25th August 2007, 22:07
Ive just seen a web site about ROPNER PARK in STOKTON and a memorial to merchant seaman lost in two world wars.I think it was the hard work of one of our SN supporters Billy1963. it looks wonderfull and i hope to visit it some day. But the thing tht caught my eye is the script on the bottom of the memorial that reads, ON ALL THE OCEANS WHITE CAPS FLOW YOU DO NOT SEE CROSSES ROW BY ROW,BUT THOSE THAT SLEEP BENEATH THE SEA,REST IN PEACE FOR YOUR COUNTRY IS FREE. This i will never forget,well done BILLY and i am sure it comes from all at SN.
26th August 2007, 17:33
As an old Stocktonian, I was at the unveiling of the commemorative plaque in Ropner Park, It was a moving experience, Billy did a splendid job from start to finish
28th August 2007, 14:12
It was nearly two years ago the Ropner memorial was unveiled. The park itself was officially re-opened a couple of month ago by the Duke of Gloucester (Grandson of King George V) who originally opened the park in 1893. I was invited along to speak to his Royal Highness regarding the memorial.
The inscription "On all the oceans............ actually came from a memorial I had seen in Malta, although the author is unknown to me.
As a follow up to the memorial I wrote the complete history of the Ropner Shipping Co. from 1874 to 1997 when the Co. was taken over by Jacobs Holdings Ltd. Also included are the ships owned during the partnership with the Thomas Appleby Co. from 1866 and also includes all ships managed by the Co. for the MOS/MOWT and those supplied to the British Government on the WWII Bareboat Charter.
The book titled "Ropner's Navy" is in four parts with the first part dealing with a brief history of the Ropner family and their shipping legacy. The second part details the fleet list of some 284 ships owned and managed by the Co. 1866-1997, detailing date & yard built, tonnage, name changes and eventual demise. The third part details all 70 WWI & II losses due to enemy action detailing cargo, convoy, how and where lost & casualty figures. The final part details the individual names the 736 men lost from Ropner ships registered with the CWGC (80 from WWI, 656 from WWII).
Unfortunately I have not been able to find a publisher.