Councillors fly the flag for Merchant Navy Day - The Evesham Observer

Councillors fly the flag for Merchant Navy Day

Evesham Editorial 1st Sep, 2023   0

COUNCIL chiefs marked Merchant Navy Day by raising the Red Ensign flag at Wychavon District Council’s Pershore base.

The flag was raised by Wychavon’s chairman Coun Robert Raphael during a ceremony on Friday (September 1) ahead of Merchant Navy Day.

Merchant Navy Day takes place every year on September 3. It marks the anniversary of Britain’s entry into the Second World War when the merchant ship SS Athenia was torpedoed and sunk, with the loss of 128 passengers and crew.

This year also marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, during which 26,000 merchant and 23,000 Royal Navy seafarers lost their lives.

“We raise the Red Ensign in tribute to the brave seafaring men and women who lost their lives during times of conflict, and to give thanks for the work and dedication of today’s merchant seafarers,” Coun Raphael said.

The merchant fleets suffered heavy losses during both the First and Second World War.

More than 40,000 merchant seafarers were killed during both conflicts, but the bravery they showed was vital to keeping the country fed and supplied to support the war effort.

Today’s modern seafarers continue to play an important role in the life of the UK. They are responsible for 95 per cent of everything the UK consumes or exports.

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