The London Mint Office has created a set of coins to commemorate Merchant Navy seamen and the Battle of Atlantic.
The specially designed set of coins has been donated to HQS Wellington which serves as a floating museum, and to the livery hall of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, where they will be on permanent display.
As well as telling the story of the Battle of Atlantic through the words of the Merchant Navy Poem, ‘For All Seafarers’, by John Edward Masefield, each coin is made from silver recovered from the wreck of merchant vessel the SS Gairsoppa which was sunk during the battle by a German U-Boat torpedo 75 years ago this month, killing 85 Merchant Mariners.
The lead coin ‘For All Seafarers’ – can be bought for its face value of £20, while the additional four coins in the set are half crowns and can be bought for £49.99 each.
Battle of Atlantic veteran, Ron Quested (pictured with James Deeny, MD of the London Mint Office), was at the unveiling of the new coin exhibit on HQS Wellington, and received the same coin collection in recognition of his bravery.
A limited number of the same set of Battle of Atlantic coins, also made from Gairsoppa silver are being made available for sale to the public, with the resulting revenue funding a donation from The London Mint Office to the Merchant Navy Association.
Captain Sail, chairman of the Merchant Navy Association, said:
“The fact that these striking coins are made from silver recovered from a Merchant vessel which was sunk during the Battle of Atlantic, SS Gairsoppa, make them a particularly poignant commemoration of the role of the Merchant Navy during World War Two. We are delighted that the sale of these coin sets to the public will fund a donation from the London Mint Office to the Merchant Navy Association.”
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