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We were delighted to join Test Valley Borough Council at their offices in Romsey to celebrate Merchant Navy Day. A message from HRH the Earl of Wessex, Patron of the Seafarers UK charity, was read by Councillor Karen Hamilton, Deputy Mayor of Test Valley Borough Council. Councillor Hamilton then raised the Red Ensign at the Council’s flagstaff, assisted by our commercial manager, Alan Cartwright. Our ship handling centre is located at Timsbury Lake, just to the North of Romsey, and falls within the Test Valley Borough.
Merchant Navy Day is celebrated annually on 3 September and is promoted by the Merchant Navy Association and other maritime organisations and charities to highlight to the British public the very close relationship between Britain’s prosperity and its merchant navy. The Association asked county and borough councils to hoist the Red Ensign, on Merchant Navy Day to help our public understand more about the Merchant Navy and the sea.
The SS Athenia was sunk on 3 September, just nine hours after Prime Minister Chamberlain declared the outbreak of World War II. It should also be noted that the last casualty before VE Day was a merchant ship also with the loss of merchant seafarers.
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