Eighty years on from victory in the Atlantic, LJMU is set to commemorate Liverpool’s contributions to the Battle of the Atlantic, as well as its enduring maritime ties as the university itself marks a significant anniversary.
May 1943 marked the climax of the longest, largest and most complex battle of the Second World War and Germany conceding defeat at sea. Liverpool played a key role throughout the battle with the headquarters of Western Approaches Command based in the city.
Liverpool has therefore become the focal point for remembering the battle down the decades and LJMU will mark the 80th anniversary alongside events for its own bicentenary throughout 2023.
Drama students tell untold stories of the women at the centre of the victory
LJMU Drama students are set to tell the story of the unsung heroines from the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) who developed a tactical manoeuvre codenamed ‘Raspberry’ which helped to ensure allied success in the Atlantic.
Blowing A Raspberry at Hitler: A story of WATU, the WRNS and the War at Sea has been written by the students based in part on Simon Parkin’s book A Game of Birds and Wolves and visits to Western Approaches. It forms part of their second-year studies focus on adaptation.
The production has also been aided with research conducted by an LJMU undergraduate History student, and a PhD researcher from the University of Portsmouth who travelled to Liverpool to talk to the students about life aboard a Royal Navy destroyer and transatlantic convoys.
The performance is in part a variety show, as students take on the roles of the Naval Players who were an amateur drama group made up from naval personnel based in Merseyside during the Second World War.
LJMU staff and students are encouraged to see the performance, which is currently in its research and development phase, at the John Foster Drama Studio, 22 Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BY at 2pm or 6.30pm on Friday 13 January 2023. Free tickets can be reserved via Eventbrite.
It is anticipated that a re-worked version will be performed for the wider public during the main commemorative events taking place across the city in May.
One-day conference to shine expert insight on the history of the battle
As part of the wider programme of commemorative events taking place in May, the Centre for Port and Maritime History(a collaborative venture between LJMU, Merseyside Maritime Museum and the University of Liverpool) will host a one-day conference on Saturday 20 May, in association with the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Trust, considering the history and legacies of the battle eighty years on.
LJMU will work closely with the trust, as a partner throughout the year, to support its programme of other community, national and international outreach events and opportunities planned to mark the anniversary.
LJMU 200 years of history and heritage – looking back and navigating the future
LJMU first came into being in 1823 as the Liverpool Mechanics’ Institute. In 1852 it opened its Nautical School and College, reflecting Liverpool’s status in the 19th century as one of the world’s leading ports.
Since then, LJMU has developed its education and research offer dedicated to the maritime sector, through specialised courses offered at the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, which also houses the LJMU Maritime Centre, connecting industry regionally and internationally to plug future skills gaps.
Experts from the Maritime Centre are scoping out an interactive display opportunity with the Western Approaches Museum and other opportunities to celebrate LJMU’s maritime links throughout its bicentenary year.