National Memorial Arberetum at Alrewas Midlands.

ian keyl
14th April 2009, 00:54
To all Ben Line men , I was at the above a week ago and it was very calming to walk around the site and see the names of all those British service men and women who lost thier lives in the two world wars .
There was also memorial plaques to those who had fallen sicne the end of the second world war.

Dotted around the grounds were many other memorials to the merchant navy and prisoners of war in Burma Japan and Malaya, I was very disapointed not to find one for Willaim Thomson Shipowners and the Ben LIne.
Alfred Holt ,Vesty, Cayzer group and many more were there with the company flags on the plaques and the ships names dates and position of the loss.

I am going to write to William Thomson and ask if he can get in touch with the site and see if he would like for the Ben Line men who lost thier lives to be remembered.
I will let you know the outcome.

If you live close its worth a trip as they also have a motorised tractor train to take folk around the site and a cafe.

Rgds ian.

14th April 2009, 12:12
Ben Line ships sunk or damaged WWII. Maybe you could have a small plaque made naming the ships. Can also supply the names of all crew casualties if required.

Bennevis 7th September 1940 (damaged)
Benarty 10th September 1940
Benavon 11th September 1940
Benlawers 6th October 1940
Benvorlich 19th March 1941
Benwyvis 20th March 1941
Benvrakie 13th May 1941
Benvenue 15th May 1941
Empire Protector 30th May 1941 (MOWT, Ben Line mngrs)
Bencruachan 5th July 1941
Benmacdhui 21st December 1941
Benledi 5th April 1942 (damaged)
Fort Qu'Appelle 17th May 1942 (MOWT, Ben Line mngrs)
Benalder 8th November 1942 (damaged)
Benlomond 23rd November 1942
Benalbanach 7th January 1943
Fort Babine 6th February 1943 (MOWT, Ben Line mngrs) damaged
Fort Louisbourg 29th January 1944 (MOWT, Ben Line mngrs) damaged
Samvern 18th January 1945 (MOWT, Ben Line mngrs)

Baltic Wal
14th April 2009, 20:18
I was there for the opening of the Convoy of Trees, and was involved with the MNWB with donners to the convoy. In addition there is a Merchant Navy Memorial book containing the names of all the seamen of the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleet and MRA who lost there lives both at sea and as prisoner with information on how the ship was lost. I managed to get NUMAST to publish it for me. Further copies are at Liverpool Maritime Museum, NMM and IWM.

29th February 2012, 15:17
I live near to the NMA at Alrewas. I will go and see why there isn't anything about Ben Line and come back to this thread.

30th November 2013, 05:06
Nearly 2 years have passed since the last comment on this topic. I wonder if anything has eventuated?
Regards, Roy.

oldman 80
11th December 2013, 14:41
This poem was posted somewhere on this website quite a long time ago by someone the name of whom I can't remember.
It was written some years ago by David Partridge, Botany Bay Australia, and submitted to the Daily Mail by his shipmate George Hickman, Braunton, Devon.
At this years remembrance day ceremony in outback Australia it was read as part of the proceedings in recognition of 70 years since the Battle of the Atlantic was considered to have been won - the longest single military campaign of the 2nd World War.
It is perhaps quite appropriate to re-post it in this string:-


Don't speak to me of heroes,
until you've heard the tale,
Of Allied Merchant Seamen,
who sailed, - through storm and gale,
To keep those lifelines open,
in our greatest hour of need.

When a tyrant casts a shadow,
across a nations island breed,
Captains, greasers, cabin boys,
and engineers,
they heard the call to duty,
and cast aside their fears,
they stoked those hungry boilers,
and stood behind the wheel,
whilst cooks and stewards manned the guns,
of coffins made of steel.

They moved in icy convoys,
from Scapa to Murmansk,
and crossed the Western Ocean,
never seeking thanks,
They sailed the Southern Oceans,
where raiders lay in wait,
And kept the food lines open,
from Malta to the Cape.

Tracked by silent U-boats,
which hunted from below,
Shelled by mighty cannons,
and fighters flying low,
They clung to burning lifeboats ,
where the sea had turned to flame,
And watched their shipmates disappear,
to everlasting fame,

I speak of not a handful,
but Thirty Thousand plus,
Some whose names we'll never know,
in whom we placed our trust,
They never knew the honour of medals on their chests,
Or marching bands and victory,
nor glory, and the rest.

The ocean is their resting place,
their tombstone is the wind,
The seabirds cry their last goodbye,
to family and friends,
Freighters, troopships, liners,
and tankers by the score,
Fishing boats and coasters,
2,000 ships, and more.

They Flew our nations ensigns,
as they sank beneath the waves,
And took those countless heroes,
to a lonely ocean grave,
Their legacy is freedom,
to those who hold it dear,
To walk with clear horizons,
and never walk in fear.

So when you speak of heroes,
remember those at sea,
from allied Merchant Navies,
who died to keep us free.