Merchant Navy remembered on Remembrance Sunday

From Port of Jersey
7th November 2022

Two Ports of Jersey employees will be marking the role of merchant seafarers at Jersey’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations on November 13. Maritime Standards Manager and Pilot, Captain Stanley Richard-dit-Leschery, and Ben Van Eijden, who is one of Ports’ two Merchant Navy Cadets, will lay a wreath in memory of the men and women in the Merchant Navy who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Ports of Jersey’s Harbour Master, Captain Bill Sadler, said: “The sacrifice of the 36,000 civilian sailors from the Merchant Navy who lost their lives during the Second World War, and the role they played in supplying Britain during the war, is often overlooked, and I’m pleased we will be remembering them at this year’s ceremony.”

Captain Stanley Richard-dit-Leschery was a Royal Naval Reservist for 25 years. He was one of the 3,000 civilian Merchant Navy crew who formed part of the Falkland Islands task force in 1982, and which claimed the lives of 17 merchant navy sailors. He said: “I was then a Third Officer with Cunard (and Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve) and I knew several of those lost on MV Atlantic Conveyor, having served on the sister ship Atlantic Causeway.

“I finally got to the Falklands at the end of the war on MV Saxonia, once the shooting had finished.  My maternal Grandfather was an Engineer Officer in the Second World War, and survived the sinking of his vessel, a Canadian Pacific oil tanker, so Remembrance Sunday is a big thing in our family and I am hugely proud to be involved.”

Captain Bill Sadler said: “I was lucky to spend some time with Stan at the Red Ensign Group Conference in the Falklands in 2020, where we were able to pay our respects to those sailors.

“It is enormously important that the role of civilian Merchant Seafarers is recognised as part of the Remembrance Sunday and Ports of Jersey can be proud to have two Jersey seafarers undertaking that role on behalf of the Island.”

Port of Jersey