Liverpool’s Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Campaign Plans American Tour
The campaign to build a £2.5m ($3.5m) memorial to the Battle of the Atlantic on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront is planning an awareness raising tour of America after receiving the backing of the British Ambassador to the USA Sir Kim Darroch.
The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial (BOAM) campaign wrote to Sir Kim asking for his support and in response the Ambassador has suggested the campaign holds events at the British Embassy in Washington as well as consulates including Chicago, New York, Boston and Atlanta.
Sir Kim is further offering the resources of the British Naval Attache to the United States Commodore Martin Connell and his team to help the campaign engage with the U.S Navy and Coastguard who were integral to winning the Battle of the Atlantic.
Sir Kim said: “Keeping the North Atlantic open to British and American shipping is as important now as it was 75 years ago at the height of the Second World War. At that time, the North Atlantic shipping channels were a vital lifeline, without which the war could not have been won. So it is entirely fitting that a campaign should have been launched to raise the funds to build a UK memorial to the brave and selfless men and women who were wounded or sacrificed their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic.”
BOAM chairman Vice-Admiral Mike Gretton, whose father Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Gretton served during the battle as an Atlantic Escort Group commander, said the campaign is planning to stage the fundraising tour of America in the autumn.
“This is a massive step forward for our campaign to build a bridge with the United States and we are very grateful to Sir Kim and his team for offering to support us,” he said. “Despite the immense significance of the Battle of the Atlantic, and the 100,000 lives lost, it does not have a dedicated national memorial in Britain. The purpose of our campaign is to fill that gap so future generations can remember the true horror and sacrifice of the battle. Moreover, we aim to recognize the efforts of all the allied nations who took part in the memorial. The United States played a critical role in winning the battle with the production of Liberty merchant ships and the operations of the US Navy and its Hunter Killer Task Groups. There is no greater example of Britain and America working together than the Battle of the Atlantic, when we fought for our shared values and way of life against the tyranny and evil of Nazi Germany.”
Vice-Admiral Gretton said he hopes BOAM’s American tour will see long term ‘twinning’ and cooperation built with American institutions including the US Navy, the World War Two memorial in Washington and the Battle of the Atlantic exhibition at the Science and Industry museum in Chicago.
British Naval Attache to the United States Commodore Martin Connell said: “I am very proud to support this long overdue memorial dedicated to those who fought in the Battle of the Atlantic. The Atlantic is as important a strategic bridge now as it was then. Some 75 years on we work extremely closely with our United States Navy colleagues on today’s maritime operations in the Atlantic, particularly those beneath the waves, but we do so knowing that it was the sacrifices of our respective nations’ forefathers who gave so much, alongside those of our Allies, to ensure the inextricable bond between our two continents remains as strong now as it did then”.
Vice-Admiral Gretton said the BOAM campaign is also engaging with all other allied nations who took part in the Battle of the Atlantic to involve them in the memorial.