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HMS Illustrious Association Memorial Ceremony
On Sunday 21st October 2018 members of the Portland Branch joined with members of the HMS Illustrious Association, veterans, families and members of the public at the Remembrance Service which marked the 70th Anniversary of the HMS Illustrious Pinnace Disaster. The service took place at the Memorial at Osprey Quay in Portland Harbour. The Portland Branch Standard was paraded along with those from other Branches and Associations. The Address was given by Vice Admiral Bob Cooling, President of HMS Illustrious.
Thanks to Portland Branch webmaster
Dennis Matthews of Dorchester Branch has sent for interest:
The service was held at sailing academy in Portland harbour on Sunday 21st Oct. It was conducted by Martin Evans RN, the address given by Vice Admiral Bob Cooling president of the Illustrious association. The service to commemorate the loss of 29 sailors lost returning to the ship after a run ashore in Weymouth 70 years ago. 7 standards were on parade.
BBC Festival of Remembrance Assistance
A request has been received from the BBC for assistance in conjunction with their RBL Festival of Remembrance programme. Please reply direct to Louise Bracken at the BBC her contact details are below.
Can you help with something for the event. As part of the event we are producing some short VTs. As I said, these will be broadcast on BBC One and shown to the audience in the Royal Albert Hall. One of these films will feature descendants holding a photograph of their relative from the First World War and sharing a piece of information about them. We are filming in different locations around Britain, with a variety of stories from across the conflict.
Alongside the short film we will have 50 descendants walk through the Royal Albert Hall holding a photograph of their descendant. I really would like to equally and fairly represent all soldiers in World War One during this moment, including those who served with the Royal Navy, and I am doing my absolute best to investigate all avenues to try and do so. I wondered if you might be able to help me find some descendants of Naval Soldiers who would like to walk in the Royal Albert Hall and/or to take part in our VT, potentially drawing on any info you may have collated or descendants that you may already be in touch with?
Louise Bracken | Researcher Louise.firstname.lastname@example.org
Chard Branch Trafalgar Activities 2018
Chard branch had a great Trafalgar night held at the Lord Leaze hotel with 28 members attending including their Patron David Pond Commodore RN Rtd who also so happened to be the CEO of The Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby squad.
As a result the branch President S/m Roy Lovell presented S/m David with a cheque to the GBWR team in the sum
of £200 this being one of three charities that the branch give to yearly the other two charities will receive the same amount at the branches AGM in January 2019.
The following day members attended the annual Trafalgar Service in the Church that has great connection through the Hood family, the Church of St Thomas at Cricket St Thomas. The congregation filled this divine little church and the roof was raised as a result of the singing of the congregation.
Members then had their photograph taken in the grounds with the vicar (Padre) who happens to be a former RN submariner. Tea and coffee was taken in the nearby Cricket St Thomas golf club before dispersal home.
Another great active weekend was had by the branch the third in as many weeks, well done to all involved over the period.
Images and report supplied by
S/m Dick Moon Chard press officer.
Chard visit RNLI college Poole
Saturday 13th October saw seventeen members and two guests of the Chard RNA branch attend the RNLI college Poole whilst four other members spend the day at the shops.
Arriving at the college those being given the guided tour started by having coffee and tea in the restaurant area before separating into two groups and being shown around the impressive buildings and facilities.
Two members in each group were afforded the opportunity to act as coxswain and navigator in the impressive simulator. Having arrived safely back alongside from this experience the group were then shown the wet side of the training area, a huge twenty five metre long by four metre deep wave producing pool, finally ending up on the veranda off of the main restaurant area where the full extent of the college could be seen.
The group rounded off the visit by buying their lunch in the restaurant at the most affordable of prices.
On completion of the visit the group was taken to the Poole Quay area where they were left to their own devices before being taken back to Chard.
A great day out with unexpected good weather. The branch would thoroughly recommend a visit to any other branches who organise social trips out and at a cost of £7.50p per head is well worth a visit. Dining in their restaurant is fairly priced with a varied selection of lovely meals well worth a visit.
Image and report by
S/m Dick Moon
Chard Branch at the Poppy of Honour Parade Wincanton
The Royal Naval Association was well represented on Saturday the 6th October when nine members of Chard branch attended the dedication ceremony and unveiling of the ‘Poppy of Honour’ in Cale Park Wincanton. They were joined by numerous units of serving and retired members of the armed forces in memorandum of all those men and women killed during the First World War.
Turning out for the occasion was no mean feat as the weather was totally against proceedings as it rained throughout the morning with wind adding to the atmosphere. Despite the inclement weather everyone in attendance kept up beat and the day went to plan and was well supported by members of the public who gave support along the route through town and into the park to witness the dedication and unveiling of the most unusual monument.
Various standards were on parade with the majority being paraded from the numerous associations from former shipmates throughout the country, Royal Naval Associations, Type 23 Associations, HMS Birmingham Association and County Class Destroyers Association to name a few.
On completion of the ceremony the Chard Branch let to drive home as all members were truly soaked to the skin and had no dry clothes to change into but were pleased to have attended such a poignant forenoon with great company from so many different supporters of a worth while cause.
Images from various sources commonly shared.
S/m Dick Moon
Press officer Chard RNA
Chard members visit to Year of the Engineer HMS Raleigh 28th September 2018
Former Royal Naval Engineers of the Chard Branch RNA recently attended The Year of The Engineer 2018 celebrations at HMS Raleigh. An early start saw them arrive in time for the statuary bacon bap tea and coffee breakfast served in the WO & Senior rates mess where they also met up with oppo’s and shipmates from the past having not seen them since they were in training either in Fisguard or Raleigh.
Resident members of staff then took groups around the establishment for a guided tour of accommodation, sport hall. diving school workshop and fire fighting school. It was apparent that members were being taken back I memory to the time they had spent in their phase 1 training 40-60 years ago.
After a short lunch break all guests watched the pass out of the next wave of engineers as they marched past in guard formation. Then a surprise to all assembled as the ‘Old Guard’ of Engineers past, formed up and performed a march pass to the applause of the relatives watching on.
The day was rounded off with drinks in the WO and senior rates mess before travelling back to Chard. A fantastic day was had by all in attendance . Thank you the Royal Navy.
photos by S/m Dick Moon
submitted by S/m Dick Moon
The Merchant Navy Day Civic Service took place at St George’s Churchyard, Portland today (3rd Sept). The Memorial stone has been placed on the grave of six souls who perished following the Sailing Ships’ Avalanche and Forest disaster in 1877. The Merchant Navy Area & National Standards were joined by Standards from Portland, Weymouth and Dorchester Branches. Many Merchant Navy Veterans and members of the public attended as well as Portland Branch members.
The service was conducted by the Rev Tim Gomm. Cllr Charlie Flack, Town Mayor (and Portland Branch Member) gave the Bible Reading.
Chairman, RNA Portland Branch
Portland Branch Stall at Southwell Street Fayre Portland
RNA Portland Branch manned a stall at the Southwell Street Fayre, Portland, on Saturday 4th August 2018. We were pleased to have beautiful weather following the previous week’s wind and rain at another Fete. Photos show the “Portland press gang” waiting for the paying public to arrive. We were able to raise a very respectable sum for Branch funds.
Peter Shoesmith, National & Area Rep, RNA Portland Branch
Day out for Chard Branch at SS Gt Britain and Cabot Circus shopping centre Bristol
Second day out of the year for Chard Branch
Sunday 12th August went well for Chard with 14 shipmates meeting up on a dark dank morning at Crowshute car park to leave at 0900hrs for Bristol and their visit to the SS Gt Britain and Isambard Kingdom Brunel museum. The journey there was thankfully uneventful other than suffering a few small showers.
Once booked in and tickets dispensed shipmates were left to roam for three hours meeting up at 1330hrs then to be transported into Bristol Cabot Circus shopping centre where they were left to fend for themselves for two hours. Many found time to shop, and others were spoilt for choice as to what to choose for lunch.
Having shopped themselves out, and fully replenished they made their way back to board the mini bus back to Chard.
The journey was done during the best part of the day as the sun shone all the way back home. A most enjoyable day was had by all who were suitably impressed with the ship and in particular the new Isambard experience which is thoroughly recommended to all having not experienced it.
Supplied by Sm Dick Moon
Chard Branch annual skittle match at the Gough’s Hotel
Thirty one shipmates of Chard Branch, Royal Naval Association and their guests met at The Chough’s Hotel on Thursday 9th August for an evening of skittles reinforced by a most generous buffet supplied by Debbie Barrett the landlady and her staff.
A most enjoyable evening of friendly but competitive skittles was had by all. The evening was split into three rounds of skittles, the women, the men, and finally the first three places from the women’s and men’s matches playing against each other after the women threw down the challenge. The winners of the matches were Paula Moon and Chris Truscott with the overall winner being James Hammond. Raffle prizes were supplied by members raising £55 for Chard Branch fund
Hadrian’s Wall Challenge ~ S/M Len Christopher
S/M Len Christopher and his daughter Tracey Parkes (a former Second Officer in the WRNS) recently took on a challenge to raise funds for the Charity INSPIRE which aims to improve quality of life and independence of those living with Spinal Chord Injuries. Len chose this charity in memory of his late son Alan who suffered spinal injuries during his RN service.
The challenge involved walking the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall from East to West, a total of 86 miles. The sum raised was over £800 including a £100 donation from RNA Portland Branch, of which Len is a Member.
Well done to Len and Tracey.
Chard branch Sea Sunday at St Thomas’s Church Cricket St Thomas
The Chard branch held their annual Sea Sunday service at St Thomas Church on the estate of Cricket St Thomas home of the former Hood family. The service was conducted by the Canon Hugh Williams (former Submariner and vicar of the parish.
Some twelve members attended the service long with members of the estates family and guest staying at the Warner complex attached to the estate. The service went down well with all present who also listened as the Chard RNA president Sm Roy Lovell gave the lesson.
As is the norm: members posed for a quick photo alongside their standard paraded by Chairman and Standard Bearer Sm Malcolm Day followed up by attending the Windwhistle Inn for their summer meal a lovely carvery. All in all a lovely service and meal with like minded people.
The next outing for the group will be on Sunday 12th August when the branch visit SS Gt Britain and Isambard Kingdom Brunel museum.
Chard members visit to dine on board HMS Somerset
Wednesday 4th July 2018 saw four members of the Chard Branch attend HMS Somerset as a result of an invitation to dine with the Captain, Commander Tim Berry RN.
The group of four travelled by car to the HMNB Devonport and were met by Somersets Logistics officer Lt Cdr Andy Parker who escorted the group to the ship having first given them a tour of the dockyard. After a comfort break the Captain greeted them and took them to his table. An excellent meal was provided by his chef and presented by his s…tewards to the seven persons present. A presentation of 6 boxed Chard 30th Anniversary slate coasters were presented to Cdr Berry on behalf of all Chard members in thanks for the ships ongoing support and affiliation to the branch. After lunch the members were shown around the ship by Sub Lt Johnathon Miller with the tour rounding off on the bridge where they were joined by Cdr Berry for a farewell photo before leaving to return back to Chard.
All in all a most fantastic day was spent in the company of officers and crew of one of Britain’s Naval workhorses.
Thank you HMS Somerset.
Sm Dick Moon
Press officer Chard RNA
HMS Sidon Memorial
Standards and Veterans attended the HMS Sidon Memorial on Saturday 16th June 2018 at the Portland Heights. The wreath was laid by two survivors of the terrible tragedy which occurred on 16th June 1955.
Axminster and Chard Jolly Day Out
Chard and Axminster branches joined forces to go out on a jolly in Tiverton Devon on Saturday 9th June when they went on water (not to sea) for an evening on the Tiverton Horse Drawn Canal Barge which included a Fish ‘n’ Chip supper.
Twenty four shipmates and their guests enjoyed lovely evening weather a comical and informal spoken commentary by the owner whilst being pulled along by our ‘engine’ for the night ‘Ross the hoss’.
The fish n chip supper was taken on board at a stop next to one of the two bridges we passed under. Time was given for the assembly to stretch their legs by a quick walk along the tow path to view he aqueduct.
The round trip took two and a half hours and was a most pleasant and unusual night out for all who thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was good to see both branches join together for the evening.
by S/M Dick Moon
Chard Press officer.
Admiral Alec Weir Memorial Croquet Match 2018
On Sunday the 3rd June teams from local branches Bodmin, Delabole and Liskeard met at Pencarrow House for the Admiral Alec Weir Memorial Croquet Match,
We were blessed with a sunny dry day and with Lady Iona Molesworth- St Aubyn, Ann Weir (Admiral Alecs widow) and Delabole Branch Patron Helen Bull present the teams took to the field of battle. there was a good turn out and even German visitors to Pencarrow were amongst the spectators.
The eventual winners were Liskeard Branch and Bodmin Branch were runners up the trophies were presented by Mrs Helen Bull Delabole Branch Patron
Falmouth Branch Standard
The Falmouth Branch Standard Bearer reports that his Branch Standard Pole Carrier (Carrying strap & bucket) has deteriorated and requires urgent repair or replacement. Before we go ahead and purchase one does any Branch or Area hold a spare from a now closed Branch that they no longer need.
Mick Stevens Chairman
Tel: 01326 317410
Mob: 07778 899705
The Jacqui Ward Memorial trophy 2018
The Jacqui Ward Memorial trophy for 2018 has been awarded by The Area Deputy Chairman Shipmate Peter Shoesmith and Area Life Vice President Shipmate Chris Hore to a very deserving lady.
She has been a full member of the royal naval association for 30 years and recently was awarded life membership for her services to her branch. These include being branch treasurer for 26 years, organising branch activities including annual dinners and Trafalgar day functions.
What`s more for the past three years she has hosted the branch committee meetings in her home and provides refreshments for those attending. In 2017 she was presented with a RNA Certificate of Appreciation by her branch.
I think that you must agree with Chris and Peter that this lady is a very worthwhile recipient of the trophy. Shipmate Liz Norley of the South Bristol Branch.
The trophy was presented to the Area in memory of Shipmate Jacqui Ward, a former Member of Delabole Branch and is awarded annually to any Lady member of No4 Area who has done the most to further the aims and interests of the R.N.A. during the past year.
You may not be aware that The Royal British Legion is supporting the Normandy Memorial which will be inaugurated next year to mark the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings. The Normandy Memorial Trust has spent the last 12 months researching the names of those who lost their lives under British command between 5 June and 31 August 1944. This is a unique collection of names which have never before been recorded and will appear on the British Normandy Memorial soon to be built in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy.
You can find the Roll of Honour by visiting www.normandymemorialtrust.org in case you wish to check that the name of an individual is accurately recorded, or to let the Trust have a name that is not on the Roll. All suggestions will need to be submitted to The Normandy Memorial Trust before the end of April. This a fine trawl just in case a D/Day Veteran is not listed.
RNA Deputy General Secretary
Area Reunion 2018
It was reported by Shipmate Pete Shoesmith the Area Deputuy Chairman that the Very Inclimate weather horrendous snow drifting making roads impassable that the reunion rally was held with decimated numbers just 32 sat down to dinner on Friday night, and 103 sat down on Saturday night. There was only one act for the Chairmans Concert on the Sunday details below. Images are in the Gallery click the image below.
Portland Hippies Bring Home The Cup!
Ten of us took part in the Chairman’s Concert at the No.4 Area Reunion at Bideford last Sunday 4th March ’18. Our act was titled ‘Love’ and the scenario was that I assumed that we would sing some ’70s songs with ‘a bit of a beat’ and the common theme of love, whereas the others were under the impression that we would do the peace and love hippie type songs.
So I went to the front, dressed in the usual casual gear, and then the others entered in their splendid hippie attire. Anyhow, with much muttering and shouts of ‘Let’s go to San Francisco’ in between songs, we sang ‘Under the Moon of Love’ and ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’.
We then agreed to sing ‘So Happy Together’ which was from the hippie era, and asked the audience to join in. While the others handed out song sheets, I said ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ and dashed off and donned a flowery shirt and wig. Meanwhile, the DJ had the idea to play ‘If You’re Going to San Francisco’ and everyone sang along.
We then sang ‘So Happy Together’ along with the audience and finished up by walking off singing along to ‘Let’s go to San Francisco’.
It doesn’t seem to be much when writing about it, but it actually worked very well. We enjoyed ourselves, the audience enjoyed it and they sang along.
No doubt you will all know by now that we were the only branch to do anything in the concert, but we were determined to carry on regardless after all the time and effort spent on it. At least we are probably the first branch to be unanimously voted the best act!
The only trophy to be returned from last year was the Tremlett Cup, so this was presented to us by No.4 Area Chairman, Ron Burdekin. We demand the Rose Bowl as well!
My grateful thanks to Colleen, Christine, Ben & Josie, Nige & Lynne, Grahame & Gill and Doc for giving up their time and especially for their efforts in getting such brilliant costumes.
by Dave, Portland Branch Social Sec.
Standard Bearers Competition February 2018
The Area held its Annual Standard Bearers Training Sessions at Bridgwater Sea Cadets Headquarters on the first three Sundays of February 2018, culminating on the fourth with a keenly contested Competition between 5 Branch Standard Bearers, with very few points separating them.
The Competition, which was judged by Shipmates Charles H Thompson BEM and Tony Seal, consists of an inspection of the Standard Bearers dress and bearing and the condition/cleanliness of the Standard. This is followed by a Drill Routine comprising all of the various drill and Standard movements, both on the March and at the Halt. Not so easy when working within a limited space.
The results were as follows:
1st. Ben Cartwright Portland Branch Winner of the Strudwick Shield
2nd Mick Morten Bridgwater Branch
3rd. Dennis Mathews Ferndown Branch Winner of the William Arthur Shield
4th. Mike Lawton Frome Branch Winner of the Jock Porteus Cup
5th. Lynwood Newman Weymouth Branch
Many thanks to all the Judges, adjudicators etc. The awards were presented by the Area Chairman Shipmate Ron Burdekin.
This was followed by a bun fight which was kindly laid on by our ladies and supporters during which a raffle was held, the proceeds going to the Bridgwater Sea Cadets.
by Shipmate Ben Cartwright
Portland Sea Cadets Prize Giving Evening ~ 22nd Feb 2018
Branch Officers and members were invited to attend the Prize Giving Evening at TS PENN Sea Cadet Unit on 22nd February 2018. The following Shipmates attended – President Ben Cartwright, Chairman Alex Oswald, Treasurer Peter Shoesmith, Dan Sherren and Joan Stevenson.
A Full Report by Shipmate Alex Oswald and images by Shipmate Pete Shoesmith may be found on the Portland Branch Website