The Battle of the Atlantic

We’ve heard of the famous Mighty Hood that was sunk by a Bismarck shell

We know how many men were lost and the Skipper’s name as well

We’ve seen the Battleship Barham rolling on her side

before the huge explosion in which so many died

The Repulse and Prince of Wales on route to the Singapore post

Both lost to the Jap’ torpedo planes off the Malaya coast

There’s a film about the Kelly sunk in the Battle of Crete

And of the famous River Plate where we inflicted defeat

Yet who knows the names of the merchant ships sunk almost every day

Who knew that as these ships went down seamen were put off pay

Shipping Companies oft did this to cut down on the cost

They lost one of their freighters, but how many lives were lost

What of the men on the Arctic run ferrying Russian supplies

The ocean full of U-boats and bombers filling the skies

Sailing a gas filled tanker some only in their teens

Wondering if they’ll freeze to death or be blown to smithereens

Wallowing along in a rusting tramp to save the Russian nation

Struggling to make eight knots whilst trying to keep station

Should a seaman stay topside or should he seek his bunk

Knowing if you fall astern your certain to be sunk

Many a merchant ship now lies under the Barents Sea

Lost in a desperate struggle to set the Russians free

The ocean bed is littered with merchant seaman’s bones

Now to lay forever at peace with Davie Jones

As a nation we are rightly proud of our Navy in World War Two

Likewise of the R.A.F and what we owe to the few

To the men who fought at Arnhem and Monty’s Desert Rats

To those who fought the Japanese to all we raise our hats

From the Home Guard to the S.O.E in it from the start

All of our Armed Services were keen to play their part

Each had lost so many when they counted the final muster

But the greatest loss was those who sailed under the Old Red Duster

By Roy May

This section includes people who, although not employed by any of the Group’s companies, made a significant contribution to life aboard or ashore.

It will include members of the Royal Navy and Royal Navy Reserve, Marconi, Religious Denominations, Other Military Arms including Medical and DEMS Seamen

This section is dedicated to all those that have given or lost their lives in service of the Companies or Nation


British & Commonwealth Shipping Company Memorials
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