Photo Sent by: Caporal-chef de 1ère classe Laurent SYLVESTRECellule audiovisuelle du 11e régiment d’artillerie de Marine
2017 Merchant Navy Day
Merchant Navy Day was held on Sunday, September 3, and Weymouth and Portland both commemorated the nationwide day of remembrance with a memorial service. Weymouth’s was held on the Esplanade at the town’s Merchant Navy memorial on Saturday, September 2. Wreaths were laid at the memorial and many people gathered to pay their respects to the men and women who have served in the Merchant Navy over its history. Portland’s service was held at St George’s Church, Reforne, on Sunday, with hymns, prayers, a two-minute silence in the church building, followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Merchant Navy memorial stone on the church grounds. Pastor Dave Farmer, who led the prayers for the service, said: “The passing of the years has not diminished our love and gratitude for the thousands that went to sea and never returned.” The service also remembered the crewmen who lost their lives in the Avalanche/Forest disaster 140 years ago off Portland, six of whom are buried at the church. Cllr Sandy West, who laid a basket of poppies at the ceremony, said: “I came along because I am part of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy family and it is a way of honouring those from my family who fought and died for this country.” She added: “It’s important for our youngsters to know the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy’s history and the work that they did.” Dan Sherren, chairman of Portland Royal Naval Association, was pleased with the “excellent” turnout the service had. He said: “We support the Merchant Navy all the time in all their activities because they always support us and they kept our lifelines open during all the wars. When all the U-boats were strangling our island they kept access to important supplies.” Deputy Mayor of Portland Town Council Charlie Flack, who laid a wreath at the Merchant Navy memorial stone, said: “This is an annual event that has gone from strength to strength each year.”
TONY CASH MERCHANT NAVY MEDAL AWARD
Tony Cash, 92, was presented with the Merchant Navy Medal by HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony in London on the 26th of September 2017. Paul Compton who founded the Weymouth, Portland and District Branch of the Merchant Navy Association and was himself a recipient of the old version in 2015 said: “I am immensely proud of Tony who has dedicated his life to working at sea and supporting others.” “He is very much respected for his professionalism and tireless work in both his career at sea and through his volunteer work to help others.” “I am delighted he has been recognised with the Merchant Navy Medal for meritorious service and on behalf of the whole branch, may I congratulate him on this honour.” The state award is given to individuals who show valuable devotion to duty and exemplary service, to serve as an outstanding example to others. No more than 20 medals are awarded annually. Tony joined the Merchant Navy in Liverpool in 1939. His career at sea spanned 47 years, serving throughout the Second World War and in conflict areas including the Battle of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, South Africa and east Asia. At the end of the war, Tony joined Great Western Railway Ships, serving as Quartermaster and Boatswain until 1986. He was a founder member when the Weymouth, Portland and District branch of the Merchant Navy was formed, and he has been an ambassador for the branch ever since. He has supported the branch in all its activities travelling all over the UK and even France to attend services and memorials and tirelessly fundraising for the Merchant Navy Memorial in Weymouth last year.