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Please help in saving this historic vessel from destruction by doing what you can to prod the politicians into some action. Write to your city councillor, your local MP. Drop a line to your local newspaper and radio stations - write to the Admiralty, the War Office, Naval ex-servicemen; s associations, etc

Liverpool Echo Friday 5th March 2010
    Historic D-Day ship
    sinks in Mersey dock
By Alan Watson    
              Former landing craft could be lost

FROM seeing action in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II to being used as a floating luxury clubhouse in Liverpool’s docklands, the Landfall has had a long and eventful history. Now the historic Merseyside naval vessel is in danger of being lost after she started sinking in the Birkenhead dock which has been her home for more than a decade.

The Landfall is the last surviving tank landing craft to take part in the D-Day landings, and was rumoured at one stage to be on the point of being acquired by Steven Spielberg for use in his World War II blockbuster, Saving Private Ryan. The vessel’s future has been uncertain ever since her former owner, the Warship Preservation Trust, went into liquidation in 2006. She is now largely submerged in the Birkenhead dock which has been her home for more than a decade.

After being taken out of military service, the D-Day Mark III Tank Landing Craft LCT 7074 was converted and used as a floating club and restaurant based at Liverpool’s Canning Dock in the 1960s and 1970s. Former joint owner, George “Jud” Evans, said: “It’s the only part of our maritime history that links us to the D-Day landings. Most cities would prize something like that, and put her on display as a tourist attraction. “Instead, it’s been laid up in a Birkenhead dock for many years and has now sunk, which is outrageous.”

Mr Evans, 75, has written a book and has a website on the history of the vessel. He is now hoping a “Save the Landfall” campaign can be started to raise money for her restoration and berthing in the Albert Dock system as a major tourist attraction. He said the Landfall was the last truly British built and crewed vessel of her type to land troops on the shores of France.He said: “I was truly shocked by the news that she has been allowed to sink, particularly when one remembers the valiant men who crewed her and the soldiers who sailed in her, many of whom gave their lives that we might remain free.”

When used as the headquarters of the Merseyside Master Mariners’ Club, she was the first port of call for officers and sailors of visiting Royal Navy vessels. After being commissioned in 1944, she was sent to join the Normandy invasion fleet. Tanks and troops of the Desert Rats were landed and in the following months she sailed back and forth across the Channel carrying equipment and fighting units. Hostilities ceased while the 500-ton vessel was undergoing a refit in Liverpool. Just as the scrap dealers were ready to swoop, she was turned into a clubhouse and began a new era.

Pat Moran, chair of the Liverpool Retired Merchant Seafarers, said he was saddened by the news of Landfall’s demise. He said: “She was amongst the midst of the fighting and she must be preserved. She’s not a piece of local history, she’s not even a piece of national history. She’s a piece of world history. “The £750,000 that was spent on compensation for spoilt views caused by the Museum of Liverpool would have been better spent on saving this and other historic vessels.”


As can be seen from the above, I got some bad news today that one of the vessels I used to own (a wartime Tank Landing Craft has sunk in the Liverpool (Wallasey) Docks. I have been busy all day and will be for the next few days, for I am trying to launch a campaign to have her raised and refurbished.

As a one-time joint owner of the ex- D-Day Mark III Tank Landing Craft LCT 7074 known for the last 66 years as *The Landfall,* I am utterly disgusted at the official lack of interest shown by Merseyside politicians of all parties in allowing probably the last truly British built and vessel of her type to land our fighting men on the shores of France to help defeat the Nazi evil - to rust away uncared for and unseen in a Wallasey Dock.

Being the last remaining LCT in Britain that took part in the D-Day operation, she has remained on the official list of historical ships in danger of destruction for many years, but absolutely nothing has been done to preserve the vessel for the people of Britain in general and the folk of Merseyside in particular, other than the owners of the dock system, who have patriotically and graciously found space for her to berth until officialdom gets around to doing something about it.


The Warship Preservation Trust bought her - but they went bust. The Wallasey Town Council took the German U-boat that lay alongside the Landfall and have put her on display at the ferry terminal - but the British craft was allowed to lie abandoned. Perhaps concerned journalists and other influential media people can put pressure on the authorities via either writing letters and articles or direct approaches to the City Council and the Museums, to launch a *Save the Landfall* campaign by public subscription in order to raise money for her restoration and berthing in the Albert Dock system ( a dock made by French prisoners at the times of our wars with that country) a tourist attraction as an added attraction to visitors.

During the time in the sixties and seventies when my partner Colin Peers and I owned the Landfall, it operated as a very busy and successful daytime and evening club, which hosted the annual 6th of June D-Day Dinners organised by The Merseyside Master Mariners to which the Lord Mayor of Liverpool and other city dignitaries were always in attendance. Weddings, Rotary Club meetings and Trade and Business Societies used the club as a headquarters. We put her into dry dock for hull- maintenance and had a full-time ship's painter on our staff to ensure her seaworthiness.

Our warm relationship and liaison with the Royal Navy meant that the first port of call from the officers and men of visiting naval vessels of all nations was always the Landfall which to serving sailors was always free of any entrance charge. In an effort to establish the historical bona fides of the craft I researched and wrote a book about her wartime exploits, even tracing the captain and her first officer for their individual versions of her history.

I was truly shocked by the news that she has been allowed to sink - particularly when remembers the valiant men who crewed her and the soldiers who sailed in her, many of whom gave their lives that we might remain free - this incident marks a black day for the reputation of Merseyside.

For over over fifty six years LCT 7074 MK III lay in the Liverpool Docks, providing a comfortable haven and headquarters for Members of the Merseyside Master Mariners Club and the citizens of Merseyside . Millions people have walked aboard realising the historical background behind the grey, riveted steel.

Now is the time to act, to save her and in doing so to invoke the memory of the men who gave their lives on those beaches, so that Europe could be free.

SAVE THE LANDFALL CAMPAIGN That the vessel is of historical interest is obvious. The Warship Preservation Trust were quite aware of the importance of LCT 7074, and they promised that she would will be well cared for in her retirement as a museum piece. The trust went bankrupt and closed and noboby stepped in to pick up the pieces.

She has now sunk as the above photograph shows. Let us us hope that a: SAVE THE LANDFALL CAMPAIGN will be sucessful in stimulating some rapid action in order to save this important part of our British heritage.