unable to get a job after only
knowing a working life at sea."
In the last year the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society handled 612 new applications for assistance and distributed £1.4million across 2,200 cases of need.
The new video, which features more information on the Charity and its contribution during WW2, can be viewed in the news section of its website ShipWreckedMariners.Org.UK.