It has to be remember that over 35000 British merchant seamen were lost during the war. two and a half thousand merchant ships were sunk. They bravely ploughed their way in slow ships supplying food, goods and war materials to the UK. Without their efforts the war would have been lost.
Many tributes have been paid to the crucial role played by the Merchant Navy in winning the war. The historian John Keegan notes that :
"The 30,000 men of the British Merchant Navy who fell victim to the U-boats between 1939 and 1945, the majority drowned or killed by exposure on the cruel North Atlantic sea, were quite as certainly front-line warriors as the guardsmen and fighter pilots to whom they ferried the necessities of combat. Neither they nor their American, Dutch, Norwegian or Greek fellow mariners wore uniform and few have any memorial. They stood nevertheless between the Wehrmacht and the domination of the world".