Zeebrugge Raid Centenary Service

Wirral played a key role in national commemorations to mark the centenary of the Zeebrugge raid.

The vital wartime mission took place towards the end of the First Word War and the Mersey Ferries became famous for their role in the daring raid across the Channel.

Scores of service personnel including members of Royal Marines, Royal Navy, and Veterans marched along Wirral’s promenade accompanied by Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band Portsmouth (Royal Band).

The ferries were at the centre of the anniversary event which took place on Sunday April 22, reflecting their importance to the vital mission 100 years ago.

Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Ann McLachlan, said described it as “a truly memorable occasion and a significant opportunity for Wirral to remember those who took part in the Zeebrugge Raid”.

The ferries Iris and Daffodil, built in 1906, took part in the top secret attack on Zeebrugge on April 23 1918 which aimed to prevent German U-boats from attacking Allied shipping in the English Channel and the South West Approaches to the UK.

The Mersey ferries were used because they could carry large numbers of Marines and Sailors in shallow waters. Both Iris and Daffodil sustained significant damage in the raid but both managed to return home – although Iris had been hit by numerous shells and just about limped back.

It was for their heroic service that both ferries – and their successors – were awarded the “Royal” designation.

Since the early 1920s – with the exception of the war years – a commemoration service has been held aboard a Wallasey ferry on the Sunday closest to St George’s Day, 23 April.

A short service was held on board the Royal Iris Ferry in which veterans and serving military were present.  Towards the end of the service wreaths were thrown into the River Mersey by dignitaries and high ranking officials.

Once the ferry returned to land, a further service was held alongside the Zeebrugge memorial outside Seacombe Ferry Terminal.

Afterwards there was a march down Wirral Promenade towards Wallasey Town Hall, led by the Royal Marines Band Portsmouth and tailed by the Royal British Legion Riders on motorbikes.

For my photo’s and my video see links below:-

Wreaths at memorial

Video:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WdZS8umwcg


Thousands gather across Merseyside for Remembrance Sunday

Thousands of people came out across Merseyside to pay their respects to the fallen on Remembrance Sunday .

Despite bitterly cold weather, huge crowds were there for Liverpool’s commemoration, centred around the Centotaph at St George’s Hall with service personnel, local dignitaries and veterans marching through the city to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

This year’s service was especially poignant as it focused on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendale.

Joey the life size puppet from the National Theatre’s production of War Horse was at the service – to recognise the importance horses played in the infamous battle.

Representatives from all faiths helped to lead the service at the plateau, with Danielle Louise Thomas leading the crowds in singing the National Anthem.

Following the Last Post and the two minute silence, thousands of petals cascaded down from St George’s Hall in a very moving display.

For photo’s see the link below:-



Liverpool Pride 2017

Liverpool made its annual Pride Parade and Festival bigger and better this year.  Coinciding with 50years of the introduction of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act which decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men.

The festival is in its 8th, starting in 2010 with the death of Michael Causer killed because of his sexuality.

The parade was the main event starting out at midday and parading though Liverpool City Ctr and returning to St Georges Hall and Plateau an hour later.

Following the parade people were entertained by 3 stages of music and events.

Headling the music was chart topping girl band Atomic Kitten.  Other big names included Kym Mazelle and Livin’ Joy.

For pics see the link below:-

Liverpool Pride 2017

National Armed Forces Day in Liverpool, England.

The national event in Liverpool, attended by Prime Minister Theresa May and Prince Edward, saw a Red Arrows flypast and a parade to the waterfront.

Mrs May said that armed forces are more relevant than ever, “playing a vital role” after the Manchester attack.

The day was billed as a chance for people to show their support for those connected with the armed forces.

As well as those currently serving, the event honours veterans, reservists, cadets, families and charities.

Parades, military displays, gun salutes and Typhoon and Red Arrows flypasts have been some of the highlights.

The Royal Navy’s type-23 frigate HMS Iron Duke was docked in Liverpool for the celebrations. A series of displays along Pier head also took place featuring planes, helicopters, tanks and marching bands.

Mrs May praised the “tremendous job that the armed forces do for us here at home and across the world, helping to keep us safe”.

The parade in Liverpool comprised about 100 personnel from each of the services, plus bands, veterans and about 300 cadets.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said there are some 10,000 service men and women who are working around the globe on operations or in British bases.

“They’ve been helping to deal with terrorism, they’ve been helping to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean, they’ve been on Nato deployments, they’ve been peacekeeping in South Sudan.

“All of that keeps us safer here at home. They’re out of our sight but they should never be out of mind,” he said.

For pics see my link below:-


Military parade

Syttende Mai in Liverpool 2017

Norwegian people, young and old came together in the Pier Head to celebrate their Constitution Day.  The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 in the year 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent kingdom in an attempt to avoid being ceded to Sweden after Denmark–Norway’s devastating defeat in the Napoleonic Wars

Members of the congregation from the Nordic Church in Park Lane, met near the plaque for personnel lost during the Battle Of The Atlantic.  Some were dressed in traditional costumes with blue, red and white ribbons. A service was held in Norwegian and a wreath was laid under the plaque.

Accompanied by the Imperial Corps of Drums from Liverpool, the parade went from the Pier Head, into the Albert Dock.  Banners and flags were carried by people in the parade, with the parade concluding at the entrance to the Albert Dock.

For pics see link below:

Parade continues at the Pier Head

May Day Parade In Liverpool

The annual May Day Parade took place today in Liverpool and celebrated the life of a working class hero.

A 5m model of activist and writer George Garret was the centerpiece of the parade which began at 130pm from Toxteth Library.

The parade celebrated George’s life and some of his relatives spoke at the parade, and read out some of his writings.

Various unions and campaign groups attended the parade and carried their banners around the parade.

The parade also marked the opening of the Writing On The Wall Festival, a festival which celebrates writing, diversity, tolerance, story telling and humour through controversy, inquiry and debate. The day also marked the publication of Garrett’s memoirs, Ten Years On The Parish.

The Parade marched down Hope St, Leece St, Bold St, Church St, Whitechapel, Queen Sq and Lime St before finishing up at the top of William Brown St.  At St Lukes Church, Samba band Katumba joined in and drummed there way to the end.

For Pics see link below:-

Garrett and St Johns Beacon