Merchant Navy Day marked

Merchant Navy personnel gather at Council HQ for Merchant Navy Day.
Merchant Navy personnel gather at Council HQ for Merchant Navy Day.

Around 20 ex-Merchant Navy personnel from the Borders were recognised for their services at a civic reception hosted by Scottish Borders Council to mark Merchant Navy Day.

It takes place on September 3, every year to honour the brave men and women who kept Britain afloat during both World Wars, and celebrate the importance of modern day merchant seafarers.

Amongst those in attendance was Stephen Taylor Smith, a 95-year-old from Selkirk who is believed to be the last surviving member of the Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships (DEMS) which operated during World War II.

He raised the Merchant Navy flag at SBC headquarters alongside council convener, Councillor David Parker.

Councillor Parker said: “Meeting the likes of Stephen Taylor Smith was an honour and I am proud the council will fly the Merchant Navy flag above our headquarters this week.”

Councillor John Greenwell, SBC’s Armed Forces and Veterans Champion, added: “The Merchant Navy has provided an important service for the last century to Britain, providing vital supplies to the country particularly at times of war.

“This ceremony is a small thank you to Borderers who served in the Merchant Navy for their considerable efforts over a number of years.”