TDC Councillor "honoured" to be Parade Marshal for Merchant Navy Association

Councillor Clarke

TDC Councillor Michael Clarke has been chosen to lead the contingent of Merchant Seaman who will be marching at this year's Remembrance Parade past London's iconic Cenotaph on the 10th November.

The National Service of Remembrance held annually at the Cenotaph in Whitehall London, honours the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces community, the British and Commonwealth veterans, the Allies that fought alongside them and the civilian servicemen and women involved in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

As North Devon Secretary of the Merchant Navy Association Councillor Clarke is a regular attendee at the parade, but this year will be marshalling the associations members. Michael joined the Merchant Navy in 1966 aged 15 as a catering boy and worked his way up through the ranks to become a restaurant manager, chef, and bar manager. Recently he has continued to be very much involved in Naval activities as Commanding Officer of Bideford and District Sea Cadets, and as a Royal Naval Reservist.

Councillor Clarke who is Lead Member for Homelessness and Housing need at Torridge said:

"The Merchant Navy has served this country through two World Wars, provided hospital ships during the Falklands war and man the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ships that keep the Royal Navy afloat. They have given me many great experiences in which I have travelled around the world around seven times and many memories such as visiting China when chairman Mao was in power, helping out in famine relief operations, and assisting when Darwin was flattened by a hurricane, to name just a few.

However, one of my proudest moments will be leading the parade on behalf of the association when we will remember all those that have made the ultimate sacrifice to secure and protect our freedom. Our National President and co-founder Vivien Foster OBE will also be laying a distinctive white anchor wreath at the Cenotaph in respect of those brave men and women."

Councillor Clarke will later lead the Merchant Navy contingent past Prince William who will this year be taking the salute on behalf of the Queen.

Picture shows Councillor Clarke receiving an award in recognition of "great and valuable services to the community" from the High Sheriff of Devon - Angela Gilbert.

30 October 2019