National Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial Day

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:05 pm on 13th December 2021.

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Photo of Karl Turner Karl Turner Labour, Kingston upon Hull East 9:05 pm, 13th December 2021

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman; the fact that he speaks as he does adds incredibly strong support to the argument. I think I am right in saying, having spoken briefly with the Minister prior to the debate, that to some extent we are pushing at an open door.

Fishing in Hull and the rest of the UK was not only deadly during peacetime. Trawlermen were on the frontline of both world wars, not only braving enemy action to keep those at home supplied with vital food when rationing tightened belts, but playing an active role in minesweeping, U-boat detection and saving lives at sea. At the height of the first world war, fishing trawlers on active service were lost at the rate of one every other week, with an average of half of all crew lost in every single incident. The contribution of fishing communities to the wider conflict has been woefully under-recognised, in my respectful view, and that must be addressed.