Merchant Navy ensign to fly over Fenland

Support Merchant Navy Day
Support Merchant Navy Day

The Red Ensign will be flown at Fenland Hall on Thursday (September 3) to mark Merchant Navy Day.

Fenland District Council is one of hundreds of local authorities and other bodies holding events to recognise the debt owed to merchant seafarers in both war and peace.

Council chairman Cllr Carol Cox will be hosting a brief ceremony that will include the raising of the Merchant Navy’s official flag, affectionately known as the Red Duster.

Cllr Fred Yeulett, a master mariner who served in the Merchant Navy, will make a short speech at the ceremony.

He said this week: “As an island nation, we have always relied heavily on our merchant seafarers and as a port authority we are particularly conscious of the vital role they play, both nationally and locally.

“It is important to remember that almost all our imports and exports are still carried by sea.

“So this is an opportunity not only to honour the men and women of the Merchant Navy who gave their lives in both world wars and other conflicts but also to recognise the huge contribution they continue to make to Britain’s prosperity.”

Since 2000 Merchant Navy Day has been commemorated on September 3. It was on that date in 1939, the first day of the Second World War, that the SS Athenia was the first merchant ship to be torpedoed and sunk, with the loss of 128 lives.