An eerie sound may be heard along the Thames later this month, as all ships jointly sound their horns in mourning.

The event is not a mandatory one, but ships are being encouraged to sound one long prolonged blast of their ship horns at 6pm on the 28th June to indicate mourning, in memory of the firing of the first shot in World War One.

It’s actually a UNESCO idea, for all vessels moored in harbours worldwide to use a remembrance sound signal.

The Port of London Authority has now granted authority to ships to do that — if they want to.

As an event it might be something that is more spectacular — if that’s the right word for a memorial — further down the river near the ports, where more cargo boats are based. Although, if HMS Belfast joins in, then that could be quite something to hear.

In addition, vessels underway in the port are encouraged to fly their ship’s flag/ensign at half mast at this time, in conjunction with ships at sea


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  1. Interesting article. Maybe the boats in St Katharine Docks will join in; we have a strong association with veteran boats and, of course, H.M.S. President. We recently welcomed the Royal Marines landing craft last weekend,which was very popular, celebrating 350 years of the Royal Marines. There are good pics on St Katharine Docks facebook page.

  2. Dan Tonks

    They do this in Portsmouth regularly for various things (like new year’s) and good lord! What a sound! It drowns out everything else in a thunderous bass, sends a shiver down your spine.

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