by Peter Elson
LIVERPOOL’S Monument to All the Heroes of the Marine Engine Room was rededicated on the centenary of RMS Titanic’s sinking.
Usually known simply as the Titanic Monument, the £8,000 restoration also provided an interpretation plaque for the first time, when unveiled yesterday.
The crowd of on-lookers was swelled by passengers from the cruise liner Marco Polo, berthed alongside on its first visit to Liverpool.
The Pier Head obelisk was designed by the leading sculptor William Goscombe John.
It was paid for by Titanic’s owners, White Star Line, and what is now IMAREST, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology.
However, by the time of the monument’s unveiling in 1916, the losses had also occurred of the Liverpool liners Empress of Ireland, with 1,012 deaths, and Lusitania, with 1,201 deaths.
It was thereafter generally assumed that the monument stood as a reminder of the sacrifice of all engine room crews, including those in both world wars.
Among the new regulations and bodies that emerged after the Titanic sinking was the Guild of Benevolence Charity of IMAREST.
Originally, this was called the Titanic Engineering Staff Memorial Fund to assist widows, orphans and other dependents of engineers who died heroically at their posts that night.
The Guild continues to support marine engineer hardship cases.
Dennis Baker, IMAREST North West social secretary, said: “Two years ago, a contact told us how impressive the monument was, but there was nothing to explain its purpose. Furthermore, on inspection it was clear that the monument could do with some remedial work. We asked Liverpool City Council if they could help and for it to be done by the centenary date.”
Anthony Muncer, Guild of Benevolence chairman, said: “We’re the only registered charity still in operation directly linked to Titanic.
“It’s wonderful to see this monument restored so well.”
The service was led by Rev Keith Hitchman, Pioneer minister for Liverpool city centre. Guests included Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Frank Prendergast, Lord Lt of Merseyside Dame Lorna Muirhead and High Sheriff Prof Helen Carty.
Liverpool Welsh Choral led the singing and HMS Astute Wallasey Sea Cadets acted as stewards.
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