Women Merchant Mariners

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Her name was Hannah Baird, and she was the first Canadian casualty of the Second World War.

    Just hours after Britain declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, the passenger liner Baird was working aboard was torpedoed by a German submarine, U-130. The liner, S.S. Athenia, was unarmed when the attack occurred; between 112 and 118 people, many of them women and children, lost their lives in the sinking.

    You won't find Stewardess Hannah Baird's name in the history books, or the names of the other seven Canadian women who died while serving in merchant ships during both World Wars. Baird and the other women who perished in the Merchant Marine might be forgotten if not for the efforts of a few veterans and researchers.

    "Because seamanship was considered 'man's work', the contribution of women mariners during the wars has been overlooked and has not been included in histories of the period," notes ex-seaman Tom Osborne. Osborne is chairman of the Women Mariners Memorial Fund, an organization that aims to make up for that oversight. Together with Langford municipality on Vancouver Island, the group hit on a unique project to commemorate women mariners lost in action. In 2002, a large gazebo, the first and only free-standing memorial to women mariners in Canada, was dedicated to their memory at Langford's Veterans Park. The gazebo is used for community activities such as concerts by the many youth bands in the area, fitting musical remembrance of these largely unsung women.

    Women Merchant Mariners
  2. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Good to see some recognition, Annie. The Merchant Navy is largely overlooked as a whole as we know so its female members are overlooked in the forgotten service!

    Glad to see something being done about it.
  3. Hugh

    Hugh New Member

    Female casualties due to the sinking of ATHENIA official number 146330.
    Baird, Hannah, Stewardess, from Quebec City, Canada
    Harrower, Alison Thornton (41) Stewardess, MN,
    Johnston, Margaret Dickson (41) Stewardess for Doctor, MN, Glasgow.
    Lawler, Jessie (60) Stewardess, MN, Southampton.

    "Beyond the Call of Duty" by Brian James Crabb.
  4. Gage

    Gage New Member

    Well done, LA, because of you they won't be forgotten by a few more people. Thanks.
  5. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    It has always been difficult to have the males given credit for their service, so I see a difficult time in having the powers that be to recognise what the women have contributed.

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