P&O Ferries is proud to continue its long association with The Royal British Legion by marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.
P&O has a long history of coming to the country's aid during wartime, dating back to the start of the Crimean War in 1854 when Florence Nightingale and her first nurses reached their hospital on the Black Sea via the company's steamer Vectis.
In World War One at least two-thirds of the P&O fleet was commandeered by the Royal Navy together with volunteer crews who chose to continue serving in their requisitioned ships. P&O vessels carried troops, defended trade routes, blockaded German waters and served as hospital ships.
Military hospital ships like P&O's Plassy were staffed by sisters, nurses and large numbers of orderlies. It is pictured here at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, where it took 192 of the wounded on board.
Ships like these performed what was essentially a transport function, moving the wounded away from battles to hospitals ashore. Under the Hague Convention, they were required to attend to casualties on both sides of the conflict.
P&O lost more than 80 ships during the war. The most tragic was the sinking of the Persia in the Mediterranean where 335 lives were lost on a regular line voyage.
P&O Ferries' support for our servicemen and women continues to this day. Volunteers and officials from The Royal British Legion visit our Dover headquarters every December to take delivery of a cheque for the money raised by our employees and customers during the poppy appeal.
To say Thank You in the final year of the Centenary, P&O Ferries hosted a range of activities on their ships for the communities they serve including World War One-themed afternoon teas for local schoolchildren.
For further information on the part played by P&O in World War One visit www.poheritage.com