"Liverpool has a larger fleet of merchant vessels than any other seaport in the world. As an industrial centre Liverpool is famous for its shipbuilding yards, in which large merchant and war vessels are made. It also has large iron and brass foundries, engine-works, sugar-refineries, breweries, etc. It is a great shipping point of emigrants to America."|
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Magazine of the Liverpool Retired Merchant Seafarers
In commemoration of 30,000 British Merchant Sailors
who sacrificed their lives in the war years 1939-45
9, Masterton Drive
29th November 2003
On the 27th November 2003, the Daily Express revealed that Euro MPís had been given the green light in the proposal to scrap the British Merchant Navy Red Ensign which has been the official flag of our Merchant Fleet since 1864 and replace it with a European Union Flag. I am totally appalled that such a gesture will go through without the intervention of our own Government.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II holds the title of "Master of the Merchant Navy & Fishing Fleet", which was passed down by King George VI and was the title held by King George V who bestowed the title 'Merchant Navy' on us after WWI. In WWI 17,000 Merchant Seamen sailing under the Red Ensign were killed with a further 32,000 in WWII, which happens to be a higher percentage rate than any of the three armed services. Post WWII t he Red Ensign has been involved conflicts in Palestine 1945-1948, Korea 1950-1953, Suez 1956, Cyprus, 1954-1959, Borneo, 1962-1966, Falklands 1982 & the Gulf 1991 & 2003, with medals issued to itís serving members in all areas of operations.
In 2000 the British Government introduced the official 'Merchant Navy Day' in recognition of the important role the Merchant Navy plays in supplying this Island nation in war as well as peace. 3rd September every year since, the Red Ensign is flown from public buildings the length & breadth of this country. Please donít let others take the last vestige of our service. This is not sentimentalist talk; it is our Maritime Heritage that is under threat.
Billy McGee (Merchant Navy & Royal Fleet Auxiliary 1980-1992)
Click HERE for August 2011 Update on the Red Ensign & European Union situation.