Skip to main content

TRIBUTEs are paid each year to commemorate the passengers and crew who lost their lives when Britain’s first merchant ship – the SS Athenia sank during the Second World War.

The ceremony remembers the 128 passengers and crew and honors the country’s reliance on merchant shipping while remembering their service and sacrifice.

The flag-raising ceremony took place on Friday September 2 at County Hall in Trowbridge as Wiltshire Council paid their respects.

Deputy Chairman of the Board, Cllr James Sheppard, was joined by Air Vice Marshal David Couzens, Wiltshire Deputy Lieutenant and former Merchant Navy and Royal Navy sailor to hoist the Red Ensign.

Cllr Sheppard said, “This ceremony is a fitting way to recognize the important role the Merchant Navy has played in our country’s history.

“We will never forget the immense courage of countless merchant seamen who fed and supplied Britain during the darkest days of war. Many lost their lives, and we owe our freedom to their selfless bravery.

The annual ceremony raises awareness of the importance of the merchant navy.

Get more news from Salisbury.

You may also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and instagram to stay up to date, as well as sign up for one of our newsletters.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards – plus a chance to support our local journalism – ask about signing up or a digital subscription.

Email [email protected] with your comments, photos, letters and stories.