Flag flown to mark Merchant Navy Day

Britain's proud seafaring tradition has been honoured by Malvern Hills District Council.

Today (Thursday), Cllr Martin Allen, Armed Forces Member Champion, and Vic Allison, Chief Executive of Malvern Hills District Council, raised the Red Ensign flag above the Council House to mark Merchant Navy Day.

The Red Ensign is the recognised flag of the British Merchant Navy and is flown by councils and organisations across the country on 3 September.

Merchant Navy Day was established in 2000 by HM Government and is on 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 8 million, and around 14,661 merchant seafarers were killed.

In the Second World War, German U-boats sank 2,828 Allied ships, amounting to nearly 14.7 million tonnes. The UK alone suffered the loss of 11.7 million tonnes and 32,000 merchant seafarers were killed.

The day is organised by Seafarers UK, the charity that supports the maritime community.

Cllr Martin 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.

Pictured: Cllr Martin Allen, Armed Forces Member Champion, with the Red Ensign flag.
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