The ceremony will commemorate all those who work at sea, both past and present and will take place in the Memorial Garden outside Coxhoe Village Hall from 10.15am, with members of Coxhoe Parish Council and Coxhoe’s Beavers, Cubs and Scouts present, and residents welcome. There will be a speech to mark the day and the Red Ensign flag will be raised, followed by refreshments in Coxhoe Village Hall.
If anyone in the Parish has been connected to the Merchant Navy, please contact us in advance, if you would like to take an active role in the ceremony.
Merchant Navy Day honours the brave men and women who made many sacrifices to keep Britain alive during both World Wars, and provides an opportunity to appreciate the UK’s modern day seafarers who are responsible for transporting most of our every day items, such as food and fuel. On this day the Red Ensign, the official Merchant Navy flag, is flown across the UK.
Following their service in the First World War, Merchant Navy was the title bestowed on merchant shipping fleets by King George V. It encompasses all British commercial shipping. The flag that identifies the Merchant Navy is called the Red Ensign. It has been flown by British and English ships since as far back as the 17th century. In 1864 it was decided that merchant vessels should be made instantly distinguishable from those of the Royal Navy, and so the Red Ensign became the identifier of the merchant ships.
The Merchant Navy suffered heavy losses during both World Wars but their perseverance kept Britain supplied with the food and raw materials it desperately needed. These wartime necessities however came at a cost, in the First World War alone more than 14,000 merchant seafarers lost their lives. Another 40,000 merchant seafarers died during the Second World War. Those seafarers ranged in age from 14 to 78 years old and included 8,500 Asian seaman and seafarers from across the world who served in the British Merchant Navy.
In recognition of the sacrifices of merchant seafarers, both in the two World Wars and since, Merchant Navy Day was made an official day of remembrance in 2000.
The Merchant Navy continues to supply Britain to this day, with around 95% of all goods entering Britain doing so via shipping.
You can contact the Parish Clerk about Merchant Navy Day by emailing Claire Llewelyn on firstname.lastname@example.org.