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From 1855 to 1994 the wooden wall ships of the line Akbar, Clarence, Conway and Indefatigable moored together in the River Mersey, and their successors ashore on Merseyside and Anglesey, prepared around 45,000 young boys aged 11 to 18 years for a hard, dangerous life at sea in Britain’s Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and other navies around the world. Many of the boys trained were from Merseyside. Considerable numbers of them were disadvantaged or problem boys and these ships transformed their lives for the better, giving them a productive future. A significant number spent their maritime careers shipping out of Liverpool and Birkenhead, and many still live locally. Significant numbers lost their lives in peace and war while serving their country, some being killed in action within months of completing their training

Our goal is to establish and maintain a memorial “Dedicated to the memory of the 45,000 young seafarers who trained on the River Mersey in the ships Akbar, Clarence, Conway and Indefatigable, who went down to the sea in ships and in particular to those who did not return”. The memorail should be in place in 2017.


Mute sound using button top right of screen or in address bar. Song Crossing The Bar.  Words by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Music by Rani Arbo. Arranged by Stephen Taberner for the Spooky Men’s Chorale which can be purchased here