Today we mark Merchant Navy Day. As well as flying the Red Ensign on a daily basis, we are lucky enough to work closely with retired radio officers who proudly served in the Merchant Navy in their younger days. First, we would like to share the works of John McGinty who beautifully articulates what today means to him.
'I sailed as a Radio Officer, directly employed by T & J Brocklebank of Liverpool, in the early-/mid-1960s. These were the halcyon days of the British Merchant Navy’s Indian summer before the advent of containerisation and ever-larger ships with minimal time in port. Inter-continental air travel was only available to a privileged few with deep pockets but we visited and spent time in places that were only names on maps for most people. These were the days when navigation across the oceans depended on highly skilled navigators using chronometers, sextants, navigation tables and compasses. It was a great adventure and I learned so much that has stood me in great stead through later life. If only I could turn the clock back, I’d do it all over again. Happy days indeed.
It took a long time, but it is fitting that the Merchant Navy’s contribution to Britain’s war effort, especially in World War II, is now recognised and celebrated on Merchant Navy Day on September 3rd each year, despite the often shabby treatment at the time.'
Secondly, We would like to share a short video featuring Rob Armstrong. Rob always speaks passionately about his time in the Merchant Navy and believes that his time serving was the formative years of his life, shaping and influencing him ever since.