Merchant Navy Day

I am very grateful again this year, for the Royal British Legion Whittlesey Branch, who are ‘flying’ The Red Duster’ (The Red Ensign of the British Merchant Navy).
The Merchant Navy lost more men and some women at sea than the Royal Navy during both world wars and other conflicts.
This is me in 1973, I was the Communications and Electronics Engineer seconded to the British Red Cross and from late 1971 to 1973 supported a Red Cross ship taking aid to Vietnam.
I was seconded on many occasions by the Red Cross, the final ‘mission’ was the Bosnia conflict 1992/1993
I spent a total of 28 years at sea and my ‘Log-Book’
informs me I covered over 1 Million Nautical Miles and visited over 100 countries.
I am also very pleased that Fenland District Council celebrate this day in honour of those who perished at sea.

Intended to raise public awareness of the UK’s ongoing dependence on seafarers, this campaign invited selected local authorities to fly the Red Ensign – the official flag of the UK Merchant Navy – atop public buildings and on prominent flagpoles on 3 September.

In 2016 the Red Ensign was flown on Merchant Navy Day at more than 400 locations ashore, with flag-hoisting ceremonies arranged by many local councils and other organisations – see

This year every community, parish and town council was asked to take part, in addition to all borough, county and district councils plus unitary authorities throughout the UK. Members of the Nautilus International union were encouraged to lobby their home local authorities.

Owners and custodians of historic and landmark buildings with flagpoles were also invited to get involved, including English Heritage, Historic Scotland, Historic Houses Association, National Trust and Welsh Government Cadw.

As a result the Red Ensign will this year be flown ashore at more than 600 locations – see Roll of Honour.


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