Lest We Forget


Merchant Navy Day Parade 2009

WE Will Remember Them All

Wreaths at the anchor in the Garden of Remembrance, Redcar - Merchant Navy Day 2009

The granting of 3rd September was a special day in the annuls of the British Merchant Navy, a day now known to the UK and other Commonwealth countries as Merchant Navy day,
It is a day for remembering those 32 thousand British Merchant seamen who never came back home to 'Pay Off' in World War two, many of whom have no known grave but the sea.
We must never forget those men lost in the First World War or the Falklands Campaign, again having no known grave, or all the allied seamen who were also lost at sea during the two World Wars.
As ex-Merchant seamen we know of the full horrors that our predecessors went through, not just the dangers of the U-boat, the surface raider, mines and aircraft, but also the weather in the winter North Atlantic and on the Russian convoys.
We will Remember that at the outbreak of war, the Merchant Navy were in the thick of it right from day one with the ss Athenia being sunk within hours of the declaration.
We will Remember that the country needed its Merchant Navy to carry the food, fuel, materials, arms to fight with and the men to use them.
We will Remember that the Merchant seaman was a civilian without uniform and was spat on in the street because he was not dressed in uniform.
We will Remember the Merchant seamen who perished in the frozen waters on the Russian convoys where the spray turned to ice in seconds.
We will Remember the Merchant seaman whose life was measured in seconds should he finish up in those frozen seas of the far North
We will Remember the Merchant seaman who, if he was lucky to get away in a lifeboat, spent days, weeks and in some cases months adrift with little or no water or food.
We will Remember the Merchant seaman who was landed on the quay after his ship had been blown from under him, having to go home to get more clothes together and go back to sea again.
We will Remember those Merchant seamen whose ship was sunk and their pay was stopped when the ship started to sink under them.

We Will Remember Themm All
Red Ensign