A memorial garden and commemorative stone to honour our seafarers and mariners has been unveiled at Runcorn Cemetery today, 3 September – Merchant Navy Day.
Runcorn has been an inland port for centuries and it was particularly busy in the latter half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. Sailors from all around the world passed through Runcorn’s port and, sadly, some of them lost their lives here. An area of the cemetery was set aside for their burials in unmarked graves and that area still exists today.
The Council has been working with local historian and fundraiser, Tony Miller, to commemorate those who lost their lives at sea and this has resulted in the creation of a memorial garden dedicated to the seafarers and mariners of Runcorn on the site where the sailors lie. A memorial plaque, donated by the Tom Wilkinson VC Statue Appeal, of which Mr Miller is the founder, is set on a sandstone plinth at the garden entrance. The garden also features the existing memorial stone cross and information board.
The Mayor of Halton, Cllr Christopher Rowe, officially opened the garden, and the Red Ensign – the official flag of the UK’s Merchant Navy – was flown.