MALVERN paid tribute to Britain’s proud seafaring tradition with the Merchant Navy flag flying over the town.

Cllr Martin Allen, armed forces champion for Malvern Hills District Council, along with Vic Allison, chief executive of the council, raised the red ensign over the Council House to mark Merchant Navy day on September 3.

The Red Ensign is the recognised flag of the British Merchant Navy and was flown by councils across the country to commemorate the sacrifices of the crews who transported vital materials and supplies to keep Britain’s war effort going during the Second World War.

Cllr Allen, who served on submarines in the Royal Navy, said: “I was a Falklands veteran in the 1982 campaign and it is an honour to join other councils across the country in raising the Red Ensign flag. It is still so important to show support to merchant seafarers, past and present, who have sacrificed so much for our nation.”

Merchant Navy Day was established in 2000 by the government and is on the anniversary of the start of the Second World War when the merchant ship SS Athenia was torpedoed and sunk, with the loss of 128 passengers and crew.

In the First and Second World Wars, the merchant fleets suffered heavy losses from German U-boat attacks. The tonnage lost to U-boats in the First World War was nearly 8 million, and around 14,661 merchant seafarers were killed.

The day is organised by Seafarers UK, the charity that supports the maritime community. Visit for more information.