Invite to join John on Merchant Navy Day

John Manning placing a wreath on last year's Merchant Navy Day.
John Manning placing a wreath on last year's Merchant Navy Day.

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A retired Merchant Navy seaman is inviting others to join him as he lays a wreath at the foot of Campbeltown War Memorial at midday next Friday.

Each year, John Manning, aged 88, carries out the solemn ceremony in honour of Merchant Navy Day, marked annually on September 3, in recognition of the sacrifices made by merchant seafarers in the two world wars and the years since.

John served on tankers in the 1950s and was once sunk, spending 15 hours in the water. He is often joined only by his wife Diana as he places his wreaths at Campbeltown War Memorial.

‘There used to be a service but those who ran it have now passed on or gone away so I do it alone,’ John said. ‘It would be nice to see anyone who wants to remember their family who served.

‘In a couple of weeks I will be 89 and I don’t know how much longer I will be available.’