Cruel Sea Reminiscence Project
The Cruel Sea was a major reminiscence project recording the memories and experiences of Liverpool’s World War II Merchant Navy veterans.
Organised by the Culture Company in partnership with the Everyman & Playhouse, Age Concern and Age Exchange, the Cruel Sea particularly focussed on the experiences of black and Chinese veterans – people whose stories had never been recorded and whose contribution to the history of the city had effectively been lost.
Over a period of three months in 2005, reminiscence artists worked with elders in seven different care settings and also conducted interviews with surviving veterans from the Chinese, Arab and Yemeni, Somali, Caribbean and Malaysian communities.
As well as talking to the veterans themselves, the project also recorded the experiences of the women and families left behind when the men were at sea.
The result was a remarkable archive of World War II memories, reflecting the different experiences of Liverpool’s diverse communities.
Most interviews are on both DVD and CD audio format; anyone wishing to view the archived material should contact the Liverpool Record Office.