musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: Falklands War

Loving Liverpool (10) Liverpool Parish Church

Liverpool Parish Church is also also known as “Our Lady and St Nicholas”, and the current building was built after the original main body of the church was destroyed by fire on  21 December 1940, during the bombing of Liverpool by the Luftwaffe.

Situated close to the pier head it would have been much closer to the Mersey before all the changes and dock building was done.

The bombing attack resulted in the building of a new church, and the completed church, was dedicated to “Our Lady and St Nicholas” and it was consecrated on 18 October 1952.

The church had a very welcoming feel about it and it is light and very beautiful inside. Liverpool is a maritime city and that is reflected in the church too.  The best find was the Cunard Roll of Honour which was moved from the Cunard building and rededicated on 21 July 1990.


The nautical theme abounds and I found yet another bell from HMS Liverpool. Just how many bells did the ship have? (there is also an HMS Liverpool bell in the Cathedral)

One of those rare gems is the Roll of Honour of those who lost their lives during the 2nd World War while serving in merchant ships and fishing vessels. The case is made from wood from the Aquitania.

The Pulpit and Font.


Maritime Chapel of St Mary del Key (St Mary of the Quay)

Chapel of St Peter

The Cross in the Chapel of St Peter was created by Revd David Railton, who was the rector at Liverpool at the time, was formed of two pieces of fire blackened roof timbers taken from the ruins of the church. in 1920, Revd Railton wrote to the Dean of Westminster, about the possibility of giving an unidentified soldier a national burial service in Westminster Abbey. This became the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior 

The Grail Boat (Greg Tucker)

Our Lady of the Quay (Arthur Dooley)

Unfortunately I missed so much in the Garden of Remembrance that I now have a reason to revisit the church in the future. 

Atlantic Conveyor Memorial

And then I had to leave and go to my next destination.

As far as churches go this one is a relatively new building in an ancient parish, but it has managed to straddle the old and the new and the result is stunning. I regret not looking over the garden though, but the lack of headstones probably put me off.  But, that’s a good reason to return.

The Bombed Out Church.

I also found one more church that had been affected by the bombing, and it is the former St Luke’s Church on the corner of Berry Street and Leece Street, It is known as “The Bombed Out Church”

The church was built between 1811 and 1832, in addition to being a parish church, it was also intended to be used as a venue for ceremonial worship by the Corporation, and as a concert hall. It was badly damaged during the Liverpool Blitz in 1941, and remains as a roofless shell. It now stands as a memorial to those who were lost in the war, Unfortunately it was closed on both times I was there, but I was able to photograph two monuments of interest. 

The first is “Truce” by Andy Edwards, and it commemorates the the moment when British and German soldiers called a temporary truce during Christmas in the First World War.

The second monument is related to Malta.

There is an Irish Famine Memorial too, but for some strange reason I missed photographing it. 

Incidentally the surrounds were never used for burials, and today this is a nice peaceful green spot in the city. And that concludes my look at the two churches I saw in Liverpool and both are worthy of a revisit. Continue onwards to the final say.


DRW © 2018 – 2019. Created 19/06/2018

Updated: 04/01/2019 — 06:59

The Canberra and the Falklands.

I have just finished reading “A Very Strange Way To Go To War” by Andrew Vine (published 2012 Aurum Press Ltd). It deals with the requisitioning and subsequent service of the Canberra in 1982 in the Falklands War. In fact it is one of at least four different books I have read on the Falklands conflict this year. However, what makes this book very special is that I have been fortunate enough to have sailed on the ship in 1992.
By then the Falklands were a mere memory, and yet reading this book brought back so many memories of this magnificent vessel that I thought I would have to pen a few words. The first time I was aware of her calling in South Africa was 1986, and the next would be 1990, when she made an unexpected call to our waters. I went down to Durban to see her, and hopefully get on board, but that never happened. My one abiding memory of her though was her arrival, it was a cold and foggy morning when she sailed into view. A white ship in a field of white fog. Beautiful. 
The whole day was one of lousy weather that ensured that any images we did get were not great. And, not getting on board was even worse, especially since we had travelled over 570 kilometers to be here. Reading the book I suspect there must have been moments in the South Atlantic when she looked like this. A white ship in a white fog.
Winding forward to our trip in 1992, I suspect I was curious to see what there was to see from her trip down South and surprisingly there was not too much that was obvious to the likes of me. I do know she had a plaque above her bridge windows which was the most noticeable thing.
And, in the one stair tower there was a glorious photograph of her returning to Southampton; rust stained, grubby, and getting the biggest welcome that was accorded a ship in many years. I tried to photograph that pic on that star tower and the closest I got was the image below.
Seeing that image on board that ship was a very special moment, she was as famous as the Queens, and she served in wartime just as well as those two mighty Cunarders did. It was easy to place myself in the areas they discussed in  the book, but I could never recreate that atmosphere or that epic voyage that lasted just over 90 days. I am sure there are a number of Falklands Veterans who remember her with fondness too. 
Canberra has sailed into history, while her old rival QE2 still “lives” on, possibly one of the last remaining Falklands vessels. In the week when QE2 was in Durban she was there with another Falklands Veteran, the former RMS St Helena. The QE2 however was a very high risk target and did not see the prolonged service that Canberra undertook. In fact it was said “Canberra cruises where QE2 refuses”. The book does hot heap glory on the QE2, but then I have never read a book about her Falklands jaunt either.

Triang Minic 1/1200 scale Canberra model

While I was in Southampton I often wondered where did Canberra berth? and she invariably berthed up at Mayflower where Oriana berths most of the time.
Oriana berthed at Mayflower

Oriana berthed at Mayflower

How I wish I had been able to see Canberra at Mayflower, or better yet, to have been there when the Great White Wale nosed her way through the hordes of small boats that followed her down Southampton Water. Such is the stuff of legends, and if ever there was a ship of legends Canberra is it.   
© DRW 2014-2018. Images recreated 17/04/2016
Updated: 30/12/2017 — 20:49

Holy Rood Church, Southampton

The Holy Rood Church (aka Holyrood Church) in Southampton is well known because of the link to the Titanic that exists within the ruins.  And it was through that connection that I first took a look at the building, or what is left of it. The church was one of the original five churches serving the old walled town of Southampton and was built in 1320, and unfortunately destroyed by enemy bombing during the blitz in November 1940.

Period postcard

Period postcard

During the night of 30 November 1940, the centre of Southampton was the target for the German Luftwaffe, and high explosive bombs and incendiaries were dropped on the town centre. By the morning, the church was a smoking ruin and St. Mary’s church nearby was gutted, although nearby St. Michael’s survived unscathed, reportedly because it was used as an aiming point by the incoming bombers that were targeting the dock area.  Following the destruction of the church during the blitz, the only parts that are still standing are the tower at the south-western corner and the chancel at the eastern end, together with large parts of the north walls.

The church also serves as a memorial to the Merchant Navy.

It is difficult to know how large a graveyard the church had, and where the graves are today, given that the bombing may have caused a lot of damage to the graveyard, but there are still chest tombs in the area of the church, and it is possible that there are graves still intact under it. 

Parts of the exterior walls of the church are still standing, and have been stabilised. They really form part of the remains of the ancient city of Southampton, although much of the maritime heritage of the city has been lost.  

The spire still houses the clock and church bells, which feature pre-1760 Quarter Jacks (small figures that strike the quarters of each hour.)

However, the big drawcard to the church is the Titanic Memorial Fountain.

Originally sited on Southampton Common, it was relocated to the church in the 1970’s. The Memorial is not the only one in Southampton either, it is one of eight Titanic related memorials in and around the city.

The fountain is not the only one I spotted in Southampton, there were at least two other public fountains in the city that I know of.

Fountain on Asylum Green

Fountain on Asylum Green

and the other is on the way to Shirley

Fountain near Milbrook and Shirley Roads

Fountain near Milbrook and Shirley Roads

The plaques at Holy Rood Church.

Holy Rood Church is as important to Southampton as the Bargate and the Civic Centre. It has been a part of the city long before anybody dreamt about the Titanic and the bombs from the sky. It has stood in that spot for a long time, and I certainly hope it will continue to do so long after the chrome and glass shopping malls are a thing of the past.  Along with St Michaels it will always be there to remind us of a city that was once a sailor’s city and the place where they came home to from the sea

© DRW 2016-2018. Retrospectively created 19/11/2016

Updated: 28/12/2017 — 07:22
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