Crossing the Bar 

Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,

   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.

   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;

   For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.

Alfred Lord Tennyson


Area Life President Shipmate Charles H Thompson BEM MSM

Rest in peace Charles

It is with deep sadness that I have to inform Shipmates of the passing of Area Life President Shipmate Charles H Thompson BEM MSM.

The funeral was on Thursday (14th) at 1200 in Weymouth crematorium. Twenty members of Portland Branch bade a fitting farewell to Charles H on Thursday, we could not  go inside the crematorium gates but we lined up in the street outside, with the Area  and Branch Standards leading the hearse up to the Chapel entrance where they dipped in salute, that is as far as they could go.

Shipmate Charles Crost the Bar in the Morning of Tuesday 5th May 2020
He will be remembered for his forthright manner his good humour and his dedication to the RNA both with Portland Branch and Number 4 Area.
Charles H as he was known to many was for many years the Area Chairman and organiser of the Area Reunion at Barton Hall in Torquay, a personality second to none he had many friends throughout the Association and his advice gained through much experience was always valued.
He will be greatly missed by us all.There will be a time somewhere in the future when we will be able to record formally his many achievements and service and to mourn his passing.
For the time being in respect of his family wishes it is asked that no telephone, e-mails or cards be sent to allow them to be able to grieve as 
a close family unit.

 

Throughout our Area all shipmates, and friends of the RNA, will be shocked and saddened at the news that ALVP Charles Thompson BEM, MSM has crossed the bar.
We all have our memories of such a pivotal member of No 4 Area that has been Charles over so many years.
What better tribute can we pay  Charles than, as an Area, to continue along the lines that he led us while he was Chairman, and to follow the plentiful guidance he gave us as an ALVP.
Shipmate David White MBE MSM.   
No 4 Area President.
 Shipmates lined the streets for Charles H with the RNA Area 4 and RNA Portland Branch standards leading his coffin up to the chapel entrance where they came to the dip as his coffin and the family entered. When I was chaplain at Portland Naval Base in the mid 90’s, Charles H was a great help to me with my work with the Family Centre, and I was sad that I could not be with the June, his wife, family and the Shipmates for the occasion.
Geoffrey Chaplain RNA Area 4

 

     
       A feeling of sadness and shock enveloped RNA Area 4 when news from the Area Secretary informed that RNA Life Member and Area Life Vice President, Shipmate Charles H. Thompson BEM MSM ‘Crossed the Bar’ on Tuesday May 5th 2020, aged 87.        
      Charles ‘H’ will be remembered for his forthright manner, his good humour and dedication to the RNA both with Portland Branch and Number 4 Area. A Shipmate who created a vibrant and sincere impact ever present throughout the enjoyable moments in his presence. Called up for National Service in 1949, joining the Royal Navy as a Photographer training at RNAS Ford (HMS Peregrine} in Sussex. One of only seven National Service RN to serve as a photographer. Joining the Carrier HMS Theseus in 1951 and operations in Korea, followed by a period in the Mediterranean on the Staff of Admiral, The Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Drafted to RNAS Culdrose (HMS Seahawk) in 1954 then to Singapore with 848 Squadron for the Malayan Emergency, later, joining Staff of C in C Far East. During this period Charles achieved 1st Class Referee Certificate with Joint Services and Officiated at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. During the period 1959 to 1966 Instructed at the RN School of Photography HMS Fulmar (RNAS Lossiemouth), joined Staff of Flag Officer Naval Air Command at Yeovilton, returned to Lossiemouth as Chief Phot Instructor for two years, a period in Aden during the Emergency as Joint Services Public Relations Chief Photographer working closely with C in C Middle East, Admiral Sir Michael Le Fanu, then a return to HMS Osprey on the Staff of FOST. Joined the Weymouth Branch of the RNA 1966, subsequently elected Branch Delegate for Area 4 Meetings and National Conference. Service responsibility as Manager and Community Officer of Portland Married Quarters created the opportunity to set up the local RN Community Centre incorporating the Kimberlin Club. HRH Prince Charles stationed at Yeovilton 1974 and took part in a Games Night organised between the Wardroom and CPO’s Mess. His Royal Highness was drawn against Shipmate Charles in the Darts Match, due to confusion between the names of the two players, Prince Charles honourably renamed our illustrious Shipmate as ‘Charles H’. A name which he cherished and adopted as his own personal identity. Awarded British Empire Medal and subsequently the coveted Meritorious Service Medal 1980. Transferred to RNA Portland Branch in 1982.

        Finally, ‘stepped off’ the Royal Navy Gangway in 1992 on his 65th birthday, having served an unprecedented 48 years and 7 months, at the time the longest ever serving CPO Airman. To further enhance his dedication and commitment Charles reached another milestone in 2016 – 50 years as a proud member of the Royal Naval Association. Manager Kimberlin Club 1974 -1997, Chairman RNA Area 4 Reunion 1975 -1996, Chairman Area 4, 1979 – 1996 Area Life Vice President 1996. RNA National Ceremonial Officer 1995- 1996.
        RNA Area 4 President, Shipmate David White MBE MSM conveyed the following message to Area 4 Shipmates: “What better tribute can we pay Charles than, as an Area, to continue along the lines that he led us while he was Chairman, and follow the guidance he gave us as an Area Life President.”
On Behalf of RNA Portland.
NCM 4

Shipmate Judith Lawrence  Exeter Branch

It is with deep sadness that I have to inform Shipmates of the passing of Shipmate Judith Lawrence
The cremation has already taken place, but a life memorial celebration will take place at a later date.

Shipmate Judith Crossed the Bar in the morning of Thursday 9th April 2020. Judith will be remembered for her wit, good humour, willingness to help, organisational skill and quiet demeanour.  She had been ill for a while, receiving amazing treatment from the NHS, but kept on regardless, with her sharp mind. Unfortunately her illness caught up with her.

Judith joined the WRNS in 1967 and served aboard HMS Dauntless, HMS Pembroke, HMS Vernon, HMS Seahawk and HMS Neptune. She left in 1970 and joined the Central Electricity Generating Board, later Powergen, as an Administrator.

Judith leaves behind her husband John, son Christopher, sort of adopted son Kevin, and many friends and family who miss her greatly”.


Portland Branch

It is with great sadness that the Portland branch announce the crossing the bar of 
Shipmate John Jeffrey, long standing and founder member.
Shipmate Brian Hewson, long standing member


Shipmate Alan Polley Falmouth Branch

It is with deep sadness that the Falmouth Branch, The Royal Naval Association, reports that Shipmate Alan Polley Crossed The Bar on 1st April 2020.
Alan was a long standing Falmouth Branch Member and a former Branch Treasurer, Alan contributed hugely to the success of the Branch throughout his life and even when declining health and the inability to travel prevented him from attending meetings he remained a strong supporter of the Branch.
His latter years were spent living with his family in a specially converted ground floor annex. As Branch Chairman I greatly enjoyed my visits out to see him, he was always great fun to be with, he retained his sense of humour and his outlook on life.
I shall miss Alan and our thoughts at this time must go to Lillian and Alans family

Mick Stevens
Chairman
Falmouth Branch


Shipmate John Bryant Tighe Low Falmouth Branch

It is with deep sadness that the Falmouth Branch, The Royal Naval Association, reports that Shipmate John Bryant Tighe Low Crossed The Bar on 17 March 2020. John was a long standing Shipmate of the Falmouth Branch, his easy charm, good humour and willingness to help everybody meant he was a well liked and respected Shipmate.
In these extraordinary times Johns funeral service was held behind ‘closed doors’ at Penmount Crematorium on Thursday 26 March 2020, sadly only four were permitted to attend but many of his shipmates joined the service via the video link.
When life returns to normal the Falmouth Branch will hold a Memorial for our Shipmate and send him on his way in true Naval style.


Shipmate Valerie Pitts Falmouth Branch

 It is with great sadness that the Falmouth Branch informs you that Shipmate Valerie Pitts has “Crossed the Bar”.
Valerie had been in poor health for some time and was recently hospitalised in Penzance and latterly Falmouth, true to to form Valerie wanted no fuss and no visitors

Valerie was our longest serving Branch Member and although Valerie guarded her privacy she was funny, witty and outspoken on the things that were important to her. The Branch last spoke with Valerie when she rang concerned that her annual subscription had yet to be paid, she was more concerned that Shipmates would think her ‘slacking’ than with her health issues.

Valerie was never afraid to speak her mind and when required offered sound advice, a stalwart of the RNA the Branch remembers her missing very few meetings and functions before ill health intervened.

 


Margaret (Mags) ASPREY former WRNS and Shipmate

Margaret (Mags) Asprey (nee Kay) crossed the Bar on the 14th June 2018 aged 71years.  Margaret joined the WRNS as a Wren Writer (General) in 1967 serving 3 years before leaving the WRNS as a Leading Wren Writer (General) on marriage to Leading Fleet Air Engineering Mechanic David Asprey in 1970.
During her service Margaret served at HMS Seahawk, HMS Rooke, HMS Goldcrest and RNAS Brawdy.

Margaret was an active member of Chard RNA, and David continues to be an active member.

Margaret leaves her husband David, two sons (Andrew and Phillip), daughter-in-law (Hannah) and more poignantly her first grandchild (Joshua) of just 13 months of age.

 


Edna Noble

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the Crossing of  the Bar of long time member of Chard RNA and wife of long serving past president  S/m Mr Jim ‘Nobby’ Noble.
Edna took a fall at home and was being treated in Musgrove Hospital and as a result of her injuries sustained in the fall unfortunately crossed the bar on 23.05. 2018 made worst in that it was also her 86th birthday.
A memorial service will be held in her memory on Wednesday 13th June 2018 at the Methodist Church, Fore Street, Chard at 11.00hrs.
RIP Edna

 


The Late Frederick Chapman

We have received a request from the family of Frederick William Arthur Chapman born 21st September 1940. via Veterans Bereavement Support and Central Office asking if anyone could attend his funeral. Frederick served for 24 years in the Royal Navy including times on Submarines, he was awarded the LS and GC medal in 1973, and the Queens Silver Jubilee Medal 1977

The funeral will be held on Wednesday 6th June at 1400hrs  at St Margarets Church, Northam. DEVON

He served on the following ships:

HMS St Vincent (Gosport Training College) 1956-1957
HMS Eagle (Aircraft Carrier R05) 1957-1959
HMS Dolphin (Gosport Submarine Base) 1959 -1968
HMS Adamant (Submarine Depot Ship) 1959 -1965
HMS Vernon (Royal Navy Torpedo Branch) 1960 -1978
HMS Anchorite(Amphion-class Submarine P422) 1966-1968
HMS Aeneas (Amphion – class Submarine P427) 1962 – 1964
HMS Excalibur (HTP< high test perodixde submarine S40) 1959-1959
HMS Totem (T- Class Submarine P352) 1959- 1959
HMS Astute (Nuclear Submarine S119) 1965-1966
HMS Royal Arthur (Training Campe) 1968-1968
HMS Phoebe (Leander-class Frigate F42) 1971- 1972
HMS Naiad (Leander-class Frigate F39)1975- 1977
HMS Dryad(Maritime Warfare School) 1978-1980
HMS Nelson (nelson Class Battleship 28) 1980 – 1980

 


Shipmate Jack Bevis Chard Branch

It is with great sadness that It is reported the Crossing of the Bar of Shipmate Jack Bevis 93yrs a former Royal Marine and one of the last survivors of the D Day landings for which he received the French Legion de Honneur in 2017. He was one of the longest serving members of the Chard branch along with his wife Gwendoline who unfortunately passed away about two years ago.
Although in later life he kept himself to himself, whenever any other member visited him it was always Tot Time and he was always willing to attend any great social event although less after the passing of Gwen.
He spent a short time with an illness in Musgrove Park Hospital from where he crossed the bar on 2nd March 2018, he leaves a son Keith, having lost his daughter and wife previously.
Although Jack wishing for a quiet funeral, his son Keith thank the branch for all the help given to Jack and requested the Branch standard be presented and Union Flag to be draped over the coffin, this was carried out with Sm Malcolm Day bearing the standard in respect to Jack a further four members of the branch attended the ceremony.


Shipmate Tony Milliner

It is with sadness we report that Area Life Vice President Tony Milliner JP, Crossed the Bar Monday 29th of January at 13.40. 
ALVP Tony has been a strong supporter of Area 4 Serving on the Area Committee as Assistant Secretary and a Branch Standard Bearer he also served on the Reunion Committee.

The Funeral took place at Gloucester Crematorium. Coney Hill Road, Gloucester. GL4 4PA. On Friday 16th February 2018 at 1500. There were 8 standards (4 RNA and 4 RBL) plus 9 other supporters from Portland, Ferndown, Street, Frome, Bristol and Liskeard. There was a good contingent from the Royal British Legion in the Gloucester area. Nice full eulogy by the Celebrant on behalf of family. A tribute by Shipmate David White, President, South West Area, Royal Naval Association on Tony’s RNA life also by Andrew Cooper, Chairman, Thornbury and District Royal British Legion.

Like many former sailors, some time after leaving the Service, Tony joined the Royal Naval Association.  He first came to prominence when the previously commissioned Silverton Exeter branch was renamed simply Exeter branch in the 1990s.

Since then Tony became the branch Delegate to Area meetings and Annual Conferences.  For many years he was the branch Standard Bearer, latterly renowned for his consistent presence lining the route at Royal Wootton Bassett for the repatriation of military casualties from overseas conflicts.
He also held the posts of branch Chairman, Welfare Officer and Secretary.  Even after moving home to the Gloucester area he regularly made the return trip along the M5 for the monthly meetings. 

Much of the liaison work between the branch and the destroyer HMS Exeter was down to Tony’s efforts.  He maintained the link and arranged numerous visits to the ship.
Someone who enjoyed being busy, Tony was a useful member of the Area Committee, of which he had been the Assistant Area Secretary.  Always a good socialiser Tony was also a most fitting member of the Annual Reunion Committee.

Rewarded for his diligent work on behalf of his branch and the Area, he was made an Area Life Vice President.  Richly deserved.His wise council and good humour will be missed  –  but valued  –  by all who knew him.

Rest in Peace, Tony.
Area President Shipmate David White MBE MSM

The Service sheet is available in .pdf format here

 


Shipmate Derek Haskins Frome Branch

Shipmate Derek Haskins Crossed the Bar at 08.10 Monday 20th November in Cork Street Nursing Home.
He will be remembered as a quiet gentle man who enjoyed his model making and supported Frome branch for many years. As Standard Bearer he represented the Frome branch and the Royal Naval Association throughout Area 4 and further afield.
Although he had been unwell for quite some time he continued to attend meetings until the last few months.
He will be missed by all of us as well as many people in Frome that were fortunate enough to know him and our thoughts go to Joy at this time.

The funeral will take place at the Mendip Crematorium, Old Wells Road, Croscombe, Wells BA5 3RR on Tuesday 12th December. The service will be conducted by the Rev. Graham Owen commencing at 10.00. Joy has requested that the coffin be draped with the Union flag and that the branch Standard be in attendance.

After the service the wake will be held at Phoenix House Communal Room Frome, Dommetts Lane, Frome, BA11 4JT, and all Standards will be welcome.

Joy has requested family flowers only and donations to the Royal Naval Association Frome.

 


Shipmate Geoffrey ‘Percy’ Percival CPOME RN

Geoff passed away after an 18 month fight with Cancer on 5th November 2017.  You may remember him from the days when we lived in Bideford and he was the Treasurer of the Torridgeside RNA when it was decommissioned in 2012.  He was also made a Lifelong Member of the RNA by Torridgeside members for the work he did with them at that time, and attended many of the regional Area 4 meetings in the South West.

A funeral service will be held on Sunday 10th December 2017 at 1200 at the Higher Ground Meadow Natural Burial site near Corscombe and afterwards we plan a get together and refreshments at Maiden Newton Village Hall when we hope friends past and present may join us.
It would be really nice if perhaps the RNA (maybe from a local branch to us here?) could be represented at his funeral.

 


Branch Presidents Cross the Bar

It is with deep regret that I have to notify you of the Crossing The Bar of two of our Branch Presidents. Shipmate Dennis Morris of the Christchurch Branch  on the 5th October very unexpected, and Margaret Sallis this morning 8th October.

The Funeral of Shipmate Margaret Sallis  will take place at 12.00 at Holy Trinity Church Frome and will be conducted by our Chaplain the
Reverend Graham Owen. A private service will be held at Semington Crematorium and a wake will follow at Frome Rugby Club, Gypsy Lane, Frome.
BA11 2NA . Please notify Shipmate Mike King mikeking42@blueyonder.co.uk if you will be attending

The Funeral of Shipmate Dennis Morris is on 30th October at Bournemouth Crematorium at 14:30 ( North Cemetery Strouden Road BH8 9HX)
There will be family flowers only. Donations are invited for Macmillan Caring Locally (Christchurch). Donations can be made via Miller Bros;
The Standards of Christchurch RNA and The Royal British Legion Christchurch Branch will be paraded and S/M’s will form a guard of honour.
S/M’s are invited to Pokesdown & Southbourne ex-Servicemen’s club 21 Stamford Rd, Bournemouth BH6 5DR After the crematorium service

Both will very much missed for all the work that they have done in their respective Branches. Margaret has been a very active member of the Area for as long as I can remember.

May they depart in peace and rise in Glory