SOUTHEND Council will be flying the Red Ensign outside the civic centre to remember past, present and future members of the Merchant Navy.

This ceremonial tribute which will take place today at Southend Civic Centre marks Merchant Navy Day, which is this Sunday.

It is part of a national campaign by Seafarers UK to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of those in this service.

John Lamb, leader of the council, said: “It is very important to remember and salute those who have served, are serving and will serve in future with the Merchant Navy.

“We hope that everyone will spare a thought to thank them for their bravery.

“Many people in the borough have family and friends linked in some way with the Merchant Navy, and some have relatives who have given their lives.

“For instance, we know that Southend people, lost during the Second World War, are named on the Merchant Navy memorial at Tower Hill.”