The Red Ensign was raised at Haverhill’s Market Square on Saturday to honour the seamen from the Merchant Navy. The Red Duster, as it is affectionately known, was flown from hundreds of civic buildings on Merchant Navy Day which commemorates the sacrifice made by seafarers in both World Wars and today. September 3 1939 marked the outbreak of World War Two and on that day the merchant vessel the SS Athenia was torpedoed with the loss of 128 lives. The Merchant Navy played a pivotal role in the Atlantic Convoy which ferried supplies to the allies during the war.
Merchant Navy Day was recognised for the first time in 2003. Cllr Tony Brown said: “The casualties were said to be the highest out of any service in the second World War. If they hadn’t have done their job the country would have been starved out.”