Sacrifice and courage of the Merchant Navy to be recognised in Higham Ferrers

The Red Ensign will be raised in Higham Ferrers on September 3
The Red Ensign will be raised in Higham Ferrers on September 3
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A flag will be raised in Higham Ferrers next month to recognise the sacrifice and courage of members of the Merchant Navy.

Higham Ferrers Town Council is supporting Merchant Navy Day, which takes place on September 3.

They will fly the Red Ensign in the Market Square to show their support and to raise awareness of the UK’s ongoing dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers.

The town’s mayor, Cllr Richard Gell, will say a few words as the flag is hoisted at 10am on the day.

A spokesman for the town council said: “Higham Ferrers Town Council 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 on public buildings and landmark flagstaffs.”

The charity’s president, HRH The Earl of Wessex, has endorsed the campaign and said: “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.

“Too often they are the forgotten or invisible service, by raising the Red Ensign you will ensure that at least on this day they are remembered.

“Your act will mean so much to their families and to the retired, but most especially to those at sea.”

Merchant Navy Day has been commemorated since 2000 on September 3, the anniversary of the sinking of the SS Athenia, the first British merchant vessel lost during the Second World War.

Seafarers UK is a grant-making charity that helps people in the maritime community, by providing vital funding to support seafarers in need and their families.

The UK relies on Merchant Navy seafarers for 95 per cent of its imports, including half of the food we eat.

More than 400 local authorities across the UK have been invited to fly the Red Ensign for Merchant Navy Day.

For more information go to www.merchantnavyfund.org/merchant-navy-day.