26 NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2009
Beer branch standard is laid up
BEER branch laid up its standard at the local decommissioned branch and shipmates from Beer branch.
A CHEQUE for £1,500 was
church as time was called on what was one of Axminster and Chard. But such was the decline in numbers that it
presented by the President
the strongest branches in Area 4. The Area 4 standard was paraded, as was was recognised Beer had had its day.
of the Gosport branch of the
The ceremony was carried out by the vicar that of Axminster branch. Beer was at one Indeed, none of the Beer shipmates was fit
Submariners Association, Rear
of Seaton and Beer at Beer Church, and time one of the strongest branches in the enough to carry their branch standard for the
Admiral Anthony Whetstone, to
among those attending were the chairman area, having more than 130 members, and final time, so that honour went to the deputy
Steve Hobbs, Chairman of the
of Area 4, the few surviving members of the Axminster and Chard branches were born of area standard bearer. WHEN HMS Ledbury visited
Gosport and Fareham Inshore
Weymouth several members of
Rescue Service (GAFIRS).
Bridport branch took the chance
The money will help buy and
to go on board – the parents of
kit out two rescue canoes, which
the minehunter’s Commanding
will bear the Association logo and
Officer are both members of the
submarine Dolphins on their hulls.
The group were given a tour
THE Royal British Legion of
Former Ganges boys by CO Lt Cdr Chris Nelson, then
Devon is to stage its County
enjoyed tea and stickies in the
Rally on Sunday September 13
as part of the Military Heritage
The Hunt-class ship’s visit
Weekend at the Okehampton
also coincided with Dorchester
Army training camp.
branch’s tenth anniversary – and
Attractions will include a display
their popular annual skittles
of vintage military vehicles,
evening – so Bridport and HMS
cadet demonstrations and the
Ledbury both put up teams, as
opportunity to meet serving
gather at Pakefi eld
did Portland and Sherborne
Royal Marines and soldiers.
branches and the Ganges
FOR the second year running according to S/M Bernie Corrie,
to move the annual reunion to “Four hundred plus bodies
BEXHILL-on-Sea branch held a
almost 400 former Ganges
of Blake Division, 5 Mess 1951. Blackpool, which was “by all made an approach to the ‘retired’
Sadly for the ex-Navy
special service at St Augustine’s
boys returned to East Anglia
Bernie explained that until accounts a success,” he said. reunion secretary and requested
contingent the youngsters showed
Church on Armed Forces Day to
for a chance to swing the lamp
2007 the Pontin’s holiday camp “However, this decision took that the Pakefield holiday camp
no mercy and soundly trounced
enable residents to come together
at Pakefield, near Lowestoft, had the reunion away from Pakefield, venue be maintained, and this was
the opposition – causing a
to remember Service personnel
and meet up with old oppos.
been the main reunion venue for which is in Suffolk and the home done to the satisfaction of all those
problem for the Admiralty, as the
past and present.
The second Pakefield
the HMS Ganges Association. county of HMS Ganges – soon wishing to hold, not a reunion, but
winners of the trophy are expected
Cadets from TS Hastings and Gathering of the HMS Ganges
“Fot many years it agreeably to become a housing estate – a social gathering, in the area that
to return next year to defend their
the local ATC unit played their Shotley Boys saw the majority
provided weekend gatherings, with and provides easily-managed visits had been so successful for many
part, standards were paraded and representing the years from 1948
many an old oppo being greeted for to that hallowed place, with the years.
With sausage and chips on the
more than £220 collected for and on through the 1950s.
the first time in 50 years or more museum on the foreshore in the “2008 went off very well, as did
menu, all enjoyed a good evening.
Help For Heroes. The weather was once again
in some cases with the wartime old Ganges training establishment our latest gathering in June this
The ‘old salts’ of the various
kind to the veterans, who revelled entrants or HOs, as they were days. year, with many having already branches had a chance to cement
YORK branch attended a
in the quality of the victuals and known at the time – Hostilities “The Pakefield gathering is booked for 2010.
relations and chew the fat with
parade in the city to celebrate
accommodation, complete with Only,” said S/M Bernie. now an annual event, a great “Although times were very
serving members of the Grey
the rededication of destroyer
“first-class disabled facilities, not He said that the decision had psychological aspect for the hard for us Ganges Boys we
Funnel Line, while today’s sailors
HMS York after refit.
forgetting superb entertainment,” been made at the 2007 AGM visiting veterans. would never, ever wish to turn
were allowed to let their hair down
The Area 11 and York branch
“Holding the reunion away our backs on our humble Royal
(metaphorically) before they
standards were on parade as the
from the Pakefield location not Naval beginnings, and to remind
ship’s company exercised their
only denies the opportunity to all that HMS Ganges Boys Shore
right to the freedom of entry to the
visit the Ganges site but also the Training Establishment, Shotley
city, and branch officers and the
Ganges museum at Shotley.” Gate, Suffolk, provided the best
Area 11 representative attended
S/M Bernie also said he believed Signallers, and W/T operators – THE Fleet Air Arm Association
a reception afterwards.
that the cost of an ‘outstation’ with, from 1956 until the closure (Hanworth branch) have
reunion also had to be taken into of boys’ training in 1972, many celebrated the 100th anniversary of
account. other trades – in the world, and for the foundation of Naval aviation.
THE Royal Naval Patrol Service
“A major point in the ‘old that we, the old boys of Ganges, More than 100 people attended
Association was due to unveil and
Ganges boys’ calendar, [the are very proud. to witness the SODS Opera ladies
dedicate a new memorial to the
Pakefield reunion] had been a “We leave the black tie and give a marching display, and the
RNPS at the National Memorial
valid annual event from 1983 to silver service to the wardroom – whole cast led the community
Arboretum in Staffordshire as
2007,” said S/M Bernie. and maybe the freemasons.” singing.
Navy News went to press.
The memorial takes the form
of a large granite block topped
by a mine, with four panels Sun-baked
giving details of the wartime
minesweeping service provided
by the RNPS, which lost some extravaganza
14,000 men and 600 ships.
AROUND 90 members and friends
of Falmouth branch gathered
at the Falmouth Beach Hotel
THE Bulwark, Albion and
● Veterans and families gather at St Peter’s Tandridge for a service
for a lunch to mark the 100th
Centaur Association AGM and
of thanksgiving marking the anniversary of the Yangtze Incident
anniversary of naval aviation.
reunion at Sand Bay Holiday
Guest of honour Cdr Ian
Village near Weston-super-Mare
Fitter, Commander (Air) at RNAS
attracted some 150 members and
Culdrose, spoke of the history
Veterans recall heroes
guests for a sun-baked, three-day
of the Fleet Air Arm, and by
chance was asked to present
At the AGM two members
a certificate of life membership
were presented with certificates
to S/M Ted Turvey (92), who
of the Yangtze Incident
by the President, Vice Admiral Sir ● S/M Kenneth Taylor (right) in conversation with the Duke of
was born in the cradle of naval
Gloucester beside HMS Cavalier in Chatham Historic Dockyard
THE 60th anniversary of the end of memories of those who were
Henley Howard and Roy
the Yangtze Incident was marked involved.
Walton joined the association on
S/M BRIAN Searl (72), of the by a service of thanksgiving at St After the service there was a
its inauguration in 1979.
City of Glasgow branch, was Peter’s Church, Tandridge, the site procession to the grave of Cdr
Guest speaker at the gala dinner
one of two veterans who had the of the grave of Cdr John Kerans, Kerans where a wreath was laid.
was Cdre Jerry Stanford, the first
honour of raising and lowering the CO of HMS Amethyst. Amongst those attending were
Captain of the current HMS
special Armed Forces Day flags at The incident, when Chinese Stephanie Kerans, Cdr Kerans’
Bulwark, while the current HMS
meet up in Chatham
the beginning and end of the city’s Communist forces opened fire on widow, and Cdr Stewart Hett,
Albion was represented by Lt Ian
tribute to the Services. Amethyst as she made her way President of the HMS Amethyst
Lightfoot. MEMBERS of the HMS Euryalus by two anti-aircraft shells fired
up the Yangtze to relieve Nanking Association.
The top table also included
Association gathered at Chatham by Indomitable which killed 12
guardship HMS Consort, resulted Cdr Kerans, then a 33-year-
Sir Patrick, Col Mick Reece RM,
on June 6 to mark the 70th
THE Submariners Association
members of the ship’s company
(Derby branch) was due to
in a failed rescue operation and old lieutenant commander who
Capt Jimmy James RN and Lt
anniversary of the launch of their and wounded 21.”
present their guide dog puppy
a daring break-out to freedom was a naval attaché at Nanking, (SCC) Dave White RNR, the CO
light cruiser – and to remember “I cannot remember when or
Derby to the CO of submarine
by the modified Black Swan-class managed to go on board the ship of TS Centaur.
shipmates past and present.
what carrier but one was hit and
HMS Ambush as Navy News
sloop. shortly after the initial attack, The evening raffle raised £300
The cruiser fought in the Med
damaged and all the bombs were
went to press.
Five ships were directly involved which fatally injured Amethyst’s for Help For Heroes.
during the darkest days of World
put on HMS Euryalus,” said S/M
The puppy marks the close
in the Incident – Amethyst, CO Lt Cdr Bernard Skinner. Secretary and reunion organiser
War 2, then in 1944 joined the
association of the boat and
Consort, London, Black Swan And it was Kerans who drove S/M Denis Askham said: “Our
British Pacific Fleet.
The quarterdeck was shored up
city, and the association raised
and Concord – and 46 sailors her more than 140 miles to association is bucking the trend and
After the war she served in the
to take the extra weight.
£5,000 in just six months for
died as a result of the clash. freedom down a dark river with goes from strength to strength.
Med again and the Atlantic.
“A few days later the bombs
the Guide Dogs for the Blind
The service included newsreel no charts under the guns of the “We have a proactive committee
The Euryalus Association held
were transferred to another
footage from the time and Communists. who look to the future.”
its AGM and annual reunion
dinner later in the day at the King
“I remember running up and
Charles Hotel, Gillingham.
down the starboard waist pulling
One of the those attending the
the rope during the transfer of the
event was S/M Kenneth Taylor,
who is also seeking to clear up
the wartime incident when HMS
Illustrious was hit by “friendly
1954: a good year
fire”, as referred to in our July
1954 was not a bad year.
The correspondent believed
Meat rationing ended in July.
Illustrious was damaged by an
Roger Bannister ran the first sub-
escort destroyer, which he thought
four minute mile. Jack Rushton
was possibly HMS Euryalus.
joined the RNA at Doncaster.
S/M Taylor said HMS Euryalus
A Hostilities Only Royal
was a Dido-class cruiser, in which
Marine, Jack had missed the
he served from 1944-46.
comradeship, and so started a
Furthermore, he said the
55-year membership which saw
incident mentioned is described him move to Castleford branch
in a book, The Illustrious and then help start Harrogate.
Implacable Classes of Aircraft Carrier Harrogate President S/M John
1940-69, by Neil McCart, which Stray presented an inscribed
says that “the Illustrious was hit plaque to Jack to mark 55 years.
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