Liverpool marks Merchant Navy Day with special service and wreath laying ceremony

Merchant Navy Day commemoration Credit: PA

Liverpool will mark Merchant Navy Day today (Sunday 2 September) with a special service and wreath laying ceremony.

Merchant Navy Day is the annual celebration of the British Merchant Navy, to recognize and raise awareness of our dependence on our past, present and future Merchant Navy seafarers. It is also a memorial for the 36,000 merchant seafarers who died at sea in World War Two.

The river has always been at the centre of the economy of the Liverpool region, and the Merchant Navy is part of the past and the future of the area. Every year hundreds of people gather at Liverpool Parish Church - the Sailors' Church - to celebrate Merchant Navy Day where the Red Ensign flag will be displayed, as well as at Liverpool Town Hall. This will be followed by an Act of Remembrance at the Merchant Navy Memorial at the Pier Head. The congregation is led by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool with civic dignitaries from across the City Region, along with current and retired seafarers, as well as others who represent the work of the Merchant Navy today.

"I am honoured to represent Liverpool as we remember the sacrifices made by seafarers who fought for our freedom. Liverpool played a huge role in the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War, and sadly many thousands of sailors lost their lives. It is incredibly important that we never forget the sacrifices these men made, the event is an important time for reflection for us all."

Lord Mayor, Cllr Christine Banks

"This years' service will contain the tradition elements of celebration and Remembrance, but we are also going to reflect the place which the seafaring community continues to hold in Liverpool today. Much of the food we eat and the goods we buy come to us via the sea, and now, more than ever, we must support all that the Merchant Navy does for us."

The Rector of Liverpool, the Revd Dr Crispin Pailing, who will lead the service

A public service will take place at Liverpool Parish Church in the city centre at noon. This will be followed by a march to the Pier Head where a wreath will be laid from 1pm.