BRIDGEWATER - On May 7, members of Branch 24 RCL Bridgewater held a ceremony at Veterans' Park to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.
The Battle of the Atlantic was fought at sea from 1939 to 1945 with the strategic outcome being sea-control of the North Atlantic. It was the longest, largest, and most complex campaign of the Second World War.
Among those in attendance at the ceremony were members of the legion, army and sea cadets, military and members of the Veterans NS/NATO South Shore, gathered on this anniversary to honour the struggle, sacrifice, and loss, but also to celebrate the heroism and courage in the face of daunting obstacles such as, horrible weather and high seas, rough little ships and cramped quarters, and the ever-present threat of attack by submarines lurking below.
Victory was costly: more than 70,000 Allied seamen, merchant mariners and airmen lost their lives, including approximately 4,400 from Canada.
Fifty-nine Canadian-registered merchant ships were sunk by enemy or probable enemy action, and 2,000 Royal Canadian navy members, 1,600 Canadian merchant seamen and 752 Canadian airmen lost their lives. Thirty Royal Canadian navy ships were in combat related incidents. The roll call for the 30 ships included the ringing of a Navy bell as each ships name was called. This was to honour the ship and the gallant crews that were lost.