Appeal for Merchant Navy seafarers to attend flag raising ceremony

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Scottish Borders Council is calling on current and ex-Merchant Navy personnel to get in touch ahead of a flag raising ceremony and reception to honour their services.

Merchant Navy Day is held on September 3 every year to honour the brave men and women who kept Britain afloat during both World Wars, and also celebrate the importance of modern day merchant seafarers.

The official flag of the Merchant Navy - the Red Ensign – will be flown above Council HQ on Tuesday 3 September this year at SBC’s Headquarters to mark the occasion, with all local former members of the Merchant Navy or current members invited to the event.

The Merchant Navy was given its name at the end of World War I, with King George V acknowledging their efforts in providing supplies to Britain.

The Council held a civic reception last year, which saw around 20 ex-Merchant Navy personnel attend, including one of the last surviving members of the Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships (DEMS) which operated during World War II.

SBC Convener, Councillor David Parker, said: “It was an honour to host the Merchant Navy Day civic reception last year, which saw seafarers and their families provide some fascinating stories about their time serving their country.

“It would be fantastic to see more ex-Merchant Navy personnel attend this year’s flag raising ceremony and reception, and we would encourage them to get in touch.”

Any Merchant Navy personnel from the Scottish Borders wishing to attend should phone 01835 826571 or contact Councillor Sandy Aitchison - saitchison@scotborders.gov.uk - as soon as possible as spaces are limited.