Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the UK and the fifth largest in the world. For special services its capacity with standing is 3,500 persons or 2,300 seated. The upcoming Battle of the Atlantic commemoration is just such a special service and it will be host to veterans of that six-year battle from both the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy. I have no idea of the distribution of tickets to other naval organisations but I am reliably informed that the Submariners Association which nationally numbers 4,000 members have been allocated just a single digit number of tickets to attend this last historic commemoration service to be held in the city. Protocol dictates each organisation be represented by a standard bearer at the service, but each bearer will be required to have a ticket from the total awarded to his or her naval association. You will also require a ticket to be a spectator. or even a member of marching platoons for the march-past. Wives and families of veterans have not been considered for tickets, but you can safely bet the luminaries attending will have their significant others along with other family members in tow with them on the day. After years of RN management someone has seen fit to outsource the organisational responsibility of this event to a civilian contractor with dubious skills and disastrous results. It will be interesting to see how many local and national dignitaries including MPs,councillors; civil servants, extraneous members of the clergy and local government, et al, will be found seats in the cathedral. Just how many of those will have any naval affiliation that entitles them to take a veterans place at a service dedicated to those who fought the good fight? The majority of the great and good establishment attending will not have served in the military, ever been on a wave nor heard a shot fired in anger.The organisers have launched many appeals urging all holders of the Atlantic Star medal to come forward and to be the focus of attention that they so richly deserve and they have responded in large numbers. It’s a crying shame more thought and planning was not given to ensuring that maximum numbers of them could be accommodated within the confines of the cathedral for the proceedings. Just half a mile down the road we have the RC Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King with a seated capacity of 2,000. In this age of high technology and inter-denominational services surely it would have been possible to run this service in tandem between the two cathedrals on a television link. This way at least another 2,000 elderly veterans would have had a seat for the service. Instead a lot of aged veterans proudly wearing their Atlantic Star medals and numerous other meritorious service decorations will be relegated to standing outside in the precarious elements of the British climate to listen to the service over PA systems. Many of them will be infirm but their physical discomfiture will not detract them from paying homage and respect to fallen comrades, who with them bravely protected our sea lanes in time of war. A land fit for heroes to live in? If this is the way we intend to treat them please don’t insult my intelligence and sense of patriotism.