Merchant Navy Day is celebrated every year on September 3. The mission of this holiday is to recall the numerous victims among merchant sailors in the First World War. After their heroic deeds, the monarch George V issued a decree according to which the merchant seamen of Britain became a merchant marine. Today, these brave men control UK imports, including food and all goods of daily use. On Merchant Navy Day, a red flag is carried in all cities, which symbolizes the bravery and courage of all who are related to the merchant fleet.
The event to which Merchant Navy Day is dedicated took place in 1939, when World War II had already begun. Then the British merchant ship SS Athenia was mercilessly destroyed by the German navy. As a result, more than 120 crew members and passengers died. The holiday reminds us of how much the country depends on the merchant fleet, how important the work of these specialists is. Merchant Navy Day was first celebrated in 2015 at the initiative of the Seafarers’ Charity.
- The name “merchant fleet” was coined by the monarch George V. He wanted to honor the memory of the sailors who died during the First World War.
- In wartime, thanks to the merchant fleet, soldiers and supplies were transported abroad.
- Already during the First World War, the merchant fleet numbered more than 185 thousand people. They took part in the battles for the Atlantic.
- The death toll from the First World War is about 14 thousand people, and in the Second World War it was more than 30 thousand people.
- It was the merchant fleet that helped the UK survive, and today it moves 90% of imports and exports.
How to take part
Donate what you can to the Fleet Fund, thereby recognizing the important and noble service of sailors. Talk about the holiday and the merchant fleet on social networks, and encourage people to celebrate this day and support the merchant fleet. If you are looking for possible career options for yourself, the Merchant Marine is a great option.
When is Merchant Navy Day in 2023?
Merchant Navy Day is observed on September 3 each year.