CWGC Merchant Navy Memorial to the Missing WW2

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Reference WMO72869


Pier Head,

Water Front,


L3 1DG


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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
Description: Pillar/column
  • Metal Bronze
  • Stone Portland stone
Lettering: Inscribed on a plaque
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: Sited by the water at a viewing point. Close to Museum of Liverpool. Historic England listing entry as follows - World War II War Memorial. 1952. Architects, Stanley, Harold Smith and Charles Frederick Blythin of London. Sculptor, H Tyson Smith of Liverpool. Reinforced concrete faced with Portland stone, glass lenses at summit of column, bronze inscription plaques. PLAN: Raised semi-circular enclosure with short straight walls extending on either side. Circular column in centre of enclosure. DESCRIPTION: Enclosure is entered by a centrally placed flight of 6 steps, with the lowest step extended along the outside base of the enclosure walls to form a low shelf to place wreaths on. Sunk into the upper faces of the enclosure walls are 24 tall, rectangular, bronze plaques shaped in section as a shallow V like the pages of a book, and containing the names of the dead (8 plaques on each of the curving walls to either side of the steps, and 4 more on each of the straight extensions). Names arranged alphabetically under the names of over 120 ships on which the seamen had served. One extra name plaque below this level towards the far end of the right wing, which lists the names of those who died on land, but whose graves are unknown. Either side of the steps are gate posts surmounted by white stone globes; that on the left is a terrestrial globe, that on the right is a celestial globe bearing signs of the Zodiac. There are 2 bronze plaques at entrance to enclosure; on side face of the left gate post is a plaque inscribed THE REGISTER CONTAINING / THE NAMES RECORDED / ON THESE PANELS / MAY BE SEEN AT THE OFFICES / OF THE TOWN CLERK / AND THE MERSEY DOCKS / AND HARBOUR BOARD, on the side face of the right gate post is a plaque inscribed THIS MEMORIAL WAS BUILT / AND IS MAINTAINED BY THE COMMONWEALTH / WAR GRAVES COMMISSION. Within the enclosure are stone benches set against the interior faces of the curved walls. At the centre of the enclosure is a circular column surmounted by silver-backed glass lenses evoking a lighthouse. Near its base is a carved inscription reading THESE OFFICERS / AND MEN OF THE / MERCHANT NAVY / DIED WHILE / SERVING WITH / THE ROYAL NAVY / AND HAVE NO / GRAVE BUT / THE SEA / 1939-1945, with a Naval badge, Naval crown, wreath and foul anchor above. The design of the pavement around the base of the column is based on a mariner's compass. HISTORY: A more correct name for the memorial is `Memorial to the Missing of the Naval Auxiliary Personnel of the Second World War' as it was erected specifically to commemorate the 1,390 merchant seamen who lost their lives at sea serving on Royal Navy vessels during World War II. The merchant seamen commemorated enrolled with the Royal Navy under the then newly-instigated T124 agreement, under which they would be subject to Royal Navy discipline whilst retaining Merchant Navy rates of pay and other conditions. The T124 manning depot was established in Liverpool. The Imperial (later Commonwealth) War Graves Commission ran a national competition for architects who had served in the forces to design a memorial with a budget set at £5,000. The first prize was awarded to Stanley Harold Smith and Charles Frederick Blythin. It was unveiled by Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Cunningham on 12 November 1952.
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Grade II (England)


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