Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Today I dedicate my poppy......

...... to those Merchant seafarers lost at sea during times of conflict....

During the conflict of the second world war more than 40,000 lost their lives, and should their ship be sunk and yet they managed to survive..... their pay was stopped the day after the vessel had sunk.

But it is not just the second world war that non combatant seafarers have lost their life in the war effort, over 14,000 died in the first world war........... even in my own life time, merchant seafarers have lost their lives in the name of war..... I was serving on a trip in the Middle East, and oil tankers were traveling to the far reaches of the Persian Gulf during the Iran ~ Iraq war, it was thought that they would be safe as being non Iranian or Iraqi registered ships..... wrong......... many a French made Exocet missile was launched at one of these oil tankers, with casualties.

During the time of the Falklands war, my company sent out oil tankers as support vessels, so did ACL. Their ship the Atlantic Conveyor was hit by an Exocet, 12 crew were killed, six merchant navy crew including the skipper.  The first UK Merchant Ship to be sunk during warfare since the second world war.

I remember that moment well. 

When Nicholas Monsarrat wrote the Cruel Sea, oh how the title was so understated, even in peace time the sea can be cruel, look at how the MoL Comfort was split in 2 and this without any U Boat chasing it and firing torpedoes directly into it's midships, and yet it still caught fire.....

So for the poppy lost all out at sea 
in remembrance of the lives lost at sea.