Flying the flag for merchant seafarers

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A Merchant Navy veteran will pay tribute to the ‘brave men and women’ who kept Britain afloat during both world wars, as well as the modern day merchant seafarers who are said to be responsible for 95 per cent of the UK’s imports.

John Manning, who was a Merchant Navy engineer for nine years, will lay a wreath at Campbeltown War Memorial at noon on September 3, on Merchant Navy Day.

At past commemorations, John has been the only person present and he is keen for others to join him this year.

Merchant Navy Day is held every year on September 3, the same date as Britain entered the Second World War in 1939 – it was not until 1999 that the government officially created a special memorial day.

The merchant marine service was given the title Merchant Navy by King George V at the end of World War One as recognition of the role that they had played in the logistical supply of food, munitions and manpower in the ‘war to end all wars’.