The importance of seafarers to the United Kingdom will be recognised in Chelmsford on Thursday 3 September. Chelmsford City Council will support Merchant Navy Day by flying the Red Ensign on the roof of the Civic Centre.
The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Jude Deakin is supporting a nationwide call from the Seafarers UK charity and the Merchant Navy Association for the UK Merchant Navy’s official flag to be flown.
Merchant Navy Day honours the brave men and women who kept our ‘island nation’ afloat during both World Wars. Modern day merchant seafarers are responsible for over 90% of the UK’s imports, including almost half of the food we eat, and many other products and goods that we take for granted.
Councillor Deakin says: “The date for Merchant Navy Day was chosen because on that day in 1939, the first day of The Second World War, SS Athenia was the first merchant ship to be torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 128 passengers and crew. During the two world wars, the British public realised that without merchant ships, the UK would soon be starved of food and essential supplies.”
The charity’s president, HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, has endorsed the campaign, saying: “On this Merchant Navy Day, I very much hope you will support this campaign to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of our Merchant Navy.”
The UK has the largest ports industry in Europe. 75 per cent of our exports (by volume) are shipped from UK ports, some of which are supporting the campaign by encouraging visiting ships to sound their horns at 10am on 3 September.
More information on Merchant Navy Day can be found at: www.merchantnavyfund.org/merchant-navy-day.
Tuesday 1 September 2020