Nautilus members around the UK are celebrating Merchant Navy Day today, encouraging their local councils to fly the red ensign in recognition of merchant seafarers’ contribution to the country – in times of peace and war alike.
The day will be particularly auspicious in Plymouth, where a new Merchant Navy Monument will be dedicated by the Princess Royal. Campaigners have been lobbying and raising funds for years to replace the small plaque at the Barbican with a substantial monument sited next to the military war memorials on Plymouth Hoe, and the result is ‘the watchkeeper’, a sculpture of a Merchant Navy seafarer looking out across Plymouth Sound and the ocean beyond.
There will also be ceremonies today in ports such as Dover, and the principal national service will take place as usual on the Sunday following Merchant Navy Day – which falls on 8 September this year – at the national Merchant Navy Memorial on Tower Hill in London.
The next edition of the Nautilus Telegraph will include a special feature on Merchant Navy Day 2019, and members are invited to send in pictures of the red ensign flying above a landmark in their town. Please send one high-quality photograph by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 9 September 2019.