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Schemes gathering impetus

TWO major RNA initiatives are steaming full speed ahead – to the benefit of the Association and serving members of the Royal Navy.

The Shipmates programme

is ‘going great guns’, according to General Secretary S/M Paul Quinn – over 1,000 Service leavers had signed on by the end of 2012, either at local branches or on the HQ roll.

A new member of staff has been taken on as Shipmates Programme Administrator – former LStd Rachael Tate started before Christmas, and can be contacted on 023 9272 3747 or at S/M Paul said there had been a

very positive response from those introduced to the scheme, with many saying it was great to find a group making contact with them. The initiative is being expanded to include social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and the RNA website also now publishes all Full Time Reserve Service opportunities, Notices

and other

Resettlement specific

vacancies that may be of interest to Naval Service leavers. A key benefit of the programme,

described as ‘an arm round the shoulder’ for those leaving the Service, has always been the contacts network – someone moving back to their old home area can hook straight into a network through the local RNA branch,

with the

acting as a gateway to a range of other organisations.

Meanwhile the mentoring

programme is also proving a big success, with most trades at HMS Sultan covered and all Phase 2 classes at HMS Collingwood benefiting from the scheme. Mentoring by the RNA is seen as an integral part of the Royal Navy’s bid to foster qualities such as honour, duty and loyalty young sailors.

in Oops...

Royal British Legion laid up their standard and closed down at a gathering at RM Condor, supported by Angus branch of the RNA. In fact, it was the RNA branch which closed down, with shipmates supported by members of Arbroath RBL, which is very much alive and kicking. We would also like to clarify

A REPORT in last month’s edition incorrectly stated that the Arbroath branch

of the

that Jean Allen, who featured in a story last month about the bell of the Anita Dan (later HMS Endurance), is the sister of river pilot John Allen, not his widow, as we were advised by a third party.

Tartar reunion the Three

THE tenth reunion of the HMS Tartar Association will be held on October 4-7 at

Queens Hotel in Burton-on- Trent. During the weekend a visit will be made to the National Memorial Arboretum to dedicate a plaque in memory of all who served in Tartar. For further details contact

Des and Linda Powell on 07866 928496 or email linpowe@

TWO members of the HMS Illustrious Association who were holidaying in Malta at the end of last year had been tipped off that the helicopter carrier would be visiting the island that month – so went prepared. S/Ms Frances Garton and Jim Clavell packed their ‘uniforms’, enabling them to take part in several commemorative events,

Maltese rendezvous with Illustrious Plymouth dine at

courtesy of the ship. The visitors took part in the royal reception for the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Three Trumpets ceremony recalling the affiliation of the ship to the Three Cities (Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua) in 2005, and the wreath-laying at the Church of Our Lady of Victories in Senglea. The Three Trumpets ceremony saw local

Sea Cadets parade each of the cities’ trumpets before the three mayors reunited them on a plinth, recreating the ship’s badge. S/M Jim said they were grateful to Lt Cdr

Stuart Slowther and Lt Hugh Biddlecombe, their escorts of the three events, and to Capt Martin Connell, Commanding Officer of the carrier.

Shrapnel injury put Royal in sick bay

LAST month’s version of events on board HMS Newfoundland

during Association

“On October 29 1956 HMS Newfoundland, with HM ships Crane and Modeste, left Aden just after midnight for the Red Sea. “On 30th HMS Diana joined the squadron, Task Force 324. Orders were then issued on 31st to carry out Operation Toreador at which Newfoundland and Diana headed north at full speed, leaving the two frigates to follow at their best speed.

“At this stage the crews closed up at action stations and while the

Operation Toreador in the Red Sea prompted S/M Alan Waite to contact us with his recollections of the clash with Egyptian warship Domiat, formerly the River-class frigate HMS Nith.

last southbound convoy from the canal was being checked on the starboard side a ship with no lights was spotted.

“The next thing the Domiat

was illuminated on our port beam. The signal was given ‘Stop or I fire’ then ‘Report when stopped’. “It was then spotted that

Domiat increased speed and turned and threatened to ram Newfoundland, so A and B 6in and the Royal Marines P1 and P2 4in mountings opened fire along with the 40mm Bofors that could bear. “Y turret could not bear until just before the action finished. “Diana was on our stern and managed to also engage the target which only lasted a few minutes. In all, nine broadsides were fired. “Domiat capsized and sank in three minutes and only one survivor was picked up by our whaler before

we left the scene due to possible threat of MTBs, leaving Diana to search for survivors, of which she picked up 68 before being ordered to rejoin Newfoundland leaving men still in the water – this was done because of two unidentified ships on the radar. “Later that day 55 survivors

were one dead (Chinese) and five ship’s company, of which I was one. “I was an ammunition number on P2 and, while holding a 4in shell, was hit by a matchbox-sized piece of shell from Domiat. “After an operation to remove

were transferred to Newfoundland and then on the 2nd returned to Diana, which then took them to the French Naval base at Djibouti. “A suspected attack by three MTBs developed that night on the radar in which Y turret engaged, but was proved to be false. “The

Modeste were operating independently to find the Egyptian frigate Rashid, ex HMS Spey, and it was during this operation Crane was attacked by five Israeli jets with rockets and small bombs, resulting in several hits on the ship and injuring a Bofors gun crew. “One jet was shot down and another was damaged, possibly crashing in the sea, by Crane’s gunfire.

settled down to patrol a line called Mike-Mike, the frigates to patrol the coastline and Diana returned to the squadron before returning to the UK via Mombasa. “Crane

Singapore to pay off and Modeste to Aden where Newfoundland joined her for some R&R before returning to the Red Sea where she spent Christmas at sea – an Army supply ship delivered mail Christmas morning – and New Year was spent at the French base at Djibouti before returning to the

Toys are delivered Honour for Peter

MEMBERS of City of Glasgow branch visited Yorkhill Children’s Hospital to deliver toys, games and drawing materials to the playgroup. S/Ms Joan Lowe,


McKinnon, Frank Halliday, John Fox, Thomas Gates and chairman Kenn McKinnon (above) were

invited up to the playgroup’s office for tea and goodies, allowing them to have a good chat with staff and discuss the distribution of the toys and other items.

S/M Kenn then handed over a cheque for their funds, raised by branch members throughout the year.

Statue to be unveiled

LONDONDERRY branch has a pivotal role in organising the city’s Battle of the Atlantic 70th anniversary events in May. The city, along with Liverpool and London, is commemorating the Royal Navy’s struggle to keep the supply lines open throughout World War 2. Londonderry’s turn in the

spotlight is on May 10-12, during which time an 8ft bronze statue of a sailor will be unveiled on the old HMS Ferret/Sea Eagle site in memory of those who died in the Atlantic between 1939 and 1945. For more details of events in the UK City of Culture 2013 see the HQ website at www.royal-naval-

WORLD War 2 veteran Peter Lambert has been awarded life membership to the Association. S/M Peter is a founder member

of Stafford branch, and has worked for his fellow shipmates in a number of roles, from committee member to escort of the branch standard.

He also works tirelessly in enhancing the branch’s reputation in the public eye.

When the branch had its own clubhouse he also played a key role in running it, with all the associated tasks. Branch secretary S/M Gwyn

Roberts said: “His stalwart work within the RNA and the branch in general made him an asset. “The branch feel lucky to have a member of his calibre and his life membership to the Royal Naval Association is very well deserved.”

l S/M Ernie Havis admires the model of HMS Dahlia Dahlia refit complete

THERE was a pleasant surprise at a meeting of the Cheshunt and Waltham Cross branch when a model ship was returned to shipmates.

The model is of HMS Dahlia (K59), a Flower-class

which was adopted by Cheshunt in 1942 during Warship Week. The model had undergone a major refit, and was (re)presented to the branch. The model was made by S/M Len Shipman, and was displayed in a room at the Conservative Club.


h h h

28 FEBRUARY 2013 : corvette,

The model has been repaired and restored by members of the North London Military Society, unbeknownst

modellers included Gary Elmes, Mark Gilbert, and Brian and Jack Snary, who have brought Dahlia back to pristine condition. The chairman of the

Conservative Club has agreed to display the model in the main part with


and photographs of the ship’s company and the ship herself on convoy duty.

RNA HQ, Room 209, Semaphore Tower (PP70), HM Naval Base, Portsmouth PO1 3LT. 023 9272 3747 an explanatory the building, booklet along to the branch – later returned to “From then on Newfoundland frigates Crane and

the shrapnel I spent the next four weeks in the sick bay, then one week in the RAF Hospital Steamer Point, Aden, with injured shipmates off the Crane and then three weeks (and Christmas) on

Newfoundland had returned to patrol in the Red Sea. “I was picked up December 31, with the mail, for Djibouti and the New Year. “It was an experience to spend

that time on the Modeste as there were several of the ship’s members awaiting to be weighed off on the Fort Charlotte and a Loch-class frigate was sent down from the Persian Gulf to keep an eye on her and as for Christmas Day – well, I kept my head down as there was more beer and spirits on board than in the NAAFI ashore and motorboats were racing all over the harbour and matelots diving overboard. “I was the only Royal Marine on board with no uniform so spent every day ashore having bandages changed at the hospital. “The ships in Task Force 324

the Modeste

Far East and Hong Kong. “Casualties on Newfoundland


THE main event in the Plymouth branch calendar – the annual dinner and dance – attracted 250 members and guests to the WOs and SRs Mess at HMS Drake. Guests of honour included the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Cllr Michael Wright – who is ex-RN – Rear Admiral Simon Lister and his wife Anita, and RNA National Chairman S/M Chris Dovey and his wife Gail. Also in attendance were serving

Royal Navy personnel, Sea Cadets and members of other branches. The Loyal Toast to the Queen was followed by toasts to Plymouth branch, guests and the City of Plymouth.

Once again mess catering manager Annette Hellyer and her staff provided top-notch service, and the Sea Cadets were congratulated on their now- customary immaculate turn-out. Thanks were expressed to S/M Sue Gutteridge and her social team for another organisational triumph, and to mess president WO1 Chris Isaacs and his members for the use of their excellent facilities.

because Vindictive date

THE inauguration of the restored Vindictive memorial in Ostend will now take place on Friday May 24.

The memorial, which includes

the bow of the Victorian cruiser, was moved to make way for redevelopment, which also allowed restoration work to take place. The new date will allow the

Belgian royal family to attend the ceremony, which recalls the daring mission on May 9-10 1918 to block U-boats’ route to open water. The ceremony will take place

during Oostende voor Anker (Ostend at

Anchor), a major

annual maritime festival that attracts some 200,000 visitors

HQ open days

were HM ships Newfoundland, Diana, Modeste and Crane, RFAs Wave Sovereign, Wave Ruler, Fort Charlotte and Gold Ranger, and French Naval ships La Perouse, Gazelle and Jasmin.”

RNA HQ is planning five open days for this year – April 19, May 10, June 28, September 20 and October 11, though May and June are already fully booked. There are around 35 places on

each day, so if you are interested contact S/Ms Andy or Nigel.

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