Chelmsford City Council, along with four hundred other local authorities around the UK will be flying the Red Ensign from 3-5 September to commemorate Merchant Navy Day. The flag will be raised on the Council’s flagpole at the Civic Centre in recognition of past and present seafarers, and to celebrate their significant contribution to the country. 

Merchant Navy Day is an official, country-wide public day of remembrance to commemorate the anniversary of the sinking of the SS Athenia, the first British merchant vessel lost during World War Two in 1939.

To raise awareness of the UK’s ongoing reliance on Merchant Navy seafarers and pay tribute to their sacrifices, the Seafarers UK charity and the Merchant Navy Association encourages the UK Merchant Navy’s official flag to be flown on public buildings and landmark flag staffs.

 “On 3 September 1939, the first day of The Second World War, first merchant ship SS Athenia was sunk with the loss of 128 passengers. As the wars raged, the British public realised the country would be deprived of food and supplies without merchant ships.  Today, the UK continues to rely on Merchant Navy seafarers for 95 percent of its imports, including half of its food supply. Let us Fly the Red Ensign to honour and recognise the contribution of seafarers, as well as aid to those in need, especially with the rising cost of living.”

 The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor John Galley

More information on Merchant Navy Day can be found at: https://www.theseafarerscharity.org/merchant-navy-fund/

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