Naval cadets will be out in their hundreds today

A woman from Clarkston is set to lead hundreds of cadets in commemorating Merchant Navy Memorial Day at Glasgow City Chambers today, September 3.

Dr Nicola Crawford, faculty director of nautical studies at City of Glasgow College, will lead more than 450 cadets from the maritime education training facility when they take part in UK-wide celebrations being staged to honour “the brave men and women who kept our island nation afloat during both World Wars”.

She will be joined by curriculum heads for nautical studies Angus Ferguson and Duleep Fotedar, both of whom are also from Clarkston.

Also today, Glasgow City Council will fly the Red Ensign – the recognised flag of the British Merchant Navy since 1894 – over the city chambers for the first time.

Dr Crawford, a former pupil of Woodfarm high school, said: “It is incredibly important that we take cadets to memorial events to remind them of the sacrifices that have 
been made by those before them.

“Many of the cadets have family members who have been part of the Merchant Navy so they are familiar with its history.

“Events like this serve to remind everyone that the Merchant Navy is more than just a job – it’s an essential part of life.”

Derek Morrison is a deck cadet who is in his second year of studying for a diploma at City of Glasgow College.

The 34-year-old, who lives in Busby, said: “Both my father and grandfather were in the Merchant Navy but it wasn’t until later in my working life that I decided to pursue a career at sea.

“I wanted to start working towards a career I could progress in and had heard great things about working in the Merchant Navy from many of my friends.

“I’ve already been out at sea for four months and been everywhere from Australia to Japan.”

The college provides training for around 450 new cadets each year and offers professional development courses for more than 1,000 seafarers annually.