Proud to see the ‘red duster’

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From: Hank Krouwel

Grange Road

I would like to sincerely thank Eastbourne, its mayor and council, Councillor Kathy Ballard, Nicola Metcalfe and of course the seafront office crew for flying a magnificent Red Ensign – the ensign of Britain’s Merchant Navy on Merchant Navy Day, September 3.

Also the management and staff, especially Madelaine and Chris of The Grand Hotel. Setting an example to the rest of the hotels in Eastbourne as usual. Let’s see more ‘red dusters’ next year please!

Our civilian merchant seamen tend to regard their service to this nation as underrated despite the fact that their casualty rate in war was historically three times greater than that of the armed services.

September 3 was chosen as MN Day because that was the day war was declared in 1939 and five hours later the first merchant ship was sunk. The last was sunk in 1945 well after hostilities had officially ceased and in between 2,177 British ships were lost and more than 30,000 British seamen. So it’s appropriate, I think, to fly the red duster once a year, just to show respect.

Thank you very much, Eastbourne.