Sea battle honoured

A roll call of 24 navy ships lost in the Battle of the Atlantic was part of a parade and ceremony at the Cenotaph in Surrey Museum Plaza Sunday. - Patrick Sharkey photo
A roll call of 24 navy ships lost in the Battle of the Atlantic was part of a parade and ceremony at the Cenotaph in Surrey Museum Plaza Sunday.
— image credit: Patrick Sharkey photo

A costly, historic campaign at sea was commemorated in Cloverdale Sunday, as local cadet corps and the Royal

Canadian Legion gathered at the Surrey Cenotaph to remember the Battle of the Atlantic.

The 71st anniversary of the battle, waged between 1939 to 1945, and the more than 4,600 Canadians who lost their lives at sea during the Second World War, were remembered Sunday in ceremonies across the country.

Presented by the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Mariner, along with other cadet groups, the May 4 ceremony began with a parade from Branch 13 to the Cenotaph in Surrey Museum Plaza, where a roll call of 24 navy ships sunk in the battle were read out. The 75 Canadian merchant navy ships that were sunk were also commemorated, along with those who lost their lives.

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous battle of the Second World War, and Canada played a central role. The Royal Canadian Navy, Air Force and Merchant Navy helped maintain a supply link between North America and Europe.

The battle began on the opening day of the war in September 1939, and lasted until Germany’s surrender in 1945.

According to the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, nearly 400 Allied ships were sunk in the first half of 1942, putting the vital supply link of food and arms at great risk.

“The Battle of the Atlantic would prove to be an unrelenting clash during the Second World War,” said Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans.

“Our sailors and airmen demonstrated incredible heroism by putting their lives at risk in order to keep trade lines open between North America and Europe. Their sacrifice may have ultimately been one of the most important contributions to victory and, for that, we are eternally grateful.”

– Cloverdale Reporter

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