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HMS Mersey Parade in Bootle on Sunday 16th April – All You Need To Know

mayor of Sefton and members of HMS Mersey's crew at Bootle Town Hall.Naval officers from HMS Mersey will parade through the streets of Bootle this Sunday with ‘drums beating and bayonets fixed’ as the ship celebrates being bestowed with the Freedom of the Borough of Sefton

Freedom of the Borough

The historic Freedom of the Borough award was presented to the ship’s command on Thursday evening (April 13th) during a special ceremony at Bootle Town Hall, reaffirming Sefton’s historic links with the Royal Navy and HMS Mersey.

HMS Mersey, a naval patrol vessel, is currently moored in Liverpool as part of a four-day public celebration. Events began with the Freedom of the Borough ceremony and will end with Sunday’s historic 100-sailor-strong parade through Bootle.

Historic

HMS Mersey’s affiliation with Sefton was granted partly in honour of Captain Frederic John Walker, a World War Two officer who led command of escort ships from Bootle’s Gladstone Dock, during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Captain Walker also played a huge role in the D-Day landings of 1944, helping set up an impenetrable wall of escort ships to stop German U-Boats from attacking allied boats going to and from Normandy. This two-week blockade contributed massively to the Allied invasion’ success.

Commemoration

On Thursday Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell, HMS Mersey’s commanding officer of, and crew from the ship,joined  representatives of the Royal Navy and civic leaders to commemorated the Borough’s naval links which date back over 80 years.

And on Sunday more than a hundred sailors and Naval personnel will parade past Captain Walker’s house on Trinity Road, Bootle in a salute to his heroic exploits as part of the parade.

Route

The public are being encouraged to turn out in huge numbers for the once-in-a-lifetime parade, which will see HMS Mersey’s crew exercise their newly-awarded right to march through Sefton with ‘colours flying, bands playing, drums beating and bayonets fixed.’


Mayor of Sefton Clare Carragher said:
“Our Borough, and Bootle in particular, has longstanding links with the heroism and dedication of our Royal Navy.

“It is poignant that the parade will pass the house of Captain Walker and I encourage as many people as possible to line the streets of Bootle to pay tribute to HMS Mersey, the Royal Navy and Captain Walker’s memory.

“I am humbled by the sacrifice of those who have gone before us and those who serve in our armed forces today. To be the Mayor who bestows the Freedom of the Borough upon HMS Mersey is an honour.”

HMS Mersey’s Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell said: “I am delighted that HMS Mersey is returning to spend time ‘at home.’

“On Sunday 16th April, we’ll be parading through Bootle and from all of the Ship’s company of HMS Mersey, we look forward to seeing everyone soon.”

The Freedom Parade will leave Bootle Town Hall from the Trinity Road entrance on Sunday morning from 10.30am and march via Stanley Road, Merton Road and Oriel Road before returning to Bootle Town Hall.

A special open day is also being held on board HMS Mersey at the Pier Head, Liverpool on Saturday 15th April, during which the public will be touring the ship.

You can find out more about HMS Mersey here.