Seafarers honoured at South Tyneside service

South Tyneside  Mayor Coun Ken Stephenson and Mayoress Cathy Stephenson with former seafarer Stuart Temple
South Tyneside Mayor Coun Ken Stephenson and Mayoress Cathy Stephenson with former seafarer Stuart Temple

The Red Ensign fluttered in the breeze as dozens came to honour Merchant Navy seamen from past and present at a special event in South Tyneside.

On a misty day in South Shields, a wreath-laying ceremony was held to pay tribute after a service at the Merchant Navy Memorial in Mill Dam.

Merchant Navy Day Memorial Service.

Merchant Navy Day Memorial Service.

The Merchant Navy Day service, which was led by Reverend Philip Bullock and assisted by Rev Pat Bealing and Monsignor Ronnie Brown, was held at the Mission to Seafarers.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson, who led the wreath-laying ceremony, 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, ship builders 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 throughout history while also acknowledging and celebrating the modern day merchant seafarers that we rely on today.

“It was a real honour to support this special day.”

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

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.