AN appeal has been made for ex-Merchant Navy personnel to set course for Newtown St Boswells.

Scottish Borders Council is preparing to host a flag raising ceremony to pay tribute to the men and women who kept Britain afloat during both World Wars, and also celebrate the importance of modern day merchant seafarers

Merchant Navy Day is held on September 3.

The official flag of the Merchant Navy - the Red Ensign – will be flown above the local authority headquarters throughout the Tuesday.

And an appeal has been made for all former Merchant Navy personnel to take part.

Council convener David Parker told us: “It was an honour to host the Merchant Navy Day civic reception last year, which saw seafarers and their families provide some fascinating stories about their time serving their country.

“It would be fantastic to see more ex-Merchant Navy personnel attend this year’s flag raising ceremony and reception, and we would encourage them to get in touch.”

The Merchant Navy was given its name at the end of World War I, with King George V acknowledging their efforts in providing supplies to Britain.

The council held a civic reception last year, which saw around 20 ex-Merchant Navy personnel attend, including one of the last surviving members of the Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships (DEMS) which operated during World War II.

Any Merchant Navy personnel from the Borders who would like to attend should phone 01835 826571.