Commemoration of the Battle of the Atlantic Held at Port Hope Cenotaph

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The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Service was held on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at the Port Hope cenotaph.

It was the 77th anniversary of the end of action in the Battle of the Atlantic which took place from 1939-1945 during the longest campaign of the Second World War.

The Royal Canadian Se Cadet Crops Skeena hosted the commemoration ceremony which started at 10:30 a.m. Lt (N) Chris Barker stated Canada played a central role in the Battle of the Atlantic.

The Battle of the Atlantic was the struggle between the Allied and German forces for control of the Atlantic Ocean. The Allies needed to keep the vital flow of men and supplies going between North
America and Europe, where they could be used in the fighting, while the Germans wanted to cut these supply lines. To do this, German submarines, called U-boats, and other warships prowled
the Atlantic Ocean sinking Allied transport ships.

The Battle of the Atlantic came at a high price. More than 1,600 Merchant Navy personnel from Canada and Newfoundland were killed. The RCN and RCAF also paid a high toll in the Battle of
the Atlantic. Most of the 2,000 RCN officers and men who died during the war were killed during the Battle of the Atlantic, as were 752 members of the RCAF.

The first Sunday in May, marks the commemoration of The Battle of the Atlantic. All across Canada, members of the RCN and RACF gather at local cenotaphs to commemorate the loss of
the lives in this epic battle.

In advance we thank the Municipality of The Town of Port Hope, for their continuous support of this commemorative remembrance service.

The Last Post was played by Lt (N) Clive Montgomery.

ROLL CALL:
HMCS ADVERSUS
HMCS ALBERNI
HMCS ATHABASKAN
HMCS BRAS D’OR
HMCS CHARLOTTETOWN
HMCS CHEDABUCTO
HMCS CLAYOQUOT
HMCS ESQUIMALT
HMCS FRASER
HMCS GUYSBOROUGH
HMCS LEVIS
HMCS LOUISBOURG
HMCS MARGAREE
HMCS OTTAWA
HMCS OTTER
HMCS RACOON
HMCS REGINA
HMCS SHAWININGAN
HMCS SKEENA
HMCS SPIKENARD
HMCS ST CROIX
HMCS TRENTONIAN
HMCS VALLEYFIELD
HMCS WEYBURN
HMCS WINDFLOWER
HMCS YPRES
MTB 459
MTB 460
MTB 461
MTB 462
MTB 463
MTB 465
MTB 466
The ship’s bell from HMCS Skeena will be tolled after the reading of each ship’s name.

 

Facts about the Battle of the Atlantic
The Battle of the Atlantic began on September 3, 1939, with the sinking of the SS Athenia by German submarine U-30. Allied forces fought for control of the North Atlantic Ocean to supply the war effort from 1939 to 1945, making this the longest campaign of the Second World War.

The RCN grew from a mere 6 destroyers & 3,500 personnel in 1939, to 373 fighting ships and more than 100,000 sailors by War’s end – one of the largest navies in the world.

Our sailors and airmen sank or shared in the destruction of some 50 U-boats while they escorted some 25 thousand merchant ships during the war to deliver more than 165 million tonnes of life & war-sustaining cargo to Europe in a merchant navy that became the world’s fourth largest.

These accomplishments were fueled by an impressive shipbuilding effort that saw more than 400 merchant ships built in Canadian shipyards that also churned-out 281 destroyers/corvettes & frigates, 206 minesweepers, over 250 tugs and over 3,000 landing craft.

In 1943, Rear-Admiral Leonard Murray was put in charge of the Allied Air and Naval forces in the Northwest Atlantic; the only Canadian to command an Allied theatre of conflict in either World War.

Throughout the Battle of the Atlantic, 24 Canadian of the 175 Allied warships were lost. 2,600 merchant ships including 62 Canadian vessels also met the same fate.

The human cost: more than 2,700 RCN/RCAF and 1,600 Canadian Merchant Navy personnel died.

Just weeks before the end of hostilities, HMCS Esquimalt was sunk and 44 died in the Halifax approaches, in April 1945.

Fought largely by reservists in small ships built in Canada and operating from Canadian bases, the defence of North Atlantic trade against the submarine menace defined a naval role for Canada within a much larger alliance. After 1945, the RCN became one of the best anti-submarine warfare navies in the world.

Almost 7,000 women served their country in a wide variety of crucial roles during the War.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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