Service to mark Zeebrugge action

The service took place aboard the Royal Daffodil

Retired Royal Marines have been commemorating the 90th anniversary of the 1918 Zeebrugge Landing and the role played in it by the Mersey Ferries.

The original Daffodil and Iris ferries acted as landing craft for marines and tug boats in the World War One action.

As a result, King George V awarded them the title of "Royal" ferries, a title which remains to this day.

Former Marines took part in a service aboard the Royal Daffodil at Seacombe Ferry Terminal on Sunday morning.

'Never forget'

It included the casting of memorial wreathes into the River Mersey followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Zeebrugge Memorial at Seacombe and a VIP inspection of the veterans.

Neil Scales, chief executive and director general of Merseytravel, which owns and operates the ferries, said: "This is one of the most moving events of the year for myself and many other people.

"We should never forget those who lost their lives at Zeebrugge nor the bravery of the crews of our own ferries who took part.

"The Mersey Ferries and the Royal Marines forged an historic link at Zeebrugge that should never be forgotten."

The raids at Zeebrugge were designed to block an outlet in the Channel where the German navy based U-boats and destroyers.