THEY are the unsung heroes of both world wars.

But on Thursday the men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleet will be celebrated across Scotland during Merchant Navy Day.

And dozens of cadets from City of Glasgow College will be marking the event at Glasgow City Chambers as the Lord Provost hosts a memorial commemoration.

Sadie Docherty will lead the service as others are taken around the world in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

City of Glasgow College currently provides training for around 450 cadets each year and runs professional development courses for more than 1000 seafarers.

Dr Nicola Crawford, Faculty Director of Nautical Studies at City of Glasgow College, 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.”

On the day, 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.

Councillor Nina Baker will read the poem In Waters Deep while Mrs Docherty will pay tribute to the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleet seafarers from Glasgow who lost their lives in wartime.

A minute's silence will be observed before the MN Standard is dipped and councillor Phillip Greene recites the Remembrance Pledge.

Merchant Navy Day has been held each year on September 3 to remember those lost in both world wars and also mark our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers.

They are responsible for providing 95% of the UK's imports, including half the food eaten in Britain.

More than 400 local authorities have been asked to take part this year and fly the Red Ensign, or the Red Duster, as it's also known, from public buildings and landmark flagstaffs.

September 3, 1939 saw the outbreak of World War II but it also saw the sinking of the SS Athenia, a transatlantic passenger liner built on the Clyde at Fairfield Shipyard in Govan.

She was sunk in the Western Approaches, an area of the Atlantic ocean, by a German torpedo with the loss of 128 passengers.