Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Charity Wants Bank Fines Cash

L-R BOA veteran Jim Rainsford, campaign chairman Vice Admiral Mike Gretten and veterin Graeme Cubbin
L-R BOA veteran Jim Rainsford, campaign chairman Vice Admiral Mike Gretten and veterin Graeme Cubbin

By The Maritime Executive 07-02-2018 09:53:05

The charity behind a campaign to build a national Battle of the Atlantic memorial on Liverpool’s waterfront has urged the government to support the project with money from the LIBOR bank fines fund.  

The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial (BOAM) campaign began fundraising in January. It hopes to secure £2.5 millon to create a monument on Liverpool’s Pier Head, dedicated to the estimated 100,000 people who lost their lives during the World War Two battle, as well as those who served and survived.

BOAM chairman Vice-Admiral Mike Gretton has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, appealing for support via the LIBOR Charity Funding scheme. Established in 2012, the fund has handed out £773 million to armed forces and emergency services charities, including £20 million for a memorial commemorating British servicemen and women who gave their lives in the D-Day landings and in the Normandy Campaign.

In his letter to the Chancellor, Vice-Admiral Gretton said: “The planned D-Day Memorial has received £20million from the LIBOR bank fines fund to help pay for its construction. While the D-Day Memorial is very deserving, there is another national World War Two memorial - to the Battle of the Atlantic - being planned at a considerably lower cost of around £2.5 million.

“You will be aware of the colossal loss of life in the Battle of the Atlantic of more than 100,000. The battle was the longest of World War Two beginning on 3 September 1939 and lasting until VE Day on 8 May in 1945. Without the lionhearted efforts of thousands of men and women from Britain and our allies during the Battle of the Atlantic we would not have been able to fight or feed ourselves – and there would have been no D-Day.

“As chairman of the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial campaign I would like to appeal for your help to secure funding from LIBOR or other fine funds to help construct our memorial.”

BOAM has raised £100,000 since the start of the year and received the full support of the First Sea Lord. It’s working with both the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy, and has the backing of a number of international bodies, including US-based organisations American Merchant Marine Veterans and Project Liberty Ship.

Plans for a memorial also have the support of Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the United States. With his help, BOAM supporters are set to travel to America in October for a tour of the British Embassy and consulates in New York, Chicago and Boston, with the aim of raising awareness and championing US-UK relations.

Vice-Admiral Gretton added: “If D-Day deserves LIBOR funding we firmly believe our memorial should receive fine funding too from LIBOR and other funds, in memory of those who died and those who served and survived.”

For more information on the campaign, sponsorship packages and to make donations visit: www.battleoftheatlantic.org  email: info@battleofatlanticmemorial.org call: 01243 545939 Twitter: @BattleAtlantic  Note: overseas donations must be made by cheque.       

Campaign background 

The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial (BOAM) is a UK charity. It launched the campaign to build the memorial in January 2018 at a press conference in Liverpool attended by BOA veterans. 

The campaign is aiming to unveil the monument in 2019, the 80th Anniversary of the start of the battle and the beginning of World War Two.    

The memorial will work closely with Merseyside Maritime Museum and National Museums Liverpool to highlight the project and develop educational projects reinforcing just how fundamental the Battle of the Atlantic was to the war effort. The memorial will also be sited on National Museums Liverpool’s land, between the River Mersey and the Museum of Liverpool.

Backing the plans for the memorial in January, British Ambassador to America Sir Kim Darroch 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. I am delighted that the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Fund are visiting the U.S. to promote this worthy cause.”        

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