Council puts a stop to war memorial Christmas party

lutfurrahman.jpgPlans to make merry at a memorial to dead servicemen and women have been shelved after Tower Hamlets council vetoed Christmas party proposals by Moving Venue.

The events company specialise in organising functions at unique London locations and had applied for a licence for a series of commercial parties at Mariners' memorial Trinity Garden Square in Tower Hill.

Permission had been provisionally granted by the council who said it believed it had the backing of Mariners charity Trinity House.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: "The council does not wish to cause any offence to any of the parties involved.

"As it no longer has the support of Trinity House and the maritime community I have put a stop to this event."

The memorial is dedicated to members of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died during the two world wars and the Falklands and have no known grave.

10 Comments

David J Mitchell said:

Provisional approval!!!!!
Who are the crass people on this council who would have a war memorial desecrated?
Would they approve of a similar event at the Cenotaph in Whitehall?
All credit to the Mayor who has pulled the plug.

Retired MN Engineer Officer.


Heads should roll within Moving Venue's own Sales and Marketing at the very thought of a Rave on a Grave. The MD should have further had much more common sense than ever consider such a dastardly.

Thankfully Common Sense Has Prevailed:

K.

John Luckhurst said:

What idiots on this council could even contemplate giving "provisional approval" for such an event. Those responsible should be sacked. It is good to know that common sense has at last prevailed and this memorial (little know to many) may remain as a fitting tribute to all those who lost their lives in the service of this country and have no grave but the sea.
As an ex Merchant Navy Officer, albeit too young to have served in any war, nevertheless this memorial has a very special place in my heart and I visit it regularly.

John Luckhurst said:

What idiots on this council could even contemplate giving "provisional approval" for such an event. Those responsible should be sacked. It is good to know that common sense has at last prevailed and this memorial (little know to many) may remain as a fitting tribute to all those who lost their lives in the service of this country and have no grave but the sea.
As an ex Merchant Navy Officer, albeit too young to have served in any war, nevertheless this memorial has a very special place in my heart and I visit it regularly.

Billy McGee said:

Our Memorial

Merchant Navy Day

On the 3rd September 1939, the day WWII was declared, the first British & Commonwealth casualty occurred with the sinking of the British passenger liner Athenia sunk by U-30 with the loss of 112 passengers & crew. On the 7th May 1945, the day Germany surrendered the last casualty of the War in Europe occurred with the sinking of the British Merchant ship Avondale Park with the loss of two crew. While Britain was living in what became known as the “Phoney War” between September 1939 to May 1940, 177 British Merchant ships were sunk with the loss of hundreds of Merchant Seamen. In the near six years of war, some 2,952 British Merchant ships flying the Red Ensign were lost to U-boats, mines, E-boats, aircraft, commerce raiders, pocket battleships, those who died in captivity and those executed, as well as those lost through the forces of nature in supplying the world with food, raw materials and the materials to fight a war. 32,000 British Merchant Seamen are officially registered with the CWGC being lost to this cause. Unofficial numbers are much higher. These men although civilians volunteered repeatedly to run the gauntlet in the never ending need to supply a nation in its darkest days. Men who once their ship was sunk from beneath them, if lucky enough to survive had their pay stopped before the ship reached the ocean floor. These same brave men were looked upon with distaste at home, simply because they wore no official uniform, which would identify them with any of the armed services. The men of the Merchant Navy suffered more than most in war, even if lucky enough to survive a sinking. The freezing winter waters of the North Atlantic & Arctic Ocean on the North Russian Convoys could kill a man in under a minute. Others left dying of thirst in the searing heat and shark infested waters of the Pacific & Indian Oceans. September 3rd, remember the screams of the dying in the infernos from the burning oil tankers. September 3rd remember the Merchant Seamen machine gunned to death from the SS Anglo Saxon and the two survivors Wilbert Widdicombe & Robert Tapscott who spent seventy days in an open jolly boat before reaching land, which would see Widdicombe dead within three months as his next ship SS Siamese Prince was lost with all hands. September 3rd remember the three hundred and seventy two British Merchant Seamen machine-gunned to death and others beheaded by the Japanese from the ships Behar, Daisy Moller, British Chivalry, Sutlej, Ascot, Nancey Moller & Nellore. September 3rd, remember the likes of 2nd Steward Poon Lim the only survivor from the SS Benlomond who survived one hundred & thirty three days on a life raft. September 3rd remember the two survivors from the Fort Longueuil who spent four and half months adrift in an open boat, only to be captured and imprisoned by the Japanese. Remember fourteen-year-old Welsh boy Kenneth James Lewis, one of the youngest Merchant Seamen killed from the SS Fiscus, a double tragedy as his fifteen-year-old Brother Raymond Leslie Lewis perished with him, both on their first trip to sea. Over five hundred boys age sixteen and under are recorded with the CWGC killed in action serving aboard Merchant ships, which includes the youngest recorded serving casualty of WWII age just fourteen. Also, remember one of the oldest recorded serving casualties, that of James Killey age 74 killed from the SS Fenella, which was bombed and sunk while rescuing injured troops from the beaches at Dunkirk on the 29th May 1940. September 3rd remember Liverpool seaman Billy Swinchin, a survivor from the SS Etrib who survived seventy-seven days on a raft only to be picked up by a U-boat and imprisoned in Germany. Even when captured Merchant Seamen were not treated by the rules laid down by the Geneva Convention. As civilians, they were supposed to be repatriated; instead, they were imprisoned in the Sandbostel Concentration Camp in Germany until they were forced to build their own camp, christened Milag Nord. September 3rd remember the men from the steamers, tankers, tramps, Cam ships, MAC ships, the DEMS, reefers, rescue tugs, cargo ships, coasters, rescue ships, whalers and oilers. Without the Merchant Navy Britain would have starved. There would have been no “Battle of Britain” if it were not for the hundreds of tankers who imported the aviation spirit home. No “Operation Torch”, the invasion of North Africa would have not taken place without the thousands of troops & supplies needed brought by sea. There would have been no D-Day landing at Normandy without the one thousand two hundred and sixty Merchant ships that took part. This country is indebted to all these men. September 3rd remember Merchant Seaman Bill Short who spent four days in an open boat in temperatures of –10. After being rescued warm water had to be siphoned into his stomach as ice crystals had formed. He then had both legs amputated without anaesthetic due to frostbite. Where war goes the Merchant Navy follows. Two World Wars, Palestine 1945-1948, Korea 1950-1953, Suez 1956, Cyprus 1955-1959, Borneo 1962-1966, Falklands 1982, Gulf 1990-1991 & 2003 and Afghanistan. September 3rd remember them! Remember them all, the men of the “Forgotten Fourth Service”.

Billy McGee MN 1980-1992

John Luckhurst said:

What idiots on this council could even contemplate giving "provisional approval" for such an event. Those responsible should be sacked. It is good to know that common sense has at last prevailed and this memorial (little know to many) may remain as a fitting tribute to all those who lost their lives in the service of this country and have no grave but the sea.
Ex Merchant Navy Officer (Purser).

Joe Lane said:

So glad that common sense has prevailed. Just goes to show the lack of respect these people have for their own naval history.

Thankfully Trinity House was able to intervene and put a stop to this fiasco.

Rest in Peace Sailors

Joe Lane
Thames Rower
Ex Merchant Navy

Well said Billy!
Every member of that council should be compelled to read that.
Brian.

elizabeth swinchin said:

i hope at least 1 member of the council prints it off and give every council worker a copy. nice one billy.

elizabeth swinchin said:

i hope at least 1 member of the council prints it off and give every council worker a copy. nice one billy.

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