Ocean Liner Row New York's Historic Harbor District 

Ocean Liner Memorabilia
Historical Maritime Events
--Table of Contents--
 The Life and Times of Sir Winston Churchill.
Bismarck Sinks The H.M.S Hood.
WWI Germany scuttles its fleet at Scapa Flow.
WWII German Cruiser Admiral Graf Spee Sunk
R.M.S. Lusitania Torpedoed and Sank
WWII Japanese Battleship Yamato
Sir Francis Chichester.
Conquest Of The Sea On Gypsy Moth.
Grand Central Terminal Saved From the Wrecking Ball.
Men Of Harlech.

Harlech Castle 1468 AD.
The Mull of Kintyre.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.
Graduated December 1894 and Commissioned with the Queen's Own Hussars.


A spectacular assembly of Britain's bulwark.
Original Photo 1914

The Royal Navy Fleet
off Spithead, Portsmouth
of over 200 warships.

Notice the barrage Defense Balloons overhead
and a Royal Air Force Squadron of Bi-Planes
entering on a fly over as seen on the top right hand corner.

Winston Churchill WWI 1916
Seated center commanding the 6th Battalion of the
Royal Scots Fusiliers

"When you are going through Hell, keep going."
--Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill with his wife Clementine


British Commonwealth Forces.

 King George V
On the deck of the Battleship H.M.S. Dreadnought
during the inspection of the Royal Navy Fleet.

King George V
Letter to the American Expeditionary Forces

Winston Churchill with his wife Lady Clementine

Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty,
aboard the H.M.S. King George V
"Rule Britannia."
"Britannia Rules The Waves"

Winston Churchill with crew members of the H.M.S. Ajax

Churchill pictured here during Naval Review
Sir Winston Churchill
Prime Minister


Prime Minister during the Battle of Britain from 1940 to 1945, at war with Nazi Germany.
His speeches and radio broadcasts
helped to inspire the British people during their darkest hour.

1940 to 1941

When the British Empire stood almost alone against Adolf Hitler's war machine,
among his speeches to Parliament and the people were:

"You ask what is our aim."
"The answer is one word--Victory."
"Victory at all costs."
"Victory in spite of all terror." 
"Victory however long and hard the road may be." 
"For without victory there is no survival."

"We shall persevere."

Royal Air Force Spitfires

On the 15th of August 1940, the Battle of Britain had reached a critical point,
during air raids- the Blitz and night bombings.
Sir Winston gave a tribute to pilots of the Royal Air Force Fighter Command.

"Never in the field of human conflict have so many owed so much to so few."
"We shall go on 'til the end."
"We shall fight them on the land, on the sea and in the air."
"All we ask is give us the tools and we will finish the job."
"Never, never, never give up."
"We shall defend our island nation whatever the cost may be."
"We shall fight them on the beaches, in the fields, in the streets.
We will fight them from our rooftops and in our gardens. We shall never surrender."

On December 7, 1941,
the Empire of Japan, unprovoked, bombed Pearl Harbor,

in a surprise attack.

President Roosevelt's Speech to Congress and the American people--
December 7, 1941
"A date which will live in infamy."

The United States signed a Declaration of War on the Empire of Japan,
joining Britain and the Allied Forces in the war effort on all fronts.

On December 8, 1941, the British government, in unity, declared war on Japan.
WWII was at full charge.

The Allied Invasion of Normandy
To liberate Nazi occupied France and Europe
June 6, 1944

In February, 1945, after years of war and bloodshed on all continents,
the Yalta Conference was called by the following world leaders:
Prime Minister Churchill, Great Britain
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the United States
Joseph Stalin, USSR.

The three leaders agreed to demand Germany's immediate surrender.
On the 8th of May, 1945, in Berlin, Germany officially surrendered ending the war in Europe.
"Our finest hour."


Winston Churchill, the lion's roar, had led Britain to victory.
In conclusion--in 1963, Churchill, the statesman, was made honorary citizen of the USA.

 Churchill died on the 24th of January, 1965 at the age of 90.

Sir Winston Churchill State Funeral

The Day The World Mourned

The Commonwealth and The Nation 
in grateful remembrance

Churchill's Funeral Procession passes through Trafalgar Square.

After his state funeral at St. Paul's Cathedral, with full military honors,
he was buried in the family plot at Bladon, Oxfordshire.

 Story by Ian O. Robertson



The First Naval Battle of WWII
took place between the German Heavy Cruiser Admiral Graf Spee
The Royal Navy's H.M.S. Exeter, H.M.S. Ajax and H.M.N.Z.S. Achilles
in the South Atlantic
off the coast of Montevideo Uruguay.

The Royal 
Navy force was commanded
 by Commodore Henry Harwood.

The H.M.S Exeter

The Crew of the H.M.S. Exeter

The Heavy Cruiser Admiral Graf Spee
was commanded by Captain Hans Langsdorff.

The Admiral Graf Spee, with the Iron Eagle on the hull of the ship.

The German Captain Langsdorff with his crew.

The Admiral Graf Spee
was dispatched by the German High Command
to intercept 
and sink Allied shipping in the South Atlantic.

On the 13th of December 1939,
the fierce battle raged on for hours.

Both the Graf Spee and the Royal Navy ships suffered heavy damage.

The Graf Spee was in desperate need of repairs.

The fuel system was critically disabled.

Captain Langsdorff was seeking a 14 day stay for repairs.
So he headed for Montevideo Harbor,
a Neutral Territory.

He was only granted a 72 hour stay
which was not enough time for the urgently needed repairs.

Knowing that the Royal Navy lay in wait with reenforcements
and that certain destruction 
awaited his ship and crew,
Captain Langsdorff ordered the Graf Spee

On the 17th of December, 
with skeleton crew,
the Graf Spee sailed out of Montevideo
as hundreds of people lined the harbor,
to watch the ship as it positioned itself 3 miles out.

The skeleton crew abandoned the Graf Spee moments before
the massive explosion.

Spectators and crew looked on as the ship
suddenly caught fire

and sank.

On the 20th of December, 
just three days after the sinking of the Graf Spee, 
Captain Langsdorff, in his hotel room in Buenos Aires,
laid on the Graf Spee's Battle Ensign, in full military dress,
and committed suicide by gunshot.

Captain Langsdorff's Casket with Honor Guard.

Captain Langsdorff was respected by his officers and crew.

Captain Langsdorff's Funeral Procession in Buenos Aires.

This TRUNK was made by the crew of the Graf Spee
for his uniforms, medals and personal belongings
to be shipped back
to his wife and family in Germany.

The End

Story by Ian O. Robertson


24th of May 1941

The British Battleships H.M.S. Prince of Wales and the H.M.S. Hood
engaged in battle with
the German Battleship Bismarck and the Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen.

The two German Battleships were en route to the North Atlantic
to attack Allied Merchant Supply Convoys
 as they traveled from America to Great 
in support of the War Effort.

H.M.S. Hood Photograph of the Full Compliment
of the ship's officers and crew.
Photograph taken at Portsmouth

At he height of the battle,
the Hood took a direct hit from the Bismarck
near the aft ammunition magazines.
The Hood suffered a massive explosion,
the ship sank in three minutes,

with a loss of 1,418 crew members,
only 3 of the crew survived.

The Bismarck had also suffered significant damage
and needed immediate repairs.

The British were devastated by the loss of the H.M.S. Hood.

Admiralty House London
ordered the Royal Navy top priority
to Seek and Destroy the Bismarck.

On the 27th of May 1941, 
three days after the sinking of the Hood, 
the Royal Navy retaliated and cornered the Bismarck
off the coast of France.

A fierce battled ensued
with heavy shell fire and aerial torpedo bombardment.

By mid-morning, the Bismarck was a floating wreck.
Numerous fires had broken out on the ship.
 The Bismarck was unable to steer and most guns were incapacitated.

And within several hours, the Bismarck sank. 

Of the 2221 crew, only 115 survived.

This ended one of the most intensive Naval manhunts in history.


Story by Ian Robertson 
British Merchant Navy

Honoring the Merchant Navy
for their Wartime Service

In 1913, The Hamburg Amerika Line H.A.P.A.G
under Chairman Albert Ballin
had three luxurious superliners:

The Albert Ballin Trio at Southampton Docks

During WWI, all three ships were seized by the Allies and renamed 
USS LEVIATHAN--United States Line,
R.M.S. MAJESTIC--Cunard White Star Line,
R.M.S. BERENGARIA--Cunard White Star Line.

The Cunard Liner R.M.S. Lusitania
Lusitania sunk by German U-Boat

During WWI, on May 1, 1915,
The Lusitania was docked at Chelsea Piers, New York City,
preparing for her transatlantic crossing and loading passengers
for England.

The German Embassy had posted bulletins at Pier 54,
warning passengers that a State of War exists
between Germany and Great Britain,
that you travel at your own risk.

The ship was rumored to be loading ammunitions
to aid England in the war effort.

Captain William Tom Turner was given the order
from the Cunard office
to set sail with 1967 passengers and crew on board.

Lusitania from Ocean Liner Row Archives

on the 7th of May
1410 hours (2:10pm).

The ship was traveling 11 miles along the southern coast of Ireland,
when the ship was suddenly torpedoed without warning,
by a German U-Boat.
The Lusitania took a direct hit below the waterline.
The ship exploded and began to sink immediately.

Panic ensued.

The abandon ship order was given.

The ship sank in 20 minutes 
killing 1198 that included 128 Americans.

761 survivors took to the lifeboats and were later rescued.

The decision by Germany to sink and unarmed passenger vessel with woman and children aboard sparked international outrage.


On the 6th of April 1917,
America joined Britain, France, Russian
and their Allied Forces
in the War Effort
on all fronts.

story by Ian O. Robertson

Germany Surrenders Its Naval Fleet
at Scapa Flow, Scotland
World War I

On November the 11th, 1918,
Germany signed the Armistice agreement ending WWI.
The agreement states
 that last remaining 74 ships of the German Imperial Fleet
 under the command of Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter
proceed and assemble off Scapa Flow Scotland,
with all gun's firing mechanisms dismantled
 and ammunitions removed.

If they failed to do so, they would be sunk in place.

The German Fleet En Route to Scapa Flow

On the early morning of the 21st of November,
the German Fleet proceeded
 in single line formation with guns facing fore and aft.

Behind the lead escort cruiser H.M.S. Cardiff,
and flanked on both sides by the Royal Navy Fleet,
that was at battle station ready,
commanded by Sir David Beatty
 on board the H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth.

Germany's Fleet of 74 ships surrendering in single formation,
flanked on both sides by The Royal Navy.

At sunset, they reached Firth of Forth.
All ships were inspected by boarding parties
and ordered to lower their battle flags never to be raised again.

By December the 13th, all ships were anchored
at Scapa Flow manned only with skeleton crews.

20,000 Officers and Crew had been repatriated back to Germany.

King George V and Sir David Beatty
on the deck of the Battleship H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth

During the months that followed,
moral and conditions had reached a critical low point
 with no decision on the future of the interned German fleet.
Admiral Reuter decided the only honorable thing to do was
 to scuttle (sink) the fleet.

He kept his plan a total secret,
shared only with a few trusted officers and crewmen.

They were ordered to weld all water tight doors OPEN,
grease and loosen all seacock valves,
place sledge hammers at all drain locations and
open all portholes and deadlights
in preparation to scuttle.

On the morning of the 21st of June at 10:00am,
Admiral Reuter stood in full military dress
 on the bridge of the battle cruiser EMDEN.
He ordered the secret signal flag be raised,
giving the order to scuttle the fleet.
All of the 74 ships of the fleet followed orders
 and the sinking began.

Below decks, crews were opening all intake valves
to carry out the order.

The Scuttled German Fleet

In conclusion, Admiral von Reuter ordered the Imperial Naval flag
 be hoisted on all ships' masts.
At 12:16 hours, the first ship to sink
was the Battleship Friedrich Der Grosse.

Germany suffered the greatest loss in Naval Shipping in History.

Story by Ian O Robertson

WWII Germany's Kriegsmarine had a formidable fleet of warships


Rule Britannia
Britannia Victorious

The Imperial Japanese Navy Battleship Yamato
World War II

Yamato namesake Great Harmony
The Yamato was the heaviest and most powerfully armed Battleship ever built--
at 72,800 tons,
armed with nine 18inch main guns,
on three turrets,
each gun fires a 3,200 pound shell
on target to a range of 25 miles--
the largest Naval artillery ever mounted on a Warship.

In April 1945,
the Yamato was dispatched to Okinawa
on a one-way suicide mission
to protect the island from invading American Forces
with orders to engage in battle and fight to the death.

On the 7th of April 1945,
the Yamato was spotted off the coast of Kyushu
by U.S. Reconnaissance Aircraft before it could reach Okinawa.

An immediate battle ensued with U.S. Aerial Bombers
firing air to surface torpedoes.
After several hours of continuous assault from the air,
the Yamato was totally ablaze--a floating wreck.
The ship exploded and sank.

Of her 3,332 crew, 3,000 perished and went down with the ship.

On the 2nd of September 1945, Japan formally surrendered
on board the Battleship U.S.S. Missouri,
anchored in Tokyo Bay.

Emperor Hirohito announces on radio broadcast Japan's Surrender

General Douglas MacArthur
along with British and Allied Commanders
witnessed Japan's Formal Surrender

World War II was ended.

Story by Ian O. Robertson


Sir Francis Chichester

On the 27th of August 1966, Sir Francis Chichester sailed his 50' ketch, Gypsy Moth, on a single-handed voyage around the world, circumnavigating on the Trade Route taken by the Clipper Ships.

He returned home to Plymouth Harbour on the 28th of May 1967
 to a hero's welcome and Royal Navy salute.

He later sailed Gypsy Moth up the Thames River to Greenwich London where he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Her majesty knighted Chichester with the same sword that Queen Elizabeth I used to knight Sir Francis Drake
aboard Drake's ship, The Golden Hind,
on the 4th of April 1581 AD.

The Gypsy Moth at Sea


Returning home to Plymouth Harbour to a Hero's Welcome.

Sir Francis Chichester being knighted by Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Story by Ian O. Robertson

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 
saves Grand Central Terminal

from the Wrecking Ball

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy with Mayor Ed Koch and Friends

In 1965, Mayor Robert F. Wagner created the New York Preservation Landmarks Commission.
Not long after that, Grand Central Terminal become a Landmark Preserved Building.
In 1970, Builder and Investment Groups had planned to demolish Grand Central Terminal
with proposals to build an office tower in its place.

The Landmarks' Preservation Commission denied any proposal for demolition
 but were struck down by the New York Courts.

That's when local preservationists
along with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the Municipal Arts Society
sprung into action to save Grand Central Terminal.

They took their grand stand all the way to the Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

On June the 26th, 1978,
the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the New York Landmark Preservation Commission.

And, Grand Central Terminal was saved from demolition.

Exterior of Grand Central Station
Built by Railroad Tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt

The terminal stands as a universal symbol of New Yorkers past and present.

The Main Concourse at Grand Central Station
with Information Booth and Clock

Marilyn Monroe at Grand Central Terminal

A Victory for Landmark Preservation.
Grand Central is there today for future generations to enjoy.

Story by Ian O Robertson


Men of Harlech

The siege of Harlech Castle, Wales, 1468 AD.

Men of Harlech onto glory,
This forever be your story,
Men of Harlech, Cambria calling.

"Cymru Abyth"

See the barbed steads proudly prancing,
Mid the helmets in sunlight gleaming,
with the bow and lance tips shining
Cambria heed the call.

Feel the hills and valleys shaking,
with the war cry thunder sounding.
See the foe on yonder vancing,
from the hills and rocks rebounding.
Men of Harlech stand ye ready.

"Cymru Abyth"

Men of Harlech on to glory,
this forever be your story,
with your banners famed in glory.

"Cymru Abyth"
"Wales Forever"

Men of Harlech
Adapted by Ian O Robertson

The Mull of Kintyre Scotland

"Oh mist rolling in from the sea

My desire is always to be here.
Far have I traveled and much have I seen
Darkest of mountains and valleys of green
Sun painted deserts with sunsets on fire
As they carry me back to the Mull of Kintyre.

Wind swept through the heather
like deer in the glen
Carry me back
To the days I knew when.

Nights when we sang like a heavenly choir
of the life and the times
of the Mull of Kintyre.

With smiles in the sunshine and tears in the rain
still take me back where my memories remain.
Flickering embers go higher and higher
as they carry me back to the Mull of Kintyre."

Paul McCartney



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Smooth Sailing and Fair Winds,
Ian O Robertson



Ian Robertson
PO Box 20586                                                 Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery
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 You are listening to Blackmore's Night

You are listening to Blackmore's Night
Candice Night and Ritchie Blackmore


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