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NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2011


31


Service held for Truculent


THE


Submariners Association will hold the 61st anniversary memorial service for HMS Truculent on Saturday January 15 at the St George’s Centre, Chatham. The service will begin at 10.45am and all members, families and friends should be seated by 10.30; the Mayor will arrive at 10.40. The service will be conducted by the association’s padre the Rev David Preston, and on completion a buffet lunch will be provided by the Medway branch while everyone has the opportunity to meet


and friends. Anyone interested in attending


ex-submariners, survivors


the service should contact S/M Archie Watt at 17, Larkin Close, Frindsbury, Strood, Kent ME2 4SA, tel 01634 710715, or email archie.watt@connectfree.co.uk


Cashing in for Alliance


MEMBERS of the Portsmouth branch of the Submariners Association who attended the memorial service on the Embankment in London in November also put in some serious fund-raising. After the ceremonies were over,


two shipmates carried out a bucket collection on the Embankment and on board HMS President for the HMS Alliance Appeal. When the coins and notes were counted it came to £449.90 – so branch secretary S/M Ernie Williams, one of the collectors, flipped in another 10p to bring the total up to a nice round £450. Less than two weeks later the vice chairman of the branch, S/M John Baber, took a cheque to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport and presented it to George Malcolmson, on behalf of museum director Bob Mealings. That brings to total the branch has raised so far to around £2,000 – and John Baber and fellow branch members have expressed their gratitude to all who have given up hard-earned cash for this cause.


Medway Towns


AT THE end of the Street of Nations, flanked by trees and villas, in the Berlin suburb of Oranienburg lies a slab of rock


and a memorial inscription. Here are honoured 17


Murdered sailors honoured in Berlin


execution site. What happened next is confused. Some of the prisoners revolted.


Servicemen – seven of them Royal Navy sailors – murdered by the Nazis nearly seven decades ago. The Street of Nations leads to one of the most infamous sites in Europe: Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where more than 30,000 people were killed between 1936 and 1945. Near the gateway to the former camp – which still bears the chilling inscription Arbeit macht frei – is the Special Services monument, honouring commandos and saboteurs who died here. And there on Remembrance


Day 2010, veterans, members of the Royal British Legion’s Berlin branch, and military personnel from the British Embassy in Berlin, among them CPO(Logs(Pers)) Jon Craig, paid their respects. Most of the names on the stone hail


memorial commando raids


seven soldiers from Operation Musketoon in 1942, seven Naval commandos from Operation Checkmate in 1943.


in Norway –


The men captured in the Musketoon raid against a hydroelectric power station were the first victims of Hitler’s infamous ‘commando order’ which demanded – in contradiction of the laws of war – that Allied raiders taken prisoner should be shot. By the time Operation Checkmate was launched the following spring, the six sailors and one soldier who volunteered


In motion should


MOTIONS and amendments for debate at the 2011 Annual Conference


General Secretary by February 11.


The correct form can be found in the Branch Circular.


£50 PRIZE PUZZLE Seven help twelve at the eleventh hour


THE mystery submarine in our November edition (right) was HMS Auriga, which was also the name of


the Royal Navy’s major deployment to the United


States last year. The winner of our £50 prize was


Mr K Ryall, of Nyons in France. This month we feature a Ton- class ship (pictured above) which in the early 1960s blazed a trail in mine warfare circles by undergoing conversion to become the Royal Navy’s first operational minehunter, using highly-accurate British-built sonar kit.


What was her name?


Complete the coupon and send it to Mystery Picture, Navy News, HMS Nelson, Portsmouth PO1 3HH.


Coupons giving the correct answer will go into a prize draw to establish a winner. Closing date for entries is February 11 2011. More than one entry can be submitted but photocopies cannot be accepted. Do not include anything else in your envelope: no correspondence can be entered into and no entry returned.


The winner will be announced in


our March edition. The competition is not open to Navy News employees or their families.


MYSTERY PICTURE 191 Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . My answer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


SEVEN members of Plymouth branch were delighted to step in at the 11th hour to host 12 veterans of the Irish Naval Association on a walk around some of Plymouth’s tourist spots, including the Naval War Memorial on the Hoe (pictured above) and the Barbican.


Liaison for the visit Rob Mulrooney indicated by email that the visitors would arrive 24 hours before they actually appeared, which caught everyone on the hop, but it soon became apparent that the visitors


were no strangers to the ancient naval custom of enjoying the odd beer, despite the late hour. The Plymouth shipmates were informed, in a soft


Irish brogue, that the Irish Navy was the only Navy that were allowed to get on a bike and go home for lunch... The visitors unanimously declared the


trip a


success and issued a general invitation for a return visit to Limerick in the near future – an offer that is being given some serious and careful consideration.


Wheelchair for Jonty, pronto


BOTH Pershore and District and Sheldon branch were involved in fund-raising to buy a powered wheelchair for a local four-year-old disabled boy. Jonty Smith has cerebral palsy, left hemiplegia and epilepsy, and has just started primary school in Pershore with a full-time carer. He needed the £9,000 wheelchair to give him a


certain degree of independence and allow him to keep up with his friends, rather than rely on an adult pushing him. Fortunately, Pershore branch’s secretary S/M


Trudy Burge was on hand to help, and used her contacts to turn this into a high-profile fundraising campaign.


Jane, obtained raffle prizes, ran tombolas and organised a grand coffee morning at the end of October – where they announced that they had reached their target. Much of the hard work was done with the support


of Trudy’s family and her parents, Ted and Margaret Annis, who run both the branch and their Social Club.


At the branch annual Trafalgar Dinner, S/M Terry Brimmell had the honour of presenting Jane with a


She ran a charity quiz night with Jonty’s mother


cheque for £500 from the club, and Sheldon branch chipped in with a £100 donation. Speaking at the fund-raising finale, S/M Brimmell


paid tribute to Trudy’s hard work, and said how proud they were of her for raising such a sum of money in just six weeks. And Jonty has become part of the Pershore scene, commandeering his own cap bearing the tally HMS Victory, as seen above with his mum Jane, RNA members from both branches, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Pershore.


reach the from two ● CPO Jon Craig (left) at the Special Forces memorial at


Sachsenhausen, freshly adorned with wreaths Picture: Tom Smith, Chairman RBL Berlin


for the mission were well aware of the dangers. Using a fishing


floating base, the men sought to strike at German shipping around Stavanger in canoes.


handed


Service and, by the autumn of 1943, were at Sachsenhausen. What followed was not death. It


was worse.


The commandos were quickly over


to the boat as a


They found few targets, the fishing vessel’s engine failed and they were caught by German troops.


Security


As punishment for Allied air raids on Berlin, the men were


sentenced to punishment with the ‘shoe testing’ detail: marching 48km (30 miles) every day on a special track which replicated various surfaces to test the effectiveness of new boots. The Checkmate men did this for 420 days – they stopped only in February 1945 when, for reasons unknown, the SS guards became spooked and finally decided to execute the commandos. Two of the sailors escaped punishment (one was in hospital, the other being hidden by Dutch prisoners), but five were marched with several hundred other inmates to Sachsenhausen’s


● S/M Janet Gould


Checkmate’s leader, S/Lt John Godwin – who remained the mainstay of morale and told his compatriots: “They have taken everything from us but not our spirit. God save the King!” – seized a guard’s rifle and killed him. Other prisoners took over a nearby building and fought off the SS until morning. As


survivors, they were smuggled on a transport to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. OS Keith Mayor was discovered


for the two Checkmate


hiding among Dutch prisoners and was shot; PO Alfred Roe died from typhus. Within days, the camp was liberated by the British. Of the 29 Britons believed


to have been executed at Sachsenhausen,


Serviceman to die – also honoured on the memorial stone – was Lt Cdr Claude Cumberledge RNVR, left behind in Greece in 1941 to conduct sabotage. Sixty-five years after the guns fell silent, the strains of Flowers of the Forest were carried across the vast Sachsenhausen memorial site as the Rev Max Homewood of the RBL led a service of commemoration.


made by the early commandos was, says CPO Craig, a poignant occasion.


determination to survive against the


contingent


“Their bravery and sheer odds


national group.” a made truly the remarkable Being reminded of the sacrifices the last Senior


Janet bids farewell to Cyprus


CYPRUS branch’s long-serving and stalwart secretary Janet Gould was due to leave at around the time Navy News went to press. S/M Janet was presented with


a gift of a silver dish and cut glass goblets accompanied by flowers as an appreciation of all her efforts over the years and in the company of her late husband Vice Chairman Ian. Janet and Ian were among the


original members of the Cyprus branch,


reminded just how much time and effort the Goulds have given to branch gatherings. Janet has not only performed secretarial duties but also organised the branch’s stand at the Episkopi Fete for many years – and produced the lovely sandwiches at branch meetings. Shipmates wished her all good


fortune in returning to her family in England.


British


Taking leave of Ark Royal


SHIPMATES from Wetherby branch were the last veterans group to bid farewell to HMS Ark Royal in North Shields as the carrier made a brief farewell tour of UK (and the odd German) ports before she decommissioned. Ten Wetherby shipmates were


shown the two remaining Harrier jets on board, which were due to fly off the following day.


They then climbed to the


bridge and Air Command centre, and were given a good look at the Merlin anti-submarine helicopter. Branch chairman S/M Fred


Wake said: “It was a very enjoyable visit made at a very emotional time for the ship’s company. “They gave us some insight as to their feelings and concerns. “We departed as the paying-off pennant arrived – reportedly over 200m long.”


Guernsey raises funds for heroes


CASH raised at the HMS Charybdis and Limbourne memorial weekend has helped boost the coffers of Help for Heroes. On the first Sunday in October


Capt Peter Voute, President of the Guernsey Association of Royal Navy and Royal Marines, told an audience at the ever-popular band concert performed by the Royal Marines Band Collingwood that some of the money raised would go to the charity. The £500 cheque was duly handed over to the charity at a Help for Heroes dinner at Les Rocquettes Hotel in the latter part of November.


More coffee?


BOURNE branch raised £265 at their first coffee morning, which included home-made cakes, scones, a tombola, raffle and a lucky strike.


The cash raised for branch funds will be distributed to local charities that serve the people of Bourne. And the event was so successful


that shipmates are planning more in the future.


and members were


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