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Hopes rise for return to Liverpool of the last Battle of Atlantic ship, HMS Whimbrel

THE stalled attempt to save the last Battle of the Atlantic warship for Liverpool has revived. A new initiative to preserve the former HMS Whimbrel in Canning Dock is now under way.  Vice Admiral Mike Gretton, chairman of the HMS Whimbrel Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Ship, believes there is a “better than 50% chance” of bringing the ship home.

HMS Whimbrel, once part of the legendary Capt Johnnie Walker’s U-boat hunter killer second escort group, is laid up in Egypt. The Whimbrel saga, backed by the Liverpool Post’s Save Our Ship campaign has lasted a decade – three years longer than the Battle of the Atlantic itself. The official 70th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of the Atlantic will be held in Liverpool in May 2013.

A previous attempt to save the 1942-built sloop failed when her current Egyptian military owners suddenly quadrupled the warship’s price.  As a result, the agreed £250,000 sale and £750,000 basic restoration in Egypt was abandoned when Whimbrel’s price tag rose to £1m. Yet Whimbrel, based in Canning and Gladstone Docks during World War II, has no future other than scrap…

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