Free Fish & Chip Giveaway in Hull City Centre for D-Day & National Fish & Chip Day
Charlie Bennett
June 3, 2024

Two Hull Companies, Smales Fish Merchants and UK Fisheries, unite to celebrate National Fish and Chip Day and commemorate D-Day with a free Fish and Chips giveaway in Hull City Centre

Smales Fish Merchants, a renowned seafood supplier, and UK Fisheries Kirkella Trawler, a symbol of Hull’s fishing heritage, are joining forces to celebrate National Fish and Chip Day which has been set to coincide with the commemorations of the 80 year anniversary of D-Day. In a one-off charity event, they will be giving away free fish and chips to the people of Hull in the city centre on Thursday, 6th June, in return for a donation to local Armed Forces charity Hull 4 Heroes.

This unique event aims to honour the longstanding tradition of fish and chips in British culture while paying tribute to the brave servicemen and women who fought during World War II, particularly the D-Day landings, alongside a celebration of the UK’s iconic national dish, Fish & Chips.  Back for its 9th year, National Fish and Chip Day will recognise the huge importance of fish and chips during WWI and WWII, and on D-Day in particular.  Fish and chips were called ‘Good Companions’ by Winston Churchill who ensured they weren’t rationed as he felt it would be detrimental to the morale of the nation.  Even more incredible is that during the D-day landings, soldiers who found themselves behind enemy lines at night and needed a way of telling whether someone nearby was a friend of foe – they devised a two-word code…one would call ‘fish’ and the other replied ‘chips’!. By combining these two significant occasions, Smales Fish Merchants and the Kirkella Trawler seek to bring the community together, foster a sense of pride and give back to the people of Hull.

Outside of London, Hull was the most bomb damaged city during the blitz with over 95% of the cities buildings damaged or destroyed, whilst the fishing fleet & men played a crucial role in the war effort.

The free fish and chips giveaway will take place in the bustling heart of Hull City Centre next to the Cenotaph, providing an opportunity for residents and visitors to indulge in the quintessentially British dish that has been enjoyed for generations. Smales Fish Merchants, a family owned business founded on St Andrew’s Dock in Hull back in 1937, supply over 30% of the UK’s Fish & Chips Shops with Cod & Haddock and are known for their commitment to sourcing the highest quality seafood, while the Kirkella Trawler, a modern symbol of Hull’s fishing heritage and it’s only remaining distant water fishing vessel, will provide premium quality Haddock fillets for the event.

On the 6th June, award winning Fish & Chip operator Craig Buckley, a previous winner of the coveted National Young Fish Frier of The Year award, from Hooked On The Heath Fish & Chips based in Knutsford, Cheshire will be bringing his state of the art mobile Fish & Chip unit to fry up the finest Fish & Chips.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with the Kirkella Trawler to celebrate National Fish and Chip Day and commemorate the historic D-Day,” said Bobby Joyce, Sales & Marketing Director at Smales Fish Merchants. “As a local business deeply rooted in Hull’s fishing industry, we are proud to give back to the community and honour the sacrifices made by those who fought for our freedom but at the same time celebrating the nation’s love for Fish & Chips – still a simple, nourishing and value for money meal which the UK is famous across the world for.”

The event is not only a celebration of culinary delight but also an opportunity to support a charitable cause. Donations collected during the event will be in aid of Hull 4 Heroes, a local organization dedicated to the welfare of military veterans. By participating in this event, attendees can enjoy their free fish and chips in return for a charitable donation, which will help the charity continue it’s great work in the local community supporting serving and ex-service personnel.

“It is great to be part of this special event that combines Hull’s rich fishing heritage with a commemoration of D-Day,” said Jane Sandell, CEO at UK Fisheries, owners of the Kirkella Trawler. “Our crew travel far in to the Atlantic Ocean, working in challenging conditions to produce the best wild-caught Cod & Haddock for Fish & Chip shops across the country, so we are delighted the people of our home port will get an opportunity to sample Haddocks processed on board Kirkella whilst helping give back to the veterans community.”

The free fish and chips giveaway will take place from 11:45am to 1:45pm  on Thursday, 6th June, at the top of Jameson Street, next to the Cenotaph in Hull City Centre. Members of the public are encouraged to come early to secure their portion of this classic British dish and contribute to the charitable cause.

For more information about the event, please contact Bobby Joyce at or 07976 871583.

National Fish & Chip Day is an annual event organised by the National Edible Oils Distributors Association with support from multiple businesses that operate within the Fish & Chip sector which enables to nation to celebrate and enjoy it’s favourite dish.  More information is available at

About Smales Fish Merchants:

Smales Fish Merchants is a family owned seafood supplier based in Hull where it was founded in 1937 and is currently run by Lee & Simon Smales, the third generation of the family, UK. With a commitment to sourcing the finest sustainable seafood, Smales Fish Merchants is the biggest supplier of Frozen At Sea Cod & Haddock fillets to the Fish & Chip sector. The company is proud of the rich fishing heritage of Hull and a number of the logistics management team have had careers in the military before joining the company.

About the Kirkella Trawler:

The Kirkella Trawler is a modern symbol of Hull’s fishing industry, fishing in the North Atlantic.  Cod & Haddock fillets caught and produced by the Kirkella are independently certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council

About Hull 4 Heroes

Hull 4 Heroes are dedicated to making a meaningful difference in the lives of our Armed Forces community. Founded with a passion for supporting those who have served, our charity strives to provide essential assistance and resources to serving, ex-service personnel and their families.

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