Service marks 70 years since Battle of the Atlantic

A service was held at St Ann's Church inside Portsmouth naval base to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. Veteran, Keith Evans joins the congregation.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (131426-4)

A service was held at St Ann's Church inside Portsmouth naval base to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. Veteran, Keith Evans joins the congregation.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131426-4)

The ship's company of HMS Westminster at the rededicaton of the ship back into the fleet Picture: LPhot Barry Swainsbury

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PEOPLE have gathered in Portsmouth dockyard for a special service to mark 70 years since the Battle of the Atlantic.

The service was held at St Ann’s Church in the naval base in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Key military figures attended the service, which paid tribute to those who died in the battle during the Second World War.

The Venerable John Green CB is a former Chaplain of the Fleet and speaking at the service he said: ‘It’s good to be back here as a veteran and a chaplain of the HMS Hood Association.

‘The Battle of the Atlantic is something that, as a nation, was key in our survival.

‘The battle was about overcoming the threat of new boats and German service ships and making sure that as much as they sank we got more through.

‘It’s right to remember the Battle of the Atlantic in terms of a sacrifice and about the extraordinary things that ordinary people can do in the most testing of circumstances.’

Meanwhile, events to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic were also held in Liverpool and Portsmouth-based ship HMS Edinburgh is in the city.

Ceremonies were also held in London and in Derry-Londonderry.

Liverpool was home to the Western Approaches operations room and receiver of more than 1,000 convoys.

There were battles on the River Mersey, flypasts and field gun displays and public open days on ships.

HMS Edinburgh was one of the ships open to the public.

Lt Cdr Stuart Parry, of HMS Edinburgh, said the events went well.

‘We had a larger then expected turnout, which was well received by my ship’s company. From our vantage point in the Cammell Laird Wet Basin we were also able to watch the events on the river which was an amazing spectacle to behold.

‘It’s an honour for HMS Edinburgh to be in Liverpool for the Battle of the Atlantic commemorative events as this is where Edinburgh was built.’

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign in the Second World War, running from 1939 to the defeat of Germany in 1945.

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