Crowds gather to pay their respects as first national fishermen's memorial day held in Grimsby

Crowds gathered at the Lost Fishermen's Memorial in St James' Square, Grimsby
Crowds gathered at the Lost Fishermen's Memorial in St James' Square, Grimsby -Credit:NELC

Large crowds gathered in St James' Square over the weekend as the first national memorial service for fishermen was held in Grimsby.

On Sunday (May 12), families of those lost at sea over the years were joined by a number of people laying wreaths in their memory at the Lost Fishermen's Memorial in Grimsby town centre.

Launched by the Fishermen's Mission, The Seafarers' Charity and Stella Maris, the new annual National Fishing Remembrance Day aims to remember the many thousands of brave men who went out to sea and never came home.


Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre operations manager David Ornsby said: “It’s a very important day for us. The centre has been celebrating the lives of these men and their unique way of life for over 30 years.

“During the height of the industry we lost thousands of lives and many ships so it’s important we remember what these men gave, not only for them, but also for the families that have had to come to terms with the loss.”

Many people came to pay their respects -Credit:NELC
Many people came to pay their respects -Credit:NELC

Philip Jackson, leader of the council and portfolio holder for economy, net zero, skills and housing said Grimsby was the perfect place to host the first memorial service.

He said: “It’s very appropriate that the first event has been held in Grimsby. At one time, it was home to the largest fishing port in the country.”

He added: “The growth of the fishing industry had a massively positive impact on the area as a whole and without it the town wouldn’t be what it is today. With that in mind, it’s imperative that we pay tribute to those who gave their lives to bring food back to the people of Britain.”

Marc Evans, chief executive of the Fisherman’s Mission, was thrilled to have a day dedicated to remembering men who worked in one of the most dangerous occupations.

Captain Marc Evans -Credit:NELC
Captain Marc Evans -Credit:NELC

He said: “People have been fishing as long as there have been fish in the sea. Over those years, there has been many people who have tragically lost their lives for one reason or another.

“Fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations there is and with it being a national industry, I think it’s only right that there is a day dedicated to those who are no longer with us.

“Not only for their sakes, but to recognise the impact it has had on their families and friends. I want this day to ensure we raise awareness of how dangerous fishing actually is.

“Unless you go to a port or buy fish fresh, you may not understand what goes in to catching it. A day like this puts in to perspective the sacrifice so many people made to bring fish to our shores.”