03:30PM, Friday 06 September 2019
National Merchant Navy Day was marked with a service outside Maidenhead town hall on Tuesday.
The Red Ensign was raised at 10am and wreaths were laid by Mayor of the Royal Borough Cllr Sayonara Luxton and three men who served in the UK’s merchant fleet.
The service remembered those who lost their lives serving in the civilian shipping fleet during the world wars as well as those who travel the open seas today.
The Mayor gave a speech which included an extract of a speech given by King George VI, and seafarers’ prayers were read out.
Ray Williams was in the Merchant Navy from 1964 to 1970 and was one of the men laying a wreath.
“Today about 90 per cent of the goods we use come into the country by boat and essentially it’s paying tribute to them because it’s a dangerous job,” said Ray.
He said the day is about reminding people ‘we do owe seamen some kind of debt’.
Cllr Samantha Rayner (Con, Eton and Castle), lead member for culture, communities and Windsor, said: "The annual Merchant Navy Day is a great time to honour the men and women who have served to keep our country afloat through both World Wars, to show our appreciation for those who do the same today and to raise awareness of our country's great maritime heritage.
"On behalf of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, thank you to the merchant seafarers of yesterday, today and tomorrow."
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