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One in three

3rd September 2007

What service suffered the greatest proportion of casualties in the last world war?

Most people would guess that it was the Royal Air Force. Possibly Bomber Command ? Wrong. There was one service that lost one in three of all took part. In total there were 24,000 deaths inflicted on those serving in the Merchant Navy.  Most were on the Atlantic convoys. They kept Britain fed and ensured our survival.

It is impossible to overemphasise the supreme importance of their role. But it is still unrecognised by the mass of the public.

Yet, today's tribute to them was largely ignored by press and public. Happily the exception is the support provided by Newport. Bert Bale was marshalling the parade today.


A busload of 50 Newportonians went up to Tower Hill in London and the Mayor and Mayoress , Newport -born author Leslie Thomas were there and so was  I.

Even the order of service programmes were printed in Newport.

Two Government ministers attended and the ceremony was a very moving occasion- a credit to Bert Bale and the other organisers.