BBC News

Liverpool Cathedral marks Battle of the Atlantic anniversary

media captionHMS Edinburgh's Commander Nick Borbone on the endurance and bravery of those serving in the Battle of the Atlantic

A service at Liverpool Cathedral has been held to honour those killed in The Battle of the Atlantic.

It was part of a weekend of events commemorating the longest continuous military campaign in World War II.

The service, attended by the Princess Royal, was followed by a march to remember the thousands who lost their lives during the battle.

It fought for control of vital supply routes, beginning as war broke out in 1939.

Liverpool was the destination of many wartime Atlantic convoys and home of the Western Approaches Command.

The climax of the battle was in May 1943, when Germany's submarine fleet suffered heavy losses in the Atlantic.

image captionThe service was followed by a march honouring those who died in The Battle Of The Atlantic

Skirmishes in the Atlantic continued until the war ended in 1945, but the Allies sank particularly large numbers of U-boats in May 1943, effectively winning the Battle of the Atlantic.

Among those laying wreaths at the cathedral service was submarine Captain Patrick Walker, whose grandfather Captain Johnnie Walker was a national hero for his relentless pursuit of U-Boats in World War II.

Ships from the Royal Navy and around the world - some of which are open to the public - are converging on the city for the commemorations.

The Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, which was vital to the battle as its 12,000 staff worked around the clock to build a warship every 21 days, has also opened its doors for the first time in 20 years.

Liverpool hosted the 60th anniversary events, during which nearly 2,000 guests, including hundreds of veterans and former merchant seamen, attended a memorial service at the cathedral.

The milestone was also marked in London and Londonderry in May.

More on this story

  • Battle of the Atlantic: Liverpool marks 70th anniversary