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Merchant Navy Day to be marked at Oakham Castle

Date Published: 16 August 2022
Merchant Navy Day

Residents are invited to attend a flag raising ceremony to mark Merchant Navy Day 2022 on Saturday 3 September. 

The ceremony will commemorate all those who work at sea, both past and present and will take place outside Oakham Castle from 10.15am to 10.45am.

Merchant Navy Day is marked each year throughout the UK and commemorates the beginning of the Second World War in 1939 when the first UK merchant ship, 'SS Athenia', was torpedoed and sunk by Germany with a loss of over 120 passengers and crew. Merchant Navy Day raises public awareness of the country’s ongoing dependence on merchant seafarers. The Seafarers’ Charity (formerly Seafarers UK) started the Fly the Red Ensign for the Merchant Navy Day campaign in 2015 to address ‘sea blindness,’ providing an opportunity to pay tribute to merchant seafarers. Merchant Navy Day became an official day of remembrance in 2000.

Rutland’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Paul Ainsley, said: 

“It's important that we recognise the sacrifices and dedication of those brave and selfless people within the Merchant Navy community, past and present. It is my honour to attend the flag-raising event and we hope to see residents come out to show their support.” 

Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Sarah Furness, said: 

“Merchant Navy Day is important to us all – even though Rutland is a long way from the sea. Great Britain is an island nation. Many of our goods and services are shipped to us and that has been the case for centuries. The Ukrainian situation reminds us all that as an island we are far from self-sufficient. During both world wars it was Merchant Seamen and women who kept our country fed and our troops across the world supplied. They suffered enormous losses during those wars. It is a privilege to remember those sacrifices. It is also important to realise how much we need our Merchant Navy now. I hope many Rutlanders will attend our short Flag Raising.” 

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