£1.25m boost for Battle of the Atlantic memorial

A campaign to create a national memorial to the Battle of the Atlantic in Merseyside has secured a £1.25m donation. Tony McDonough reports

Gary Doyle
Gary Doyle of The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial. Picture by Jason Roberts Photography


Plans to create the UK’s national memorial to the Battle of the Atlantic in Merseyside have taken a big step forward after the campaign group secured a £1.25m donation.

The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial (BOAM) charity the funding has been awarded following a successful bid to the Naval Club, which is allocating funds to eight charities following the sale of its premises in central London.

With the injection of new investment BOAM is announcing three new concepts around reflection, innovation and education:

  • Joining forces with Western Approaches Museum, and its operator Big Heritage, to create a new International Battle of the Atlantic Arboretum at Woodside Ferry terminal. The landscaped BOA Park will be part of plans to develop the U-Boat story visitor attraction and replace the ferry landing stage which received £19.6m in levelling up cash.
  • In addition, the funding will be used to create a Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) gallery and educational programme at Western Approaches Museum and BOA Park.
  • A Garden of Reflection to remember the 100,000 men and women who died, and those who served, in the longest running battle of World War II. This willl be located at Liverpool Parish Church, Our Lady and St Nicholas on the Pier Head, known as the sailors’ church.

Called the “longest, largest and most complex naval battle in history”, the Battle of the Atlantic started with the naval blockade of Germany and was followed by Germany’s subsequent counter-blockade.

It was at its height from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943 and its participants included the British Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, US Navy, Allied merchant vessels all pitted against the German Navy and the aircraft of the Luftwaffe.

BOAM chairman Gary Doyle said the memorial will serve as a permanent high profile reminder to future generations of the “incalculable value of peace”.

He added: “We are delighted to receive this donation from the Naval Club to ensure the Battle of the Atlantic is properly recognised and commemorated and thank its team very much.

“But after years of work there could not be a more poignant time for us to unveil these plans. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is showing us tragically that we cannot take peace in Europe or on the Atlantic for granted.

“World War II is called the greatest catastrophe in human civilisation and without the success of the BOA Britain and Russia would almost certainly have been defeated.


Battle of the Atlantic Arboretum at Woodside Ferry terminal


“We want the memorial to act as a warning especially now to Russia and future generations of the consequences of conflict in Europe and how brutal dictatorships endanger the world. The war generation fought for peace and our memorial honours that today more than ever.”

Naval Club chairman Simon Wilson, added: “I am delighted that we could support the BOAM charity as the RNVR contributed massively in the battle for our very survival, and a proper national memorial is long overdue. I must declare a personal interest as my father served in the RNVR in the Battle of the Atlantic and was a proud Liverpudlian.”

And Dean Paton, founder of Big Heritage and Western Approaches director, also said: “The Battle of the Atlantic was an international endeavour, but so much of the planning and logistics of the campaign was centred around the River Mersey.

“We are delighted therefore to have received this support from the Naval Club to not only create a permanent memorial on both sides of the river, but also to create a new gallery within Western Approaches museum dedicated to the RNVR.”

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