News Event

Some images Link to Gallery 


RNRMC Volunteers Needed

RNRMC Poster

The The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity are looking for Volunteers. to find out more download the poster.
There is a volunteer meet and greet at HMS Drake on Wednesday 22nd February at 1330 to 1530 lots more details on the Poster.



Chard branch RNA (Valentine’s) Breakfast

Sunday 12th February 2023 saw the first ever Chard branch RNA (Valentine’s) Breakfast held at the Chard Cricket Club
It was well attended by 19 branch members and 7 guests comprising of 4 from the Chard Royal British Legion and 3 guests invited by members, which was great and as a result two future members have been recruited.
Success all round with our thanks going to our secretary Ian for organising and of course the excellent breakfasts produced by Claire and partner Ian of the Cricket club.
On the strength of this it is hoped to hold further breakfasts in the near future.




Images and write up
S/m Dick Moon



Chard branch Social Evening

The Chard branch were entertained during their latest social on Thursday 10th February when they were entertained by councilor Mr Alan Hall the vice chairman of West Monkton (Taunton) council and responsible for Country Parks.
Alan has been responsible for organising the many aspects of securing the necessary land/ground and planning in which to plant the wood. The land will consist of 23 acres in which 11,281 various native trees will be planted to match the number of names listed in the Somerset Book of honour kept in the transcript of Wells Cathedral for every man woman and child of Somerset killed during World War I.
Progress has been made to the point that permission has been granted to build a museum, cafe, observatory and indoor auditorium in order to view live images from the telescope.
A Memorial stone has been carved and fixed in honour of the Falklands conflict and it is hoped to permanently house the Poppy of Honour which contain Poppies all of which have the names,ranks and ages hand written on of all those lost on World War I.
The access to the site will be made to the public in June of this year.
A vote of thanks was given by S/m Dick Moon and the social was rounded off with a few sherbert’s !! all in all a great night was had.

Images and report by
S/m Dick Moon Chard social secretary




Falmouth Branch News Update

Shipmate Mick Stevens, representing the Falmouth Branch, shown fourth from the left, along with representatives of other Veterans Groups met with Shadow Armed Forces Minister Luke Pollard, Labour MP for Plymouth Devonport and shown first left. Wide ranging discussions included Labours vision for the future Armed Forces including Base Porting, what the Fleet might look like, veterans concerns, social prescribing and a range of other issues.

This was the first of a proposed series of meetings with local politicians, councillors and veterans groups



Falmouth RNA Cadet Of The Year

In one of his final acts before standing down after twenty years as Branch Chairman Shipmate Mick Stevens, Chairman of the Falmouth Branch, along with other Branch Members attended the awards evening at T.S Robert Hichens the Falmouth & Penryn Sea Cadet Unit.
Mick presented the RNA Cadet Of The Year Cup to Able Cadet Bunclark, who along with the trophy receives a bursary of £365 from Falmouth Branch members enabling her to undertake a weeks sea training on either T.S Royalist or the T.S Jack Petchey.
The photograph shows PO Fran Mitchell Commanding Officer T.S Robert Hichens, Able Cadet Bunclark and Shipmate Mick Stevens, the Awards Night is always a great evening and the Falmouth Branch are proud of their long association with the T.S Robert Hichens.



Time to step down after 36 years for S/M Mike (Jack) Frost

Chairman Ian Laurie presents S/M Michael Frost with his Certificate of Thanks.

No goodbyes were necessary – just a large vote of thanks , on Friday 3rd February when S/M Mike Frost, Vice Chair of Bodmin Branch stepped down.

Mike Frost joined the Branch in 1987, following his and wife’s S/M Isobel Frost’s return to live in Bodmin.  There for the following 36 years he remained a stalwart rock of the Branch as a member, Committee Member, Chair for 15 years and Vice Chair for 7 years. 

Mike represented the Branch at many Area and National meetings, ceremonies and memorials, the last being Remembrance Sunday in Bodmin in November 2022.

At almost 84 Mike, a former Chief Petty Officer Artificer, felt it was time to step back and allow others to fill his shoes. He does not say goodbye though, and will remain a member of the Branch, going forward.

Mike joined the Royal Navy in September 1955, leaving some 14 years later in April 1969 to emigrate to Australia – taking his family as £10 Poms!
He rejoined the Royal Navy in February 1972, eventually leaving for good in 1982 – a sum total of 24 years served.  Some ships that were graced with his presence were HMS Ark Royal (the BIG one!), HMS Forth, HMS Adamant (not the pop star) , HMS Blake, HMS Centaur, HMS Eagle, HMS Fisgard, HMS Sultan, HMS Fearless, HMS Kent.
His wife Shipmate Isobel Frost stood down as Social Secretary last year and was replaced this year by their daughter S/M Fiona Hawkey.  Their son S/M Peter Frost is the standard bearer for the Branch and their oldest daughter, another former CPO,  is the current Secretary.  They also have two son in laws involved in the Branch – one of whom is the Chairman, so it seems Shipmate Mike Frost has made sure that family will continue to support both the Branch and its ethos – into the future.

He was presented with a certificate of thanks from the Branch, by the Chair S/M Ian Laurie.
S/M Mike said “I have been proud to have been associated with Bodmin Branch RNA for so long, and feel the RNA is just a natural extension of our days in the RN and the camaraderie that we all share.  I am now looking forward to the RNA Area 4 Reunion in Bideford on 3rd March, where I can let my hair down and enjoy getting together with everyone from all around Area 4.”

Contact:  Annette Laurie PRO Area 4

Shipmate Raymond Barraclough MSM

To all Shipmates in Number 4 Area and beyond

I must express my grateful thanks for all the sympathy cards and kind words from so many.  Also, my grateful thanks to the Standard Bearers and other shipmates who attended Raymond’s funeral.
Raymond never wanted any fuss and would be overwhelmed by the response to his crossing the bar. Many names from his past as well as from the present.
The Royal Navy and subsequently the Royal Naval Association were his life, serving 33 years in the Royal Navy, over 40 years in the Bridport Branch of the RNA, 34 years as the Area 4 Treasurer and 30 years as the National Treasurer.  As his private secretary/Girl Friday, I can vouch for the time and effort he put into everything he undertook ensuring that all was correct and shipshape.
As he always said, no-one is indispensable but I appreciate he is going to be a hard act to follow.

Thank you all once again for all your support.
Yours aye


Falmouth Sea Sunday 2023

Falmouth Branch inform us that due to many commitments in the town there will be no Sea Sunday this year.
Carol Wright
Hon Sec Falmouth RNA

Chard branch introduction to Ark at Egwood and The WATCH project

Chard branch were entertained at their latest social evening by two former matelots who now help in the running of two very well respected charities in and around the Chard area.
ARK at Egwood
The Chair of RNA Chard Branch had the pleasure of introducing Nigel Bell and Jon Richards to the branch members to provide an interesting insight into Ark at Egwood Community Interest Company that has been set up to aid people within the community, including supporting veterans
Nigel and Jon worked together whilst serving in the Royal Navy (both leaving the Service as Chief Petty Officers within the Welfare Branch after 28 and nearly 24 years respectively) and now continue to work together under the umbrellas of two community interest companies ARK at Egwood and Chard WATCH CIC.
Nigel established ARK at Egwood in May of 2018. ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) is a land-based day facility at Egwood, near the village of Merriott in South Somerset. It is based on 12 acres of land and comprises of animals, horticulture and communal building, and offers a range of activities, experiences and support services to improve health, wellbeing and opportunities for all. ARK has been fortunate to have had a successful application to the National Lottery Community Fund to expand and improve access to mental health support services within Somerset.
Jon is now working for Chard WATCH CIC which is also a community interest company working with people in the community with mild to moderate mental health issues and social anxiety, so the close working connection is of benefit to both worthy organisations. ARK and WATCH are also excited to be working more closely in the future as they embark, through the funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, on employing two Project Managers who will be focussing on pooling of resources and working with partner agencies providing support to under-represented communities, such as Armed Forces Veterans.
Members voluntary donations raised £105 for the causes and members were suitably impressed in the shipmates presentation and ongoing camaraderie and banter which brought back memories to a few of us. All in all a great night and BZ to those helping us out.

Portland Branch Armistice Day

Members of Portland Branch mustered at the Portland Cenotaph to pay their respects to those who fell for their country.

Chard Trafalgar Night 2022

Chard Trafalgar Night 2022

Chard branch this year were able to hold their annual Trafalgar Night Dinner actually on the 21st October which felt quite poignant at the time.
30 members were entertained to a brilliant after dinner talk given by their secretary Ian Phillips at short notice due to unavailable outside speaker availability. Former Captain Ian Phillips gave a most entertaining, (almost off the cuff) recall of his naval service from lower deck entry rising through the ranks to reach wardroom entry.I was a surprise for many to hear of his service carried out in the various war zones that one would not imagine matelots to be involved in.

President S/M Malcolm Day

Also present at the dinner was the branch Patron Commodore and S/m David Pond and wife Lesley. David is heavily involved in support for Ukraine and has made many humanitarian visits to date. David is currently raising funds/medical equipment and boots for the cause and as a result the branch donated their evening raffle proceeds to David who thanked the members stating that the money would enable him to purchase boots for the cause.

S/M Secretary Ian Phillips, Mrs Alison Philips and Chair S/M Paula Moon

Sunday 23rd saw the attendance of members at St Thomas Church, Cricket St Thomas for the Trafalgar Day service, although lightly attended by members due to illness/covid the congregation filled the small church where an excellent service was given and those attending were then given coffee served by the vicar of the church.
Members met former matelots (one or two where were on ships crewed by our own members) in the congregation who were supporting their former vicar of East Coker now resident at St Thomas.
A great few days!!!



Chard Branch day at sea with HMS Somerset September 2022

An invitation was received from the Captain and crew of HMS Somerset to attend a day at sea with them on Thursday 1st September 2022.
The invitation was for three members of the branch to attend the ‘Affiliation day’ for those association/ clubs and businesses that are affiliated or associated with the ship.
Shipmates Malcolm Day (Chard President), Mike Kirkland (treasurer) and Sue Kirkland were selected to attend by branch members.

The trio had a brilliant day at sea starting with breakfast hosted by the Warrant Officer and Chief’s mess after which they put to sea on a
sunny calm day during which time they visited various parts of the ship and in their case escorted by a Petty Officer as can be seen in some
of the attached images. Those onboard were entertained to a helicopter fly past and a most enjoyable day was had.

It is hoped to maintain our association with the ship and hopefully be able to visit her again when she is alongside nearer to the Christmas
period hopefully. Dependent on her orders etc in the future it is hoped also to have members of the ship’s company to attend a future
event with the branch in Chard.

BZ to the Captain and crew we heartily thank you for the memorable day sea and the rekindling of memories of life at sea in the past..

Images contributed
Write up S/M Dick Moon

Chard Branch Social Evening

The branch members we entertained during their social evening on Thursday 11th August by former soldier Terry Williams when he was invited to give his account on the forming up and making of the Poppy of Honour which the branch attended when it was dedicated in Wincanton on a cold wet winters day.
Terry served in the army (rifles) and in this link was the guy who realised there was no memorial where all the names of those who died in WW1 were all together and took it on himself to rectify that omission.
He remains chairman of a group promoting the poppy and has guided it to completion.
Further information can be obtained by visiting the following site :-

by Shipmate Dick Moon

No 4 area RNA Life Vice President Shipmate  Mick Arnold MBE

ALVP Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE Guard of Honour

The funeral of Shipmate Mick Arnold took place on Friday August the 5th 2022 at Bournemouth Crematorium, approximately  130 mourners were in attendance in the chapel.

There was a very large contingent of no4 area officials and shipmates in attendance. the cortege was escorted by 10 standards 5 RNA led by No4 Area RNA Standard, and  5 from the Royal British Legion.

There was a Guard of Honour lining both sides of the avenue approaching the chapel which was superbly organised by Ferndown Branch RNA
The service relayed to the congregation highlighted the many organisations that Mick has contributed to over many years.

He was certainly a stalwart of No 4 Area RNA  and will be truly missed greatly by all Shipmates.
Rest in Peace Mick.

Shipmate Pete Shoesmith
Deputy Chairman No4 Area RNA


Chard Branch attend 40th Falkland anniversary events

Chard RNA Member at Falklands memorial Portsmouth

Chard branch saw one of it’s Shipmates attend the many 40th Falkland anniversary events held in Portsmouth and many other venues throughout the UK. He paraded the Fisgard Artificer Apprentices Association standard in recognition of those lost at sea on the various Royal Naval ships involved.
Other members were also involved in the attendance of tree planting in ‘The Somerset Wood’ outside of Taunton where a tree is being planted for each person lost in WWII from Somerset, the record of which is held in Wells Cathedral.
Events were rounded of when again Andy paraded the standard at the ‘Somerset Armed Forces Day’ in Taunton, which unfortunately, was poorly supported by serving matelots/Naval representatives, however a great although at times wet day was had. BZ all involved.

Pictue shows RNA President Vice Admiral Duncan Potts CB, Chard S/m Andy O Brien and RNA General Secretary Bill Olliphant.

Submitted by
S/m Dick Moon
Chard branch PRO

HMS Kent Visits Falmouth

HMS Kent alongside at Falmouth
Falmouth’s C/O with S/M Mick Stevens

Saturday 28 May 2022Falmouth Branch Chairman, S/M Mick Stevens accompanied by wife Clare enjoyed a visit onboard HMS Kent during her weekend visit to Falmouth

HMS Kent visit to Falmouth

On a bright sunny day we were made very welcome and enjoyed a ships tour more comprehensive than most. The CO expressed his thanks for the Falmouth RNA Pennant presented to the ship.
HMS Kent heads off now for OST, we wish them well.


Chard branch members introduced to Veterans with Dogs

Chard branch members listening in
Sm chair Paula introducing Bryan and his dog Ferris

The first social to be held at Chard since the introduction to the Nation of Covid was held on Thursday 12th May when they were entertained to an introduction of the activities of a small Charity based in Exeter who train and place dogs with former service men and women who are suffering with PTSD and would benefit from the dogs support abilities.

Veteran with Dogs volunteer Bryan Maddams and Ferris

Veterans with dogs Volunteer, Bryan Maddams, aided with his dog Ferris enlightened all members and RBL guests to a very informative talk and demonstration of the support their dogs can provide to their individual PTSD sufferers.

The talk was enjoyed by all present and their interest was evident on the number of
questions asked at the end of the presentation.

Images and report by
Sm Dick Moon



National Standard Bearers Competition

No 4 Area and Portland Branch Standard Bearer Adrian, aka Ben, entered the National Standard Bearers Competition on May 7th at HMS Collingwood.
Ben came a very creditable 5th out of 9 competitors, a sterling effort and Bravo Zulu for your efforts in carrying out the Duties of No 4 Area Standard Bearer, it is very much appreciated.
Image links to the National Gallery Standard Bearers Competition Photographs
S/M Pete Shoesmith
Deputy Chairman No 4 Area RNA


Chard Branch News May 2022

We have been absent since this dreaded Covid and kept our heads down, however as all is relaxed we are up and running once more and as you will see back with a vengeance although having had four members cross the bar in that time. Please bear with me as here I go..
Members from Chard branch have returned onto the circuit with some gusto.The week of 2nd to 8th May saw members attend HMS Sheffield memorial service in Sheffield, attendance at the County Class Destroyers Association reunion (First since 2019) and rounded off with members at the Poppy of Honour tree dedication in Somerset Wood, Taunton.
Our newest member Sm Andy O Brien and Sm wife Liz attended the Sheffield event as Andy paraded the Fisgard Artificer Apprentices Association Standard then again for the same reason at the dedication of the new HMS Sheffield (Shiny Sheffield) memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum.
No rest for the wicked as Andy then transferred to HMS Collingwood to attend the annual Standard Bearers Competition as a novice.
Following this he rushed back West to his home town of Taunton along with Sm Liz O Brien and Sm Mike Kirkwood to attend, with his standard to partake in the dedication of a tree planted in the Somerset Woods. The tree will be one of 11,281 planted to represent the 11,281 men and women killed from Somerset during the Great War and who are recorded in ‘The Somerset Book of Honour’ housed in Wells Cathedral.
During the weekend of 6-8th May a further two Shipmates Paula and Dick Moon attended the County Class Destroyers Association reunion (which had been put back since their last one in 2018) in the Queen’s Hotel Southsea during which time they were entertained along with other CCDA members to a Buffet lunch and Tots many on the Sunday hosted by Portsea RNA. All in all branch members represented the RNA as best they could coming from land locked Somerset.
Thursday 12th May will see the branch hold their first social event of the year when they are entertained to a talk covering Veterans with dogs a subject all are looking forward to with an invite having gone out to the Chard branch of The Royal British Legion members to attend if they so wish.
Images and report compiled by
Sm Dick Moon.


Portland Branch Annual Dinner

Portland Branch held their Annual Diner on April 23rd 2022 after an absence of three years due to Covid. An enjoyable evening was spent by 50 Branch members and the Guest of Honour Captain Bill Oliphant RN, General Secretary/CEO Royal Naval Association.
The attached photographs show the top table from left to right ,Sm Pete Shoesmith( Treasurer), S/m`s Lynn and Nige Rimell (Vice Chairman), S/m Karen Miller (Membership Secretary) and husband Dusty Miller (BranchChairman), Captain Bill Oliphant, S/m`s Monica and David White( No4 Area President). Second photo shows a framed photograph of The Isle of Portland inscribed with the event details being presented to Bill Oliphant.

St Nazaire 80th Anniversary Parade at Falmouth Sunday 3rd March 2022

The 80th commemoration of the St Nazaire raid was held in Falmouth on Sunday 3rd of March A selection of the many photographs from Sunday’s St Nazaire Parade can be found in the Area Gallery linked to the image here. The Falmouth Branch  from which many members attended the parade received many messages congratulating both the Town and the Falmouth Branch RNA on a great event.
Below in blue is the link to the release from the Royal Naval Press Office.

The photographs include those taken by the RN Photographic Section, Nub News Falmouth and Shipmate Russ Laye of the Falmouth Branch.

The gig in the photograph saluting with raised oars is Epic Energy crewed by military veterans and belonging to Epic Gigability, the Military Veterans Cornish Pilot Gig Club.


Fisguard Association Standard Dedication

It was a busy weekend in Portsmouth this weekend when 4 Chard members were involved and present in the Dedication of the Artificer Apprentices Fisguard Association Standard held in St Anne’s Church in the Portsmouth historic dockyard.
The standard bearer on the occasion was our very own member S/m Andy O Brien, being a former ‘Tiff:’ himself and the main organiser of the event.
The event was well supported with 30 plus members from as far a field North as Scotland.
On completion of the service all involved retired to the Maritime Club where warmth was restored via rum’s and Curry or Stew.
Well done Andy and all involved.

Story and images by S/m Dick Moon

HMS Portland visits Portland

On 7th November 2021 S/M President Ben, S/M Chairman Alex, S/M Treasurer Pete, S/M Secretary Christine and Vice Chairman S/M Nigel were invited on board HMS PORTLAND at Portland where we had coffee, stickies and a chat with the Commanding Officer, Commander Tim Leeder, alongside his Executive Officer and Executive Warrant Officer.
This was followed by a small ceremony of remembrance at the RN Cemetery, where a wreath was laid and some poignant poems were read out.
HMS Portland will not be able to be in Portland for Remembrance Sunday because of operational commitments, The Captain brought the ship in at the weekend so that they could pay their respects and lay a wreath at the Naval Cemetery, he then passed the wreath for Remembrance Sunday to the Portland RNA Chairman who will lay it at Portland Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday on their behalf.

Chard branch Trafalgar night and Trafalgar service 2021

Standards at Cricket St Thomas 2021
Shipmate Mike Kirkland (Treasurer) Shipmate Malcolm Day (President) and Shipmate Paula Moon (Chair)

A great time was had by all at our first Trafalgar Night dinner for two years due to the Coronavirus. The event took place at Hornsbury Mill with the evening being rounded off with our Chair, Shipmate Paula Moon, officially presenting the honour of being RNA Chard Branch President to Shipmate Malcolm (Happy) Day in recognition of his long service to the branch.
Shipmate Malcolm Day is now Chard Branch President and Standard Bearer along with being Area 4

Sm Malcolm day, Sm Sue Kirkland, Sm Mike Kirkland and Sm Andy O Brien.

Standard Bearer Training Officer and Ceremonial Advisor. Malcolm has served his Branch faithfully for the 34 years that it has been going and is a worthy recipient of the role of President having also served some 29 years as Chairman.
The Trafalgar celebrations were then concluded on the Sunday morning with members attending the annual

Trafalgar Church Service at St Thomas Church, Cricket St Thomas. We were proud and honoured to have Reverend Geoffrey Walsh, RNA Area 4 Chaplain at both the Trafalgar Dinner and church service and had the added bonus of having not only the RNA Chard Branch Standard but also the Fisguard Artificers Association Standard paraded by a new member to Chard Branch, Shipmate Andy O’Brien who is the official Fisguard Association Standard Bearer.
On conclusion of the service members dispersed promptly due to inclement weather so our usual photo opportunity showed only some of the church attendees.

Merchant Navy Day Civic Service

There was an excellent turn out for the Merchant Navy Day Civic Service at St George’s yesterday, Friday 3rd September.

Shipmate Alex Oswald
RNA Portland Branch


HMS Portland’s Rededication Ceremony 9th September 2021

Shipmates, some photos from HMS Portland’s Rededication Ceremony in HM Naval Base Devonport on Thursday 9th September. The Captain was pleased to receive the Portland Plate back onboard after four years absence.






Shipmate Alex Oswald
Chairman Portland Branch

Wedding at Chard Branch

It is with great pleasure after the past near two years of Covid  disruption that the branch has some GOOD news to share with all  Shipmates especially Area 4.
Chard Branch and long serving shipmate Treasurer Mike KIRLKAND wed his shipmate fiance Sue FISHER on Sunday 22nd August 2021 at Hornsbury Mill Chard. The event was well attended by family, friends and later by their shipmates from the branch.
The event had a surprise in store for the bride as Mike had planned to have a tour around the lanes of Chard in a horse and carriage which went down well with Sue and the congregation especially as the Sun shone for the ride out.
Congratulations to the couple may they have a long happy and memory filled life together.


PHOTOS Contributed
Write Up Chard S/m Dick Moon.

Portland Branch News

On Sunday July 4th 2021 Portland Branch RNA were invited to the unveiling of The HMS Foylebank Memorial that overlooks Portland Harbour where the Disaster took place.
Portland Branch Officials invited were S/M Alex Oswald, (Chairman), S/M Ben Cartwright, (Standard Bearer) and S/M Pete Shoesmith (,No4 Area Deputy Chairman.) The Memorial was Commissioned and Financed by the Royal Manor of Portland Court Leet, it was produced by Albion Stone Restoration Ltd, and it was unveiled by the Commanding Officer and a cadet from TS Penn, Portland Sea Cadets. Reverend Tim Gomm conducted the service.

Unfortunately due to Covid Restrictions it was a very limited assembly on a very blustery day, Typical Portland Weather!!

The Inscription on the Plaque reads


Whilst at anchor in Portland Harbour on 4 July 1940, HMS Foylebank suffered a devastating 8 minute attack by WW2 Stuka dive bombers. It is recorded there were 22 direct hits to the ship and from a total of 292 Officers and men aboard 72 lost their lives and many more were left severely wounded following the attack.
One of the crew, 23 year old Leading Seaman Jack Foreman Mantle, despite being hit early in the attack, stood fast at his post on the Starboard Pom-Pom gun. When the ship’s power failed Jack continued firing with great courage using hand gear only until he could do so no more, whereupon he collapsed and died.
Jack Foreman Mantle was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross (the first awarded inWW2) for his action in defending his ship whilst mortally wounded.
Jack with other shipmates is laid to rest at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on the lower slopes of the Island, overlooking Portland Harbour.

News from Falmouth Branch

Photograph L to R, Shipmate Brian Toney, Shipmate Sue Toney, Falmouth Town Mayor Steve Eva, Falmouth Branch Chairman Mick Stevens

On a sunny Friday afternoon Branch Chairman, Mick Stevens, along with representatives of other charities attended the Falmouth Town Mayors Presentation Afternoon.
The Branch received a donation from the Town Mayor in recognition of the Branch commitment to and activities organised in support of the Town Council throughout the pandemic.
Responding to the donation Branch Chairman said: “Falmouth RNA have as part of our core values, Unity, Loyalty, and Comradeship, these values have helped us to not only support those within our Branch but the wider community as well. Commemorations of those who have gone before should not cease in times of difficulty but should be adapted to suit the times, with the Town Councils help and support this we have done. We look forward with the rest of the community to better days.”

News from Falmouth Branch

Mick Stevens gives an update on the Branch activities with a couple of photos.
The first shows Shipmate Steve Eva, ex Submariner and current Mayor of Falmouth alongside Shipmate Mick Stevens, Chairman of the Falmouth Branch. Taken at a well attended, socially distanced, VJ75 Commemoration Service in Falmouth on a sunny August Day.

The second shows the Falmouth Branch House Flag flying from the Falmouth Town Council Municipal Buildings to commemorate Trafalgar Day on 21 October

Like all Branches within our Association the Falmouth Branch has strived to remain active, weekly online meetings, monthly online committee meetings, visiting the vulnerable Branch Members and assisting with shopping, forwarding magazines, Navy News etc. Some Shipmates meet weekly, socially distanced, with those who have been socially isolated since early March to provide that ‘human contact’ we all need.

The Chairman also produces a monthly Newsletter, this is e-mailed or posted out to every Shipmate, several other Branches, the Naval Regional Liaison Officer and the SW Regional Commander, Brigadier Jock Frazer, any other Branch wanting a copy please contact the Branch

Outside of these activities the Branch remains the pre-eminent ex Services Association in the area and as such takes the lead in assisting the Town Council with the organisation of Commemoration Services and other events. The Chairman has accepted invitations to a variety of events, including a ships visit to the brand new HMS Tamar whilst she was alongside in Falmouth, a truly impressive ship.

To our fellow Area 4 Branches, Stay Safe – Keep Well – See You In 2021

No 4 Area Reunion 2021

As you all are well aware of the many restrictions placed on us because of the (Covid-19) pandemic. Your No 4 Area committee have reluctantly decided to cancel the 2021 Area Reunion in Bideford planned for the 5/6/7th March 2021.  Therefor no notices or documentation will be sent out this year.

On the plus side we have provisionally booked the weekend of 4/5/6th  March 2022 at the Durrant Hotel, Bideford in the hope that we may hold a full unrestricted RNA reunion programme. We live in hope.

Please inform your branch membership of these decisions.


The Not Forgotten is seeking your support to find and thank our remaining World War 2 veterans, who have been denied their 75th anniversary celebrations by Covld-19.
While a sense of normality is returning for many, the harsh realities of the pandemic still exists for our veterans, who have been forced to spend VE and VJ Day at home. For our new centenary project, we will send up to 5,000 WW2 veterans a gift, to thank them for their service and the phenomenal generation they represent.
Your support will enable us to find as many World War 2 veterans as possible so that we can give them a bit of cheer at this extraordinary time, remind them their service remains valued, and that they are not forgotten. Any veteran of the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Merchant Navy who served during WW2 (1939 – 1945) and who lives in the UK is eligible to receive the gift box known as the Forgot You Not Box. This includes those who served in the Commonwealth Armed Forces in support of Britain ‘s war effort and now live in the UK.
The boxes will start to be sent out at the end of October and will contain a variety of specially produced commemorative gifts. The aim is to bring the veterans a bit of cheer and to thank them for all they gave. It will also be an appropriate way to acknowledge 100 years of support by The Not Forgotten to those who have suffered and served their nation.
To register for the gift the veteran, or authorised member of their family or carer needs to send us the following information:
Full name (first name, surname and maiden name if appropriate) & Date of Birth Service number & Military details – Arm/Unit of service and dates if known Full postal address & Telephone number
Details of individual/organisation providing this data if not the veteran.
Details can be submitted online at
(which will go live on the 15 September 2020) or sent to
This information will not be shared and will be deleted once the project is complete.

From Brigadier James Stopford CBE
Chief Executive
via Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE

Merchant  Navy Day on Portland

There is a report of the service held on the 3rd September 2020 on the Portland Branch website Click Here

Shipmate Norman Cosford Bn 22.08. 1920

Today I had the privilege and pleasure, along with my husband, Shipmate Dick Moon, of meeting RNA Chard Branch’s oldest, long-term, member.
Norman Cosford joined the group of centenarians on this day.  It was such a delight to meet Norman and talk to him.  Although his eyesight and hearing is a problem, his mind is fully active and has a full and strong recollection of his time of service in the Royal Navy.  His sense of humour has also not left him when talking of his younger years as a young matelot.
Norman served during World War II and fought in some very difficult campaigns.  I was so pleased to have heard only recently that Norman had received two medals from the Russian Embassy for his time of service with the Russian convoys.  A much deserved accolade to a very modest and highly deserving recipient.  His World War II service ended with Norman being at Omaha Breach on D-Day.
To help recognise and celebrate his 100th birthday Norman received the best wishes from HM The Queen on becoming a centenarian, a letter of congratulations from the President of Area 4 RNA (Shipmate David White), as well as the patron of RNA Chard Branch (Commodore David Pond) and obviously best wishes sent from his fellow shipmates within Chard Branch, together with a bottle of his favourite Famous Grouse and Crabbie Ginger Wine to enable him to have a few Whiskey Macs from his fellow Chard members.  A cake was also provided (I understand heavily laced with whisky), which was made and iced by a Chard Branch Associate Member (Jude Holman) who is the wife of a full member.
S/m and Chard Branch Chair Paula Moon.
Photo of S/m Norman supplied by his family
Other photo submitted by S/m Dick Moon.

Chard branch Patron Commodore David Pond

Weymouth & Portland Veterans Hub Letter of Thanks for  Area Charity Chest donation

Dear Mick,
This letter is an acknowledgement and thanks for the incredibly generous amount of £1.800 raised by the Royal Naval Association.
The difference that this has made to our project can’t be overstated. The donation will help us to continue to support over 200 veterans and their families at this extremely difficult time for an of us.
Our cafe/Hub is the heart of this project and is run by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.
In addition to this we have a large therapeutic area that comprises raised allotments, an indoor gym, sensory garden and a reading/therapy room. These services remain free at point of entry for service users and is a purpose-built asset designed to promote positive physical and mental health. All of this has been made possible through hard work, fundraising and the goodwill of the local community and businesses and although we’ve had to adapt over the last few months, we have remained open and continue to offer services.

We are a non-profit organisation with 60% of our food and drink products being heavily discounted or free to people that come through our door as part of our ongoing effort to reduce social isolation throughout our community. In addition to this over the last few months we’ve been cooking and delivering hot meals for those shielding or in extreme poverty twice a week in partnership with the local Sikh community and also delivering food parcels to those most effected by Lock Down. Donations like yours will help us keep supporting our veterans and their families.
Our project is also used by several external organisations for essential and ongoing support for their service users. These organisations and charities include: The Royal British legion, SSAFA, independent financial advisers and Healing Hands. We are also supported by the NHS Armed Forces Community Health & Well-being Team and work closely with the Police & Crime Commission, Dorset Police and Paramedic services to reduce the risk of re-offending and selfharm among this community.

In short, your money has made a true difference to a community that is often forgotten about once their military service is complete and has helped them to feel part of something again.
Kind Regards,

Black Tot Day 50th Anniversary Friday 31st July 2020

The Royal Naval Association together with the Royal Naval & Royal Marines Charity are hosting  a Black Tot 50th event. The RNRMC have done much of the digital work on the event and so are hosting the information page on their website
Shipmates, who would have thought when ‘up spirits’ was piped at 1130 (standfast the holy ghost) on the 31st July 1970 the Admiralty in their wisdom would bring to an end one of the oldest and finest traditions in the Royal Navy, and that day would be forever engraved in our hearts as ‘BLACK TOT DAY
So ‘Team RNA’, a call to you all, this 50th Anniversary year, 2020 to recreate that day, by raising a ‘tot’ at 1200 31st July and think of those words ‘Sippers’ ‘Gulpers’ and ‘Sandy bottoms’ and of course toast ”To the Queen God bless her”
All those in favour say ‘AYE’

Royal Naval Association No4 Area Charity Chest donation to Weymouth & Portland veterans hub

Charity Chest Presentation group

Portland Branch RNA were delighted to have had their nomination for the Weymouth & Portland Veterans Hub to be the main beneficiary from the 2020 Area Reunion Rally Charity Chest accepted by the Branches in No4 Area.
The nomination was instigated by S/M Charles H Thompson, No4  Area Life Vice President and member of Portland Branch who sadly crossed the bar recently and was not able to witness his efforts rewarded.
The Branch are eternally grateful to the 2020 reunion committee for their efforts in organising the weekend event and managing to raise the substantial sum of money that was distributed to various parties, mainly due to the generosity of Shipmates attending and supporting the fund raising raffles etc The £1800 cheque was presented to Lisa Rushby Co-Director of Weymouth & Portland Veterans Hub by S/M Alex Oswald, Chairman Portland Branch. 
Also in attendance were No4 Area President S/M David White MBE MSM, No4 Area Deputy Chairman Peter Shoesmith and No4 Area Standard Bearer S/M Ben Cartwright parading the Area Standard, and Andy Price , Co- Director of the Hub.
The photograph shows the presentation group

Visit to 40 Commando Royal Marines

Responding to an invite by the Commanding Officer of 40 Commando Royal Marines two members from Chard and two members from Bridgwater RNA attended Norton Manor Camp Taunton for a forenoon of activities complimented with a Curry luncheon in the senior officers mess.
Some 60-70 former service people answers the invite and attended for a forenoon of activities of shooting and a stance of use of a drone, the latter being flown by a young marine but guided by an oldie using a map!! Both activities were taking in great spirit and proved an enjoyable exercise.
On completion lunch was taken in the senior rates mess, a most enjoyable curry it was to.
To round of the day a group photo was taken and followed up with a presentation of prizes to the best shot, best team using the drone and overall plaque to a wheelchair bound former army gunner.
It was a most enjoyable forenoon amongst a great bunch of veterans and the young marines assisting them. Thank you to the most professional staff. We wish you all the very best for the future.

Images which can be seen in The Gallery are
IMG 1038e Bridgwater Sm Jean Glendenning

IMG 0142e Sm Jean Glendenning
IMG 1052e Bridgwater Chairman Sm Mike Glendenning
IMG 1058e Chard Chairman Sm Paula Moon

Chard Branch at Reunion 2020

Eight members of Chard Branch of the association enjoyed their weekend away at the Area 4 reunion 2020.
The weather was reasonable and time on Saturday was spent visiting Barnstable and Bideford.
The concert after the short church service on the Sunday saw their shipmate Malcolm Day come away with the rose bowl for outstanding solo performance after he gave a performance of 3 songs by well known crooners.
Guest speaker on the occasion was Rear Admiral Will
Warrender CBE Flag Officer Sea Training who gave a speech covering his involvement as FOST and informing those present of the future role of the service to come.
For those having never been to a reunion may I say that you would enjoy the weekend amongst so many like minded do think about partaking next March which is always the first full weekend in March.

Images which can be seen in The Gallery are
0930e Sm’s Paul Moon, Sue Fisher, Daisy Pannells and Helen Day
0933e Sm’s Dick Moon, Mike Kirkland, Gary Pennells and Malcolm Day.
0947e Rear Admiral Will Warrender CBE
0980e Top l- R Sm Paula Moon, Dick Moon
Sue Fisher, Mike Kirkland
Daisy Pennells, Gary Pennells
Helen Day, Malmolm Day.
0986e Sm Malcolm Day performing his numbers.
0990e Sm’s Mike, Malcolm Day and Ron Burdekin.

Photos and nominal write up Sm Dick Moon, Chard Branch

The Jacqui Ward Memorial Trophy

Rear Admiral Will Warrender CBE RN Shipmate Pam Oswald Vice Chairman Shipmate Pete Shoesmith
Rear Admiral Will Warrender CBE RN Shipmates Pam and Alex Oswald

Branch Members attended the 45th Annual Reunion at Bideford 6-9 March. What a great weekend, with good food, good company and lots of joviality!
During a very enjoyable Dinner & Dance, Portland Shipmate Pam Oswald was surprised and delighted to learn that she had been awarded the Jacqui Ward Memorial Trophy.
This trophy is awarded annually to the Lady Member of No 4 Area who has contributed most to the Aims & Objectives of The Royal Naval Association. The presentation was made by Rear Admiral Will Warrender CBE RN. The Rear Admiral and his wife Jo were Guests of Honour at the Dinner.
Later in the evening he was happy to have another photograph taken with Pam and her husband Alex Chairman Portland Branch.


Portland Sea Cadets presentation night

Thanks Portland webmaster

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

Alan Cox
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 Branch


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

JKA Parnell plate donation

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

Portland Branch Annual Dinner 2019

Table Decoration
Top Table Guests

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

David George Monica Dennis

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

It was with great pleasure that the Chard Press officer Sm Dick Moon was able to give a potted history of one of the Royal Naval characters of the 20th Century Able Seaman William Parker BEM.

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

Presentation of the Jacqui Ward Trophy

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.

BZ Jill

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.

Once all competitors had completed their ‘runs’ the scores were totted up and scrutinised. The results being;

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.

Petty Officer A. Harada, Imperial Japanese Navy

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

RN Presentation Team at Chard

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
Chard PRO

Area Secretary Retires

Area President David White MBE Jean and Mick Arnold MBE and Area Chairman Ron Burdekin

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

Pictured is Chairman Mick Stevens (left) presenting the award to Shipmate Wilf Smith

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

Shipmate Paula Moon

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

Shipmates meet in Lanzarote          Peter,Barbara seated Chris & Pauline

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

Supplied by Shipmate Arthur Gutteridge BEM


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

Sm Karen Ward with escort ‘Elfie’ Sm David Asprey

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

Photographs of the events listed below can be found in the Gallery

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

Mick Stevens
Falmouth Branch

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.

More details can be found here

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

BBC Events

Chard Branch Trafalgar Activities 2018

L _ R S/m David Pond (CEO GBWR), S/m Chairman Malcolm day, S/m President Roy Lovell.

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

Sm Paula Moon, Sm Daisy Pennells, Sm Gary Pennells, Sm Malcolm Day and Sm Mike Kirkland

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.
Report by
S/m Dick Moon
Press officer Chard RNA

Chard members visit to Year of the Engineer HMS Raleigh 28th September 2018

L – R S/m Dick Moon, S/m Paula Moon, S/m Daisy Pennells. S/m Gary Pennells, S/m David Asprey, S/m Malcolm Day and Sm Roy Lovell

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

Portland Merchant Navy Day 2018

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.

Alex Oswald
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

L – R Sm David Asprey, Sm Paula Moon, Sm
Rosemary Parker and Sm Ken Parker 
Images by Sm Dick Moon.

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 RNA

Chard Branch annual skittle match at the Gough’s Hotel

L – R Sm Chris Truscott men’s
winner, Sm Paula Moon ladies winner,
and overall winner guest James

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
Tracey Parkes

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

Members of the branch with their standard
The church also seems to have trouble recruiting

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

Sm Paula Moon, Sm Dick Moon, Sm Rosemary Parker, Cdr T Berry RN, Sm Ken Parker

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.

Submitted by
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
Falmouth Branch
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.

Normandy Memorial

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 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.

Andy Christie
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