Throughout history, Britain's merchant seafarers have formed a mighty force, explanding throughout the nineteenth century and reaching its peak in the 1960s. Though seemingly one body, it comprised many individual companies, each with its own traditions and identity. However, the rapid diminution of the British-flagged fleet in recent years has all but extinguished this structure, and those who had intimate experience of it are now ageing and their memories fading.
Heraldry of the Oceans is a celebration of the British and Commonwealth merchant seafarer and chronicles the characteristics that give the industry both corporate identity and an element of individuality. Featuring original colour artwork depicting uniforms, medals and badges, and enhanced by a detailed history and compendium of shipping companies, Alastair Arnott seeks to redress the balance of this largely unrecorded aspect of maritime history.