Annual service will thank Merchant Navy seafarers

Wreath laying at a previous Merchant Navy Day Service in Mill Dam, South Shields.
Wreath laying at a previous Merchant Navy Day Service in Mill Dam, South Shields.

Merchant Navy seamen past and present are to be honoured during a special event in South Tyneside.

The annual Merchant Navy Day Service will be held in the Mission to Seafarers, Mill Dam, South Shields at 10.30am on Monday.

This will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Merchant Navy Memorial, next to the Customs House in Mill Dam.

The event, which will also take place at various locations across the country, will be attended by past and present seamen. It pays tribute to those who spend their working lives at sea.

Reverend Philip Bullock will take the service, assisted by Rev Pat Bealing and Monsignor Ronnie Brown.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson, who will be leading the wreath-laying, said: “South Tyneside has a long and proud maritime history, with the sea playing a crucial part in the lives of many of the borough’s residents, whether they be seafarers, shipbuilders or marine engineers.

“Merchant Navy Day is an opportunity for us to pay tribute and remember the sacrifices of all those brave men and women who have served in the Merchant Navy throughout history, while also acknowledging and celebrating the modern-day merchant seafarers that we rely on today.”

Coun Stephenson added: “It is a real honour to support this special day.”

Since 2000, Merchant Navy Day has honoured the men and women who kept the UK afloat during two world wars.

It also gives the community the opportunity to thank today’s merchant seamen, who are responsible for delivering 95% of this country’s imports, including food and fuel.