Saturday, September 28, 2013

Merchant Navy – Royal Mail, First Day Cover

The Royal Mail, First Day Cover, is dedicated to the Merchant Navy. The rise of Great Britain as the modern world’s first imperial superpower was contingent upon her merchant shipping. From early and uncertain beginnings in trade with continental Europe, expansion under the Tudors and early Stuart monarchs established commerce with the Mediterranean, Middle East, Russia, the Baltic, India and China. Colonial settlement in North America and later Canada also contributed to this network of trade routes, which in due course required the protection of the Royal Navy. 

By the end of the Napoleonic War in 1815, Britain possessed the largest mercantile marine in the world, and by 1914 British ships were carrying half of the world’s entire trade. The contribution of British shipping to victory in the First World War received royal approbation when King George V complimented the collective achievement of the ‘Merchant Navy’ by approving the use of this name. During the Second World War, the constant flow of supplies, raw materials and foodstuffs, together with worldwide military demands, required merchant ships to brave the threat of the U-boat and enemy aircraft, especially in the North Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans. Despite the protection of the Royal and Allied navies to ships sailing in convoy, the Merchant Navy suffered heavy losses.  Today Britain remains reliant upon merchant shipping. 


  1. This is informative article thanks……………

  2. Thank you so much! That did the trick, you saved me more endless hours of searching for a fix.

    Merchant Navy