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Article: Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

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    Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

    32 Comments by Doc Vernon Published on 4th February 2018 01:25 AM
    A bit of an old Article i know but thought it may interest some !
    Thanks

    Posted: 06 October 2017
    Merchant seamen braved storms and German submarines during the First World War but a service to recognise their sacrifice has been defeated by a six-foot wide stretch of tarmac.The only national event for the merchant navy and fishing fleet during the war’s centenary commemorations has been cancelled after the City of London was accused of refusing to shut a short stretch of road.
    The organisers of the service, arranged by leading maritime organisations and charities, said the road had to be closed for security reasons as the Princess Royal was due to be among the guests at the Merchant Navy Memorial overlooking the Tower of London.Although the south half of the road is controlled by Tower Hamlets council, which readily agreed to the service, the other side of the dotted white line is part of the City of London. The organisers claim the City refused to allow the closure because the application was not made 12 weeks ahead of the event, which was before police had approved the security arrangements.Cancellation of the service, which was timed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the convoy system, has led to anguish and anger for the relatives of those who perished.The 400 invited guests due at the event on October 17 included 30 ambassadors and high commissioners of countries whose seafarers are among the 36,102 names on the memorial.The Right Rev Peter Broadbent, the acting Bishop of London, was due to lead the service with music from the Royal Marine Band.Buckingham Palace announced the Princess Royal’s attendance last week but confirmed yesterday that the event would no longer take place.Commodore Malcolm Williams, chief executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, one of the groups that organised the service, condemned the cancellation as a “triumph of bureaucratic process”. He added: “When you think about the sacrifice and flexibility of those who served in the war, there seems to have been little of that in this process. It is extremely unfortunate that it has been cancelled at this late stage.”Captain Malcolm Mathison, national vice-chairman of the Merchant Navy Association, said: “We had been working on this for two years. There are a lot of very unhappy people who felt they have been left out of the commemorations. I have been contacted by members who are very angry. There is a feeling that ‘we have done our job and now you’ve forgotten about us’.”A Tower Hamlets spokesman said that the council had no objection to the event and had been supporting the organisers where possible.In the First World War the Mercantile Marine lost 17,000 crew and 2,417 ships and the fishing fleet lost 675 vessels and 434 fishermen. The introduction of the convoy system in May 1917 reduced the losses and saved Britain from being starved into capitulation.George V recognised that wartime service with the title Merchant Navy. The Queen is the “Master of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets”.A City of London spokesman said: “At no stage was an official application submitted for an event or any road closure. The organiser was encouraged to follow event planning guidelines but did not engage with highways officers in the correct manner.”Article as appeared in The Times, 6 October 2017.
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    Default Re: Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

    There was a post on this, thanks for the reminder

    Should go ahead this year instead.

    Will add details ASAP.

    Keith.

    ADDED: http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/m...tion+CANCELLED
    Last edited by Keith at Tregenna; 4th February 2018 at 01:41 AM.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

    HI Vernon.
    Too many people have short memories, that those men lost their lives to save Britain in the war is in living memory. I get incensed when our Pm goes to Japan and bows and scrapes to them at the same time attacking countries who were on our side fighting the Japs, again withing living memory. All we can do is remember the men who lost their lives, I remember a young lad who was at school with me albeit four years older than me; who's ship was torpedoed on his first trip and he was killed.
    Lest We Forget.


    redc.gif
    Last edited by Des Taff Jenkins; 4th February 2018 at 04:13 AM.

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    Default Re: Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

    I can remember Joe Farnworth age 17, of 17 Dougill St. Bolton, who went down on the Gloucester Castle when our Lou was saved,
    I helped, with his brother, Dave, to carry his bags to the bus stop when he joined the ship. Three weeks later he was at the bottom of the Atlantic.
    Another young lad age 14, Billy Dempster from the next street to me, 15 Settle St. Bolton, went down off Cape Race. Killed again by the Germans.
    AND SOME PONCE REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE THEM.

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    Default Re: Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

    #1.. Vernon nothing shocks me at the couldn’t care less materialistic feelings of today’s society. This couldn’t care less attitude.of today’s generation and that It has nothing to do with them, would certainly change if they realised it’s because of those that were lost that they exist. We at least saw the world as it really is warts and all, and not like it is seen via TV adverts for holiday making. Soon there will be no remembrance days as no one will remember, and will put all such thoughts out of their head as rapidly as they can. The Greater London Inner Council or whatever other title they assume for themselves shows the general attitude of most today. They are mostly all alien to British culture in any case, so that too is due for the disappearance act. Cheers JWS.
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 4th February 2018 at 10:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

    I had this conversation last night after taking my wife out for a meal, The couple sat next to us where very nice people, It turned out her father was a ships cook and sailed in the Arctic Convoys, I asked her did she still have his discharge book yes she said my brother has it, Have you claimed all his medals in particular his Arctic Convoy medal, Well he was only the cook and he never fired a gun or anything he never really spoke about it and has been gone since 1970, After quoting a few sacrifices and a little of what he went threw her husband became more interested and as he said your absolutely right we are an island nation surrounded by water and i suppose without Merchant Seaman we would have been starved into submission. We exchanged emails and promised to keep in touch by the end of the night he had a very different view on our once great Merchant Navy, And assured me he would obtain her fathers discharge book and go online to visit this forum and read a few posts on those who had it rough, If you read this Phil, Please add your views i for one would be very interested on what you manage to achieve by way of recognition for your long gone Father in law. They where men of steel and cook or not he was as much a part of it all as any of them in fact as the old saying goes you cant march an army on an empty stomach Regards Phil i await your email or reply Terry.
    {terry scouse}

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    Default Re: Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

    I think he should also get the Russian USHAKOV Medal as well.

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    Default Re: Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

    I haven’t really followed the medal trail, but what have picked up on here if hadn’t been for the Russian medal being offered, doubt if the British Artic one would ever have surfaced. Might be wrong but those who assist others might know better. JWS.

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    Default Re: Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

    The British Arctic convoy heroes who risked their lives to help transport crucial supplies to Russia during World War II have been told they cannot accept a medal for valour from the country.

    The Russian Embassy wrote to survivors of the notoriously perilous sea campaign - who saw 3,000 of their comrades killed - to inform them it intended to award them with the Medal of Ushakov as a symbol of the country's gratitude.

    But the Foreign Office has blocked the Russian's government's plans to honour Britain's Arctic heroes, because it said it would break rules surrounding the acceptance of medals.

    Russia has already awarded the Ushakov medal to veterans from Australia, Canada and the U.S. for their role in the Arctic convoys, which ferried vital supplies and munitions to the Soviet Union to help fight off the advance of Hitler between 1941 and 1945....

    The Foreign Office said permission to accept a foreign award could not be given if a UK award had been given for the same services, and pointed out that the Arctic convoy veterans were eligible for the World War II Atlantic Star.

    But after becoming prime minister Mr Cameron pointed to the extension of the Atlantic Star Medal to those who served in the Arctic as a mark of the nation's gratitude.

    Thousands of Arctic convoy veterans told they cannot collect Russian bravery medals 'as it would break rules in this country' | Daily Mail Online

    I believe many said we have earned both, if there was a choice between one that was given in thanks, tribute and remembrance or another that appeared begrudged, Ushakov would be preferred.

    Keith.

    ADDED.

    2013.

    Merchant navy heroes to receive second medal:

    ARCTIC war veterans are set to receive their second medal.

    For years, Second World War Arctic Convoy veterans were denied medals by the British Government.

    However, this year, in a landmark turnaround, politicians have granted them not one, but two.

    In June, former Merchant Navy seamen received the Arctic Star, which honours their part in transporting supplies to Russia between 1941 and 1945.

    Last week, the men received a letter to say that they will also be awarded the Ushakov Medal from the Russian Government.

    It has previously been denied to participants of Operation Dervish – the Arctic Convoys – but in June, Secretary of State William Hague said approval had been given for “an exception to the rules” on the acceptance of foreign awards.

    Under current rules, medals can’t be accepted when more than five years have passed since the events.

    https://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/...edal-1-6053727

    .
    Last edited by Keith at Tregenna; 4th February 2018 at 09:01 PM.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Merchant Navy service is sunk by Council’s refusal to waive red tape

    Hi Keith.
    I wonder if it counted if they got a medal of recognition from the US, France or any other Allied country. And with the upper class even Germany.
    Cheers Des

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