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Scotland's Merchant Navy Memorial
Historically, Scotland has always had a very strong relationship with the sea. However the sacrifices made by Scotland’s merchant seamen during both World Wars have not always been as recognised as they could have been. Their names are recorded in the Rolls of Honour at the Scottish National War Memorial, but until a few years ago there was no dedicated memorial to the 6,500 Scottish seafarers lost in conflict.
That was until 2008. That year, whilst attending the Remembrance Sunday Service and parade at the Cenotaph, Professor Gordon S Milne, OBE, decided that Scotland should have its own Memorial to the Merchant Navy. In 2009 he founded “The Merchant Navy Memorial Trust Scotland”, with the sole aim to fundraise and build a memorial to those lost at sea. Its mission “to commemorate the sacrifice of Scottish Merchant Navy personnel in the two world wars, other previous and subsequent theatres of conflict, and in peacetime service along the trading routes of the world”. The initial goal was to raise the estimated building costs of £150,000 by public donation to create the memorial. HRH The Princess Royal graciously agreed to become Patron of the Trust. The fundraising target was surpassed within twelve months and successfully raised over £180,000. The work was completed by early November 2010.
On 16th November 2010 HRH The Princess Royal attended the Service of Dedication and the Memorial was unveiled. It is located at the old inner harbour of Leith, the port of Edinburgh for over 700 years. Throughout the year the Memorial is visited by many people from around the world, a testament to the bravery and sacrifices made by Scotland’s merchant seafarers.