The Powys War Memorials Project, supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, held a service to mark National Merchant Navy Day at Powys County Hall.

Armed Forces Champion and Council Leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, welcomed representatives of the Merchant Navy Association, the Royal Navy Association and the High Sheriff of Powys, David Peate. In her welcoming speech, she paid tribute to the brave men and women who in both World Wars brought vital supplies to the UK and transported critical military supplies to far flung battlefields, whilst enduring austere living conditions and long absences from home. Some were sunk, rescued and transferred to work on new ships. First World War loses totalled 2,479 ships and 14,287 men.

Cllr Harris said: “Merchant Navy Day highlights the important work today of many thousands of British Seafarers on the oceans of the world and who routinely face violent storms and mountainous seas. By volume 95 per cent of the UK trade is transported by sea. Today gives the people of Powys the opportunity to show their appreciation to the merchant seafarers past and present that play a vital part in the economy of this county."

A Message from HRH The Earl of Wessex was read by Rear Admiral Mark Kerr, former chief executive of Powys County Council, who later saluted the Ensign.

'Take a little care this day…' by Capt Joe Earl was read by the Ysgol Calon Cymru head boy, Liam Spence and head girl, Felicity Bulbia.

'The Prayers and Blessing of the Red Ensign Flag' was led by Rev Andrew Perrin. The vote of thanks was provided by Cllr Beverley Baynham, chairman of the council.

Rhayader Male Voice Choir sang ‘Shenandoah’ and lead everyone present in the National Anthems to close the ceremony.