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Queen Victoria to lead Merchant Navy Mersey honours in Liverpool

During a day call in Liverpool, Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria will take part in special commemorations of the Battle of the Atlantic’s 80th anniversary.

The Cunard ship will berth at the city’s cruise terminal on Saturday, June 3, 2023, during a round-the-world voyage.

Her call coincides with a series of international events beginning in the city on May 26 to remember and respect the sacrifices of others in sustaining vital supplies shipped in convoys to maintain the UK war effort, described as the Battle of the Atlantic by Winston Churchill at the time.

It was regarded as the longest, largest, and most complex naval battle in history, involving thousands of ships in over 100 convoy battles and an estimated 1,000 single ship encounters.

The United Kingdom, as an island nation at war, relied on more than a million tons of imported materials every week to survive and counter the enemy threat.

Liverpool and Cunard each played a pivotal role in the effort, the port city handling ships and their cargoes and housing the underground military nerve centre of operations, now the Western Approaches World War II Museum.

Dozens of Cunard ships and hundreds of officers and crew joined perilous transatlantic convoys, sailing under the deadly threat of attack by German U-Boats.

Their losses will be marked at a special Cunard Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Liverpool Parish Church on the day of Queen Victoria’s call.

The Rector of Liverpool, the Revd Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, said:

“The maritime histories of Liverpool and Cunard are entwined, and the Battle of the Atlantic forms a remarkable chapter in both. We look forward to welcoming guests joining our Service from Queen Victoria as we remember the sacrifices made by so many serving the Merchant Navy at sea as well as those working ashore during the war years.”

Angus Struthers, Senior Vice President at Cunard said:

“In times of national need, Cunard ships and their crews have served the nation throughout our 183-year history, never more so than during World War II. Liverpool will forever be regarded as Cunard’s spiritual home and we are honoured that Queen Victoria’s call, and our Service at the Parish Church, can form part of the very special international events taking place to mark the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.”

READ MORE: Battle of Atlantic Commemorations and celebrations in Liverpool

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