UK: HMS Bulwark Joins Commemoration of Battle of the Atlantic

HMS Bulwarkn Joins Commemoration of Battle of the Atlantic

HMS Bulwark arrived in Liverpool yesterday to join a host of other Royal Navy and foreign warships to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

Over 30 military and civilian ships and a variety of aircraft, including the Royal Navy Historic Flight’s Swordfish, will take part in events to commemorate the sacrifice of the Merchant and Royal Navy personnel involved in the campaign.

The occasion will also be an opportunity to celebrate the UK’s Maritime Heritage as a nation still dependent on the sea for its economic wellbeing and security.

A Charity Reception, Commemoration Service at the Anglican Cathedral and a parade past the cathedral by serving members of the Royal Navy, including the ship’s company of HMS Bulwark, and Battle of the Atlantic veterans, are a few of the many events scheduled to take place over the bank holiday weekend.

HMS Bulwark, the Fleet Flagship, will play a key role.

The 18,000 tonne Amphibious Assault Ship will provide the venue and an impressive backdrop for a charity reception sponsored by the Fly Navy Heritage Trust (FNHT).

The reception, attended by up to 300 guests including civilian and military VIPs, aims to raise money for the FNHT Battle of the Atlantic Appeal, which provides funding for the Royal Navy Historic Flight, in turn helping to preserve the nation’s naval aviation heritage.

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest running campaign of the Second World War, and was crucial to keeping the sea lanes across the Atlantic Ocean open, ensuring the delivery of vital supplies to industry and troops fighting the war on the home front and also in Europe and North Africa.

HMS Bulwark’s Commanding Officer, Captain Andrew Burns, said:

“It is fitting that the Royal Navy’s Flagship, HMS Bulwark, is playing a leading role in the commemorations for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

“So many of our forebears made the ultimate sacrifice and my Ship’s Company is looking forward to supporting the veterans of this epic campaign.

“It is also important that we celebrate our maritime heritage and demonstrate the enduring requirement for the Royal Navy to provide security at sea and protect our economic interests.”

Liverpool was at the heart of the battle of the Atlantic.

The HQ of Western Approaches Command was located there and it provided a base for many of the warships that escorted convoys and defeated the U-boat threat.

Press Release, May 24, 2013; Image: Royal Navy