24th Oct, 2020

Malvern flies the Red Ensign to remember sailors and seafarers on Merchant Navy Day

Harry Leach 4th Sep, 2020

THE RED Ensign flag was raised by Malvern District Council to mark Merchant Navy Day yesterday.

The commemoration was one of many around the UK to remember all the Merchant Navy sailors from Great Britain’s naval past and show support for today’s seafarers.

At the ceremony Coun Martin Allen, Armed Forces Member Champion, and Vic Allison, Chief Executive of Malvern Hills District Council, raised the Red Ensign above the Council House to mark Merchant Navy Day.

The day was established in 2000 and is held annually on September 3.

It marks the anniversary of the start of the Second World War when the merchant ship SS Athenia was torpedoed and sunk – with the loss of 128 passengers and crew.

In the First and Second World Wars the merchant fleets suffered heavy losses from German U-boat attacks.

The tonnage lost to U-boats in the First World War was nearly 8million and around 14,661 merchant seafarers were killed.

In the Second World War, German U-boats sank 2,828 allied ships, amounting to nearly 14.7million tonnes.

The UK alone suffered the loss of 11.7 million tonnes and 32,000 merchant seafarers were killed.

Coun Allen, Armed Forces Member Champion at Malvern Hills District Council, said: “I was a Falklands veteran in the 1982 campaign and it is an honour to join other councils across the country in raising the Red Ensign flag.

“It is still so important to show support to merchant seafarers, past and present, who have sacrificed so much for our nation.”

Visit www.merchantnavyfund.org/merchant-navy-day/ for more information.

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