• Battle of the Atlantic, memorial, Pier Head

Fundraising launched for £2.5m waterfront Battle of the Atlantic memorial

A new 28-metre national Battle of the Atlantic memorial could be situated on Liverpool’s Pier Head.

A fundraising campaign has been launched this week for the monument, which would be dedicated to those who served in the World War Two battle.

The campaign is being led by the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial (BOAM) charity, and a design by acclaimed sculptor Paul Day in the shape of a merchant ship split in two has been unveiled.

The artist is also behind works including the Battle of Britain Monument and the Iraq-Afghanistan memorial, which are both in London.

According to BOAM chairman Vice-Admiral Mike Gretton, whose father Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Gretton served during the battle as an Atlantic Escort Group commander, a total of £2.5 million is being sought through fundraising to build the memorial.

It’s envisaged that the monument, which would also incorporate the existing statue of U-Boat hunter Johnnie Walker, would be unveiled in 2019 to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the start of the battle and the beginning of World War Two.

Battle of the Atlantic

An artist impression of the Battle of the Atlantic memorial.

Vice-Admiral Mike Gretton says: “Despite the immense significance of the Battle of the Atlantic it does not have a dedicated national memorial in Britain, so the purpose of this campaign is to fill that gap. We believe the memorial is best situated in Liverpool where the campaign headquarters was based, and where so many of the merchant and navy ships were built, based and repaired and – critically – from where so many of the seafarers came.

“Merseyside people understand the immensity of the Battle of the Atlantic. With Merseyside’s affinity with the maritime world, and the battle itself, we are delighted to unveil Paul Day’s design which will make such an incredible impact here on the world-famous waterfront.

“We believe that as the Battle of the Atlantic veterans leave us it is vital that we create a fitting memorial to the lionhearted men and women who served. The memorial will recognise all the nations who took part and will act as a permanent reminder of the incalculable value of peace for future generations.”

Paul Day explains: “The plan is scaled at around 28 metres across and four-and-a-half metres at the highest point. Each half of the two-piece structure is likely to weigh between 10 and 15 tons. They will be hollow with a stainless-steel armature and bronze cladding.

“Scale is obviously critical to the impact of a piece in a landscape, which in this case is dominated by Liverpool Museum and the large distances of space which separate one end of the old historic docks to the new dock. Liverpool Museum will be used as a backdrop to create a silhouette evoking the image of liberty ships and commercial maritime vessels.

“This is an important design feature reflecting the nature of the battle to forge a safe passage for our merchant vessels across the Atlantic. The dual sections will enable the public to walk through and interact with messages and scenes portrayed in friezes along the sides.”

For more information about the campaign email info@battleofatlanticmemorial.org

About Author: Natasha Young

Natasha Young is our Editor. She can be contacted by email natasha@movepublishing.co.uk or by phone on 0151 709 3871.