Dozens turn out to mark Merchant Navy Day at special service held in Elm Park
PUBLISHED: 17:30 08 September 2020
Merchant Navy Day was marked with a special service held at Elm Park’s St Nicholas Church.
The service — held on Sunday, September 6 — honoured the brave British men and women who were in the Navy during both world wars.
Merchant Navy Day has fallen on September 3 annually since its inception in 2000.
The commemoration began at St Nicholas Church, with the Reverend Amanda Keighley, Father Tom Keighley and Father David Perry all in attendance.
Rev Keighley read the David Partidge poem Heroes, the lines of which pay homage to this particular group:
“Don’t speak to me of heroes until you’ve heard the tale
Of Britain’s merchant seamen who sailed through storm and gale
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To keep those lifelines open in our hour of need
When a tyrant cast a shadow across our Island breed.”
The group of around 65 people stood in reverance while the Rev Keighley spoke these poignant words.
Also in attendance were six standard bearers, including flags from the Royal British Legion branches in Elm Park, Chingford, Ilford and Manor Park, alongside the Merchant Navy Ensign and the Union Jack.
Following the service the group made its way to a short ceremony at the Elm Park Royal British Legion, held by branch chairman and Residents’ Group councillor Barry Mugglestone.
Cllr Mugglestone spoke a few words and laid a wreath to pay his respects.
His Elm Park ward and Residents’ Group Party colleague Cllr Stephanie Nunn said: “We remembered all those who served in conflicts worldwide and those who are serving today. Always we hope for peace.”
The service was also streamed to the Merchant Navy on the Portuguese island of Madeira.
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