Some images Link to Gallery
Christchurch and District Branch Standard Dedication
The Chairman & S/M’s of the Christchurch and District Branch Royal Naval Association invite Area 4 Committee officers, Standards & Shipmates to the dedication of our new Standard. On Saturday 30th May 2020 11:00 at Christchurch Priory, Christchurch BH23 1BU
A Reception after service will be held at RBL Christchurch 61-63 Bargates, Christchurch BH23 1QE
Contact S/M Rick Squibb MSM
Nominated for 2020 Charity Donation
At the Area General meeting in January the ‘Weymouth & Portland Veteran’s Hub’ was nominated by Portland Branch as a worthy recipient of funds generated by the No 4 Area reunion 2020.
Note: This is the only charity to have been nominated for support this year.
Additional information provided by S/m Pete Shoesmith of Portland Branch can be found here
No 4 Area Hon Sec
Beer Memorial Avenue
The Official Opening of the Beer Memorial Avenue will be on the 23rd April 2020. Members of the Royal Naval Association along with Standards have been invited to attend.
Follow the link below for full details
Beer Memorial Avenue Full Details Here
Government fulfils promise to veterans with new railcard
Veterans to get reduced price train travel with a new railcard.
See Government announcement here
Dont rush though it isn’t available until until Armistice Day this year.
Netherlands Plate Presentation
On Friday 9 August Area President, Shipmate David White, accompanied by his wife attended a presentation to the Mayor of Falmouth in the Falmouth Town Council chambers.
In front of Shipmates from the Falmouth, St Austell and Helston Branches the Area President gave a history of the Netherlands Plate from its presentation by the Netherlands Government in 1994 up to the present. The Plate was accepted on behalf of Falmouth Town by the Mayor of Falmouth, Shipmate Steve Eva, former Submariner and a member of the Falmouth Branch. During his acceptance speech Steve confirmed that the plate would be displayed within the Council Chambers and therefore be available for members of the public to see and any visiting RNA Shipmates were welcome to view it and the collection of RN/RFA memorabilia held by the Town Council.
Following the presentation the Mayor offered all those present a tot and the opportunity to view the Town Councils collection of maritime presentations and artefacts.
by Mick Stevens
Falmouth Shipmate elected Town Mayor
The Falmouth Branch, the Royal Naval Association, finished a busy week which included the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant by the Town Council and the presentation of the JKA Parnell Plate to the Town Council with having two of its Shipmates elected as Mayor and Mayoress of Falmouth.
Former submariner Shipmate Steve Eva was elected as Mayor for a two year term and will be assisted by his wife and Mayoress, Shipmate Vicky Eva. The Branch wishes them every success for the future.
Mary & Mike Hannen Trophy 2019
The Mary and Mike Hannen Trophy was donated by ALVP Charles H Thompson BEM MSM and presented annually to the branch in No4 Area RNA with the most improved Full Member membership numbers over the previous year.
The 2019 winner was South Bristol Branch and Charles H had the honour of presenting the trophy to S/M Adrian Andrews, Chairman of South Bristol Branch at the Area Meeting hosted by Bodmin branch on May 18th 2019.
Report and photograph by S/M Pete Shoesmith ( No4 Area Deputy Chairman and Acting Local Photographer).
JKA Parnell Plate
Some years ago the Falmouth Branch was contacted by an antiques dealer stating that he had a silver tray commemorating the death of a Falmouth Royal Naval Rating in WWII, if no one was interested in purchasing it then it would be ‘disposed’ of to recover the silver content.
The plate commemorates the death of John Kenneth Ainsworth Parnell a Telegraphist; Service number D/JX 194166; Killed In Action on 16 June 1942 at the sinking of HMS Hermoine.
The Falmouth Branch voted unanimously to purchase the plate and preserve it but with no premises of their own to display the four inch diameter plate inside its display case the plate was carried to and from Branch Meetings by Shipmate Mick Stevens. However at a recent monthly meeting the Branch took the decision to donate the plate to Falmouth Town Council where it will be permanently displayed.
It was handed over in a short ceremony following Falmouth Town Councils signing of the Armed Forces Covenant on Wednesday 15 May 2019, the photograph shows Falmouth Town Mayor Grenville Chappell (ex Ganges Boy) receiving the plate from Shipmate Mick Stevens, Chairman of the Falmouth Branch
On April 27th 2019 Portland Branch held their Annual Dinner at the Masonic Hall, Victoria Square, Portland. Honoured Guests were recently retired No4 Area Secretary, and now Area Life Vice President Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE and his wife Jean.
The event was very well attended, the food and entertainment was excellent, and thanks must go once again to the Social Sec. Shipmate Dave Prowse. ‘Hands to Dinner’ was piped by Able Cadet George from TS Penn SCC.
After the dinner Shipmate Mick Arnold was presented with a framed photograph of an aerial view of Portland, along with a £50 donation for the Not Forgotten Association. His wife Jean was presented with a bouquet of flowers.
Dorchester Celebrate Anniversary
Saturday 27th April 2019 Dorchester RNA celebrated its 20th anniversary with a lunch at the Junction Hotel. David White and Monica attended. David presented George Osborne with his President badge of office and a decanter and bottle of Pussers. Dennis Matthews chairman presented a new award, Chairman’s Shipmate of the year award, this also went to George Osborne for all the outstanding work he has done for the branch while he was chairman for the last 20 years.
Able Seaman William ‘George’ Parker BEM
A talk given on Thursday 11th April 2019 to Chard Branch RNA
Sm Dick started out by stating that he had been drawn into the story one evening when Kenneth Parker and his wife Rosemary attended one of the branches socials with the intention of joining as honorary members having just moved into the area.
Ken had informed Dick that his father was known as the longest serving Able Seaman having served over 40 years as an able seaman and that due to his sea service Ken was seven years old when he first met his Father. This information inspired Dick to research further and was able to come up with some very interesting facts on William (some of which were not known to the family until divulged by Dick on the night of the social).
Here is a precise of the information shared:-
William Parker BEM Bn 16.11.1901 was always known as ‘George Parker’ due to his resemblance to King George V.
George joined the Navy as a Bugler in 1918 when he was 16yrs years of age He saw no action in WWI but was left in no doubt of the sacrifices it demanded. He served on many ships before leaving the service after 43 years in 1961.
In 1919 whilst on HMS Emperor of India evacuating Russia troops from Novorossik to Theodosia. George assisted the surgeon in delivering twins born to a woman onboard. He was also involved in the reburying of the dead of Gallipoli campaign four year after the fighting. On HMS Tempest he was involved in bringing home the dead of the fated R101 airship disaster. As a gunner in the Mediterranean notably in Tobruk he allegedly shot down more than a dozen enemy aircraft.
It is alleged that Lord Louis Mountbatten when CinC Mediterranean , gave him permission to mount his own emblem to the mast in view of his long service this consisted of a ballcock with a spike welded to it and allegedly gold leaf covered.
One boy sailor who served with William recalls’ Just prior to The Kuwait Crisis we assembled with various other NATO warships in Naples for a review by the American CinC South in June 1961. He came onboard Camperdown to inspect divisions and was introduced to William resplendent in best suit and medals. One of Williams medals was, as I recall, from a foreign power, possibly Greece, which had a very yellow ribbon. The Admiral asked William about it, what did he get it for etc only to be told by William that he got it ‘for making custard under fire Sir’
William left the navy in 1961 and settled back in Bracknell
In 1975 he was admitted to Royal Naval benevolent Trust Home, Pembroke House Gillingham Kent. He was visited there by Admiral Mountbatten in full uniform and shortly after that the Admiral was assassinated by the IRA. Parker Crossed the bar on February 1981 aged 79 years and two months.
To sum up Sm Dick Moon quoted that ‘William was the longest serving Able Seaman in the Royal Navy in the 20th Century totalling 38 years of his 43 years service’.
Members of the Parker family present consisted of Son Sm Kenneth daughter in law Sm Rosemary, grandson and grand daughter and her husband.
Images and write up submitted by
Sm Dick Moon Chard Press officer.
Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE
Shipmate Alan Cox has received a letter from Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE which has been published here. Just click the link below to view or download
Letter from Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE
Presentation The Jacqui Ward trophy 2019
The Jacqui Ward trophy was donated by Delabole branch in memory of Shipmate Jacqui Ward, a former Member of that Branch. The trophy is awarded annually to any lady member of the Area who has done the most to further the aims and interests of the R.N.A. during the past year. The successful nominee is selected jointly by Shipmate Pete Shoesmith Deputy Chairman No4 Area and Area Life Vice President Chris Hore BEM of the Delabole branch.
This year the trophy was awarded to Shipmate Jill Clements of the Street branch. Jill is the backbone of her branch, organising branch meetings, social activities, Trafalgar nights, days out and weekends away, all of which are carried out with true professionalism. She carries out these duties whilst caring for her 92 year old husband ,who is the oldest member of her branch.
The photograph shows the trophy being presented by the General Secretary of the Royal Naval Association Captain Bill Oliphant RN to Shipmate Betty Page of the Street branch who received the trophy from Captain Bill on Jill`s behalf. Unfortunately Jill was unable to attend the presentation, due to her husbands health issues.
Area Standard Bearers Competition 2019
Having travelled to Bridgwater for the previous three Sundays for the training and practice sessions under the mentoring of the Area Ceremonial Officer Malcom Day the Competition for the Open and Closed Competitions took place on Sunday 24th February 2019 at the Sea Cadets Headquarters at Bridgwater.
Unfortunately, this year there were only four competitors but the competition was very tightly fought for. It was good to welcome Jerry Fleming from Liskeard Branch who joined us for a practice session and then took part in his first competition. It would be super if more branches from the Area attended. 15 years ago it was fought out between 15+ Branches. I would ask all Chairs and their Committees to consider backing their Standard Bearer and/or his/her Deputy should they wish to attend.
Firstly, the three judges, Charles H, Tony Seal and Joy Haskins (a former winner herself in 2003) inspected the Competitors and points were awarded for the smartness and cleanliness of their dress and personal kit and on the condition and cleanliness of their Standards.
After a short break the competitors carried out a set routine of drills (as laid down in the Guide to Ceremonial) to prove their skills in marching at both the quick and slow times, and in the controlling of the Standard during the drill movements. Marks being awarded by the judges after each stage.
1st place and Area Standard Bearer S/M Ben Cartwright, Portland Branch
2nd .place and Deputy Area Standard Bearer S/M Mike Morton Bridgwater Branch
3rd place S/M Dennis Mathews Dorchester Branch
4th place S/M Jerry Fleming Liskeard Branch
The cups were presented by the Area Chairman, Ron Burdekin
The day concluded with a light finger buffet and beverages provided by ourselves. A draw was held with the proceeds being donated to Bridgwater Sea Cadets for the use of their building.
At 1315 on February 15th 2019 nine members of the Portland Branch with two members of the Weymouth Branch of the Royal Naval Association and two members of the Merchant Navy Association joined with members of the public to pay their respects to Petty Officer Asayoshi Harada of the Imperial Japanese Navy who was interned, with full military honours, in the Naval Cemetery on Portland exactly 100 years ago.
It was initiated by Jed Grant who with his father has regularly visited the Cemetery. He knew of the headstone and wished to inform any surviving members of Asayoshi’s family that his last resting place was still being well tended. After much research he discovered that PO Harada had fallen overboard from his ship while it was in Portland port; his body being recovered from the sea several months later. To discover more information Jed contacted the Japanese Embassy who assisted to trace Asayoshi’s descendants.
After fitting tributes were spoken by Jed Grant and Commander Holroyd RN the gathering lowered their heads in silent tribute whilst a personal wreath was laid by Jed Grant, followed by wreaths on behalf of the Japanese Nation by Captain Toshihide Noma Japan Maritime Self Defence Force and on behalf of the Royal Navy by Commander Jon Holroyd RN.
Valentines Day entertainment at Chard RNA
Valentines Day evening entertainment for Chard Branch saw 22 members entertained by the RN Presentation Team when they attended the branch’s first social event of the year. The team of three were welcomed by the Branch Chairman S/m Paula Moon who on welcoming the team handed over to Commander Simon Rogers to introduce his team. .
The team gave an excellent, professional and in-depth vision of the current day Royal Navy and all three members of the team were excellent in delivering their pre-prepared presentation and providing ad-hoc responses to the many questions raised by their veterans and associate members of the Branch.
All in all a very entertaining and informative evening well worth booking a visit from them for other branches who tend to hold social evenings.
Sm Dick Moon
Area Secretary Retires
Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE retired at the Area AGM at Plymouth on 19th January 2019. Mick stood down having completed 20 years as the Area Secretary. He was presented with a statuette of the figure of the sailor at the Naval Service Memorial, in recognition of his service to the Area.
Photos by Shipmate John Whitman
Axminster Branch ~ Lay Up Branch Standard
On Sunday 27th January 2019 No4 Area officials, Shipmates Charles H Thompson (Area Life Vice President), David White (President), Pete Shoesmith (Deputy Chairman) Malcom Day ( Ceremonial Officer) and Ben Cartwright (Standard Bearer), along with over thirty Shipmates from around the Area attended the ceremony of the laying-up of the Axminster Branch Standard at the Parish Church of St John the Baptist in Membury. Joining Shipmates of the Axminster Branch for this sad occasion.
It was held at the village church of St John the Baptist and was conducted by the Reverend Geoff Walsh, No4 Area Chaplain, with David White reading a lesson.
During his address the Chaplain gave us an insight to the 3 former naval personnel laid to rest within the church grounds
Bill Sheppard, Branch Chairman and Secretary, carried the Standard and it was delivered up at the altar rail with due reverence to the Chaplain who laid it upon the Altar.
During the singing of the hymn “The Day Thou Gavest Lord is ending”, better known as the Evening Hymn, the Standard was returned to Bill Sheppard and was carried to its final resting place after which the bugler then sounded “Sunset”.
There were about 25 Shipmates present from 5 local Branches plus all the Members of Axminster Branch. On completion we retired to the rear of the Church where we were treated to tea and stickie buns prepared by the Branch Ladies. Axminster Branch invited all those who attended to join them in a tot, at the font, giving the Church Warden a mini fit.
Falmouth Chairman re-elected
On Tuesday 22 January the Falmouth Branch held its AGM followed by the January Branch Meeting. There were twenty-five Shipmates in attendance. The meeting opened with a statement from Branch President, Commodore (rtd) Tony Hogg AFC, Tony stated his pride and commitment to the Branch and praised its work within the community. Shipmate Chairman Mick Stevens in his report commented on how most organisations were struggling to maintain numbers in the face of rising costs but that the Branch membership remained at a healthy fifty. In the elections that followed Shipmate Mick Stevens was elected for a further two year term with Shipmates Brian Toney MBE, Sue Toney, and Valerie Hewson being elected onto the committee.
The AGM finished with the Chairmans Annual Shipmate of the Year award, an engraved, rum filled, hip flask
New Chard Chairman appointed at their AGM
At the recent AGM the Chard Branch Chairmanship was up for renewal as Shipmate Malcolm Day stood down after his two year tenure came to an end.
Stepping up to take the role Shipmate Paula Moon once again offered her support in the role and was unanimously voted in.
Sm Malcolm will continue as the Branch Standard Bearer and Area 4 Ceremonial Adviser with Sm Joss (Josslyn) offering to be his Deputy Branch Standard Bearer, training taking part in February.
Both the AGM and the general meeting went very well and the branch look forward to their first social of the year on Valentines Day when they hope to be entertained by the RN Presentation Team giving its members an up-to-date view of the Royal Navy (could be a shock for all the ‘old sea salts’). Later in the year there will be a weekend away for a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum and Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick with other social events still to be planned.
The first occasion to be attended by some of Chard Branch members will be the very sad occasion of the laying up of the Axminster RNA Standard at Membury Baptist Church on Sunday 27th January 2019 on the closing of their Branch. Chard Branch wish all the members well for the future and would welcome any of its members to our Branch should they wish to join us.
Area Meeting Lanzarote
Whilst on their Christmas cruise Area Deputy Chairman Shipmate Peter Shoesmith and his partner Barbara called at Lanzarote on Saturday 29th December for the day. The opportunity was taken while there to call and see Area Webmaster ALVP Chris Hore and his wife Pauline. A couple of wets were enjoyed over lunch and many topics discussed. A very good time was had before the good ship Columbus departed in the early evening for Maderia.
Plymouth Branch Christmas Thrash
George Hinkley VC RN Memorial Service
Paul Combellack travelled from Weymouth to pay respect to great, great, great Grand-father George Hinkley VC at the Memorial Service recently held in Ford Park Cemetery.
Along with family they were delighted with the attendance at the annual Royal Naval Association promotion, well supported by representatives of the Plymouth and District Federation of ex-Service Associations.
Association Standards representing the RNA, HMS Ganges, Submariner’s, Merchant Seafarers, Royal Fleet Auxiliary Associations, RAF Police, Royal Army Service Corps, RAF Association, RBL Ivybridge and the Military Kids Choir greatly enhanced this special occasion.
The Service conducted by the RNA Branch Chaplain Reverend Martin Kirkbride took place in the Victorian Chapel followed by a short service at the Grave where wreaths were laid by descendant Paul, Branch and Federation.
A smile was brought to those at the Grave when the family Dog Elmer sat smartly to attention when the Last Post was played.
On completion of Ceremony all retired to the visitor Centre to enjoy refreshments and a splendid Buffet supplied by Viv Warne, her team of dedicated volunteers at Ford Park and Andrew Smith, great, great Grandson.
Report and photographs supplied by
Shipmate Arthur Gutteridge BEM
Chard Branch Christmas Dinner 2018
Thirty members of the branch held their Christmas 2018 dinner in the Hornsbury Mill last evening.Members enjoyed the hilarity of ‘Elfie’ (Sm Dave Asprey) the escort of the resident Blonde shipmate of the branch Sm Karen Ward.
Every member was lucky enough to win on the raffle which was well run by Sm’s Helen Day, Sherylin James, Rosemary Parker and Ella.
Thanks for the evening were voiced to both Sm Helen Day and husband Sm Malcolm Day for organising the event.
Thanks also go out the staff of the Mill for the prompt service by all members.
This rounds off the very busy social calendar of year for the branch members of whom are looking forward to next years events starting off in January with the AGM on 10th.
Images and report supplied by
S/m Dick Moon Chard press officer.
Nominations for Jacqui Ward Trophy and Vic Cornwell Trophy
Nominations are being sought for these two annual trophies
CORNWELL TROPHY. This was presented by the BODMIN BRANCH, in memory of S/m Vic Cornwell, a former Secretary of that Branch, also a Delegate to No 4 Area. This is presented to the Male Associate Member who has done the most to further the aims and interests of the R.N.A. during the past year. Each year Nominations are asked for, in time for a decision to be made which enables the award to be presented at the Annual Reunion. These are sent to BODMIN Branch, who give the recommendation.
Please contact Shipmate Mike Frost Bodmin Branch
JACQUI WARD MEMORIAL TROPHY. Presented by S/m Chris Hore on behalf of the DELABOLE Branch at the Liskeard Meeting held on 12th January 1991. In memory of S/m Jacqui Ward, a former Member of that Branch. She held the post of Social Secretary she was an enthusiastic worker for the R.N.A. The Trophy is awarded to any Lady member of the Area who has done the most to further the aims and interests of the R.N.A. during the past year. Nominations will be asked for, in time for a decision to be made which enables the
award to be presented at the Annual Reunion.
Please contact Shipmate Peter Shoesmith at the Portland branch
Falmouth Branch recent events
Chairman Mick Stevens at the Royal Navy Engineering Day at HMS Raleigh in front of the Fisgard Gates he repaired in 1996
Engineering Veterans marching past at the Royal Navy Engineering Day at HMS Raleigh
The Falmouth Branch Trafalgar Night Dinner, 60 attended, Guest Speaker Captain Mike Nixon OBE
The Falmouth Branch Trafalgar Night Dinner, Tot Time
Silhouette Soldiers in Falmouth Garden Of Remembrance with the explanation sheet manufactured and supplied by Falmouth Branch
The Chairman collecting for the Poppy Appeal
Falmouth Remembrance Parade – organised by the Falmouth Branch the Royal Naval association, on behalf of Falmouth Town Council
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