Merchant Navy Day was remembered in Torrevieja on Sunday 4 September, when former seaman and D-Day Veteran, Joe Billet, attended the Jardin de Memoria at La Siesta Church, where he laid a wreath in honour and remembrance of the sacrifices made by the often forgotten and invisible, but very hard-working, seafarers.

The tribute simply read, “To the 60,000 Merchant Seamen who lost their lives during World War II. RIP”.

Pastora Krista, the recently installed minister with the Iglesia Evangélica Española, read a short tribute as Pipe Sergeant David Heaney, of the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums, played a lament.

Veteran Joe Billet

The commemoration was attended by members of La Siesta Evangelical congregation, which also included former Merchant Navy Captain, Howard Cook.

Merchant Navy Day honours those who kept Britain afloat during both World Wars. It also celebrates the dependence on modern-day merchant seafarers, which although a civilian service, undoubtedly ranks on the same level as the Armed Forces, because of its critical role.

The photo shows Joe Billet with Pastor Krista and David Heaney prior to the ceremony.