Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Tributes to be paid to seafarers ahead of Merchant Navy Day

  • Flag raising ceremony will take place on 2 September, 10am
  • Mayor, High Sherriff and Council Leader to mark the occasion
  • Council supports call for public buildings and flagstaffs to fly 'Red Duster'


On Friday 2 September, West Lancashire Borough Council will fly the Red Ensign to raise awareness of the UK’s dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers, prior to Merchant Navy Day on September 3.

This annual flag-raising event will honour the brave men and women of the Merchant Navy, including those who lost their lives at times of war, and celebrate the vital role of merchant seafarers in the lives of our communities.

The Red Ensign flag will be hoisted on the flagstaff outside the Council Offices at 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, at 10am on the day. Members of the public are welcome to come to the ceremony, which will be attended by Councillor Mrs. Marilyn Westley, Mayor of West Lancashire; High Sheriff of Lancashire, Martin Ainscough DL; Councillor Yvonne Gagen, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council; the Mayor’s Chaplain the Venerable David Garnett; Councillors and senior Council officers.

The Council is supporting a nationwide call from the Seafarers Charity and the Merchant Navy Association for the Merchant Navy’s official flag affectionately known as “the Red Duster” to be flown on public buildings and landmark flagstaffs.

HRH the Earl of Wessex has endorsed the campaign, saying: “This year’s Merchant Navy Day is a poignant one. Essentially, today is the day we remember the forgotten or invisible service; the men and women responsible for carrying up to 95% of our island nation’s trade.

"Regrettably, it is only during times of war that the service enters our consciousness, whether that be the Second World War or the Falklands War 40 years ago. It may be a civilian service, but it ranks on the same level as the Armed Forces because of its critical role.

"In this, Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, we also recognise her position as Master of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets as well as Patron of The Seafarers’ Charity, duties The Queen has undertaken for 70 remarkable years."

Councillor Mrs. Marilyn Westley said: “I am very pleased the Council has been given the opportunity to recognise the Merchant Navy by flying the Red Ensign.

"The people of the United Kingdom owe a historic debt of gratitude to the seafarers and the flag raising is an opportunity for us all to recognise the important work they have done, and continue to do.”

Visit the website for more details on Merchant Navy Day.