On Saturday 3 September, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils will fly the Red Ensign at their buildings to mark Merchant Navy Day and raise awareness of the UK’s ongoing dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers.
The UK Merchant Navy’s official flag will fly at both the Melton Hill and Riverside offices in support of a campaign from Seafarers UK to honour the sacrifices and courage of the Merchant Navy.
The charity’s president, HRH The Earl of Wessex, has endorsed the campaign, saying: “On this Merchant Navy Day, I very much hope you will support this campaign by Seafarers UK to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of our Merchant Navy.”
Council Leaders Cllr Colin Law and Ray Herring said: “It is important that we mark Merchant Navy Day to honour the courageous efforts made by seafarers during both World Wars and to recognise our continued dependence on the Merchant Navy.”
As an ‘island nation’ the UK relies on Merchant Navy seafarers for over 90% of our imports, including half the food we eat.
Since 2000, Merchant Navy Day has been commemorated on 3 September. On this date in 1939, the outbreak of the Second World War was declared and within a few hours, the British merchant vessel SS Athenia was sunk with the loss of 128 passengers and crew.
For more information about Merchant Navy Day and Seafarers UK, please visit www.merchantnavyfund.org/merchant-navy-day