The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia has launched the book “Putting Cargoes Through: The US Navy at Gibraltar During the First World War 1917-1919”.
The press launch took place at the John Mackintosh Hall in the presence of Professor John B Hattendorf, who is Professor Emeritus of Maritime History at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
The original work was written by the commander of US Naval Forces stationed at Gibraltar at that time, Vice Admiral Albert P Niblack. That typescript was discovered by Professor Hattendorf who edited it and added an introduction.
Dr Garcia said that the timing of the launch could not have been more relevant. It was happening in Gibraltar, the subject matter of the book, in an exhibition room dedicated to the role that Gibraltar played during the First World War. It also came two days before Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, in a year which marks the centenary of the end of World War One. He said that he was delighted to welcome the Professor to Gibraltar and to launch the book, following their first meeting at a session of the Gibraltar-American Council in New York two years ago.
Professor Hattendorf will be discussing the book during the Literary Festival on Thursday.
As part of the Government’s programme of events, there was a projection of a poppy symbol on the Moorish Castle to honour those who died during World War One and in other conflicts. There was also a projection of the figure of a “Tommy” soldier onto the north face of the Rock itself on Sunday, Armistice Day. This is the symbol of the charity “There but not there”.
Sunday saw the traditional ceremonies of remembrance. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, wreaths were laid at the lobby of the Gibraltar Parliament to mark the signing of the Armistice that ended World War One in 1918, 100 years ago. The Remembrance Sunday ceremony took place an hour later, at noon, at the British War Memorial in Line Wall Road. This was followed by a laying of wreaths at the United States War Memorial.
￼￼This War Memorial was erected in 1932 as a symbol of gratitude to the people of Gibraltar from the Government of the United States of America precisely to mark the important role that the Rock played in support of US Naval forces during that conflict.