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War efforts of boat people remembered

To commemorate Armistice Day a wreath has been laid at the memorial plaque at Cambrian Wharf in central Birmingham, which recognises the efforts of boat men and women during both World Wars.

During the World Wars canals were used to transport heavy cargo such as coal and steel and even spitfire or machine parts between the docks in London and the industrial West Midlands. The canals were also used to transport troops as it was quicker to transport them on water than going across land as the railways were unreliable after suffering from heavy bombing.

Peter Mathews CMG, President of the Royal British Legion for Staffordshire and chair of the Canal & River Trust's west midlands partnership, said: “We must never forget the tremendous efforts of the men and women who helped keep this country moving during the war, not just on the water but also on the roads and rail network. For me they are the unsung heroes of both wars and should be remembered.”

Find out more about the history of the canals

Last Edited: 12 November 2014

photo of a location on the canals
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