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Supporting National Merchant Navy Day

Written by on 1st September 2021

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has announced that they will be proudly showing support of National Merchant Navy Day, which is on Friday, September 3, commemorating the 40,000 seafarers, many from our County Borough, who died whilst serving in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War.

The Red Ensign is the official flag of the British Merchant Marine (or Fleet). It will proudly be flown at the Council’s Llys Cadwyn building in Pontypridd on September 3.

The ages of the 40,000 seafarers who died whilst serving in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War ranged from 14 to 78. Among these were 8,500 Asian seaman and seafarers from across the world who served in the British Merchant Navy.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor, Councillor Jill Bonetto, and the Council’s Armed Forces Veteran Support Officer, Jamie Ireland

Councillor Maureen Webber, Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and its Armed Forces Champion, said: “I am delighted that our Council is marking National Merchant Navy Day by raising the official flag on one of our key Council buildings in the heart of out County Borough.

“Many of our local people served in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, some not even returning home having tragically lost their lives.

“The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest campaign during the Second World War. In 1939, Britain relied on its North Atlantic shipping routes and it needed essential imports from the United States and Canada. In total 60,000 Allied Merchant seafarers lost their lives, and it is to them that we pay homage on National Merchant Navy Day.

“It is a day to remember those we lost and a day to give thanks to those who returned home safely to their loved ones. It is also a day to show our support of our Armed Forces Community, Past and Present, to whom we owe so much.”

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council was one of the first local authorities in Wales to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012, a commitment that was reaffirmed in 2018.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council: Armed Forces Covenant

The Council’s Veteran Advice Service is available for all past and present Armed Forces personnel and their families. Email: VeteranService@rctcbc.gov.uk or call 07747 485 619 for confidential help and advice.