Britain’s Merchant Navy performed a service without which the Allies could not have won World War Two. Often overlooked by collectors, we profile some accessible mementoes of the fleet.
The battle for Britain’s food and raw materials in did not just occur in the nation’s countryside and ‘Dig for Victory’ gardens. Hundreds, indeed, thousands of miles away, the sailors of the Merchant Navy were struggling and dying to maintain Britain’s supply lines. Without their efforts, the nation’s war production may have ground to a halt and its people faced starvation – in 1939, Britain was importing 55m tons of supplies a year, including 70% of its food.