32 NAVY NEWS, JULY 2009
Colin has a
Beccles honours St George – and Anzacs
MEMBERS of Beccles branch held and anchorages during the Cold War,
a joint celebration to mark both St and patrolled waters both in the UK
George’s Day and ANZAC Day, a and abroad.
national day of remembrance in Australia During his three-month visit to the
and New Zealand. UK Russell met up with his former chief
Their guest at the Beccles Conservative engineer, Len Manners, and the two
Club was Russell Jones, from New reminisced about former times at sea.
South Wales, who served with the RN, They even managed a nostalgic
the RAN and the RNXS. weekend in Portsmouth.
From 1979 to 1995 Russell was a S/M Leo Whisstock, who organised
A PASSION for collecting items
skipper in the RNXS on patrol boats the event said: “The event was a great
of memorabilia for the HMS Dido
used in the defence of ports, harbours success with the hall decorated in
Association has become close to
Australian and New Zealand flags as
an obsession for Colin Bates.
● Branch president S/M Richard well as the English flag of St George.
Colin, who served in the
Ling, S/Ms Len Manners and Russell “Having Russell and his wife with
Leander-class frigate in 1972,
Jones, and social secretary S/M Leo us for the lunch made it even more
formed the HMS Dido Association
in 2004, which now boasts more
● Further to a story in our April
than 260 members.
edition, pictured above is the
Colin has scoured the papers
HMS Jaguar plaque given to
and the internet for items of
the City of Gloucester by the
memorabilia, then expanded the
Lords Commissioners of the
association to encompass the
Admiralty in 1941 in recognition
World War 2 C-class cruiser.
of the money raised during
His collection soon took over Ganges group adds
Warship Week. The plaque was
his Birmingham home, and his
in turn presented by the city to
wife Deanna began to think she
the Gloucester branch on the
was living in a museum, as she
opening of their club, where it
had to contend with lighters,
now has pride of place
ashtrays, photographs and the like.
There was even an 8ft working
remote-controlled copy of the
another flag officer
One of his prized possessions
was the aft starboard deck plate, Hanworth
trodden by the feet of King AROUND 350 members and with fantastic weather – someone As a midshipman he had been
But that wasn’t all.
George VI and Queen Elizabeth
guests attended the new-style
would seem to be keeping a special on Ganges’ books, and therefore
Boy Seaman 2nd Class Roy
the Queen Mother in 1947.
annual reunion of the HMS
eye on things. qualified in his own right to belong
Clare (1966), now Rear Admiral
At this point it was felt that
Clare, former Director of the
perhaps the collection would
Ganges Association at Sinah
Saturday saw the ladies visit to the association.
Chichester whilst the men got This was underlined by the
National Maritime Museum
HANWORTH branch is mourning
be better housed in a museum,
Warren Hotel, Hayling Island.
down to the business of the fact that his father was Divisional
and recently appointed Chief
the loss of “a big man with a big
and during discussions with the
The Friday evening
AGM. Officer of Anson Division in the
Executive of the Department for
heart,” S/M Keith Wild.
Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust
entertainment, of a very high
The high-point was the late 1930s.
Archives, Libraries and Museums,
Branch chairman S/M Terry
on the occasion of a Dido reunion standard, was provided by the announcement that Admiral Sir Cdr Burnell-Nugent married
was elected vice president.
Lowden said: “Keith was a lovely
it was decided to put the artefacts hotel and supported by Shep
James Burnell-Nugent, recently- the captain’s daughter, and so
That brought the number of
man who has left a wife, daughter
on show in the care of the Trust. Woolley and a SODS opera.
retired CINCFleet, had accepted the added to the Ganges connection
presidents of flag rank, all with and son.
But still the items came in
The surroundings were superb committee’s invitation to become which made so many members
Ganges connections, to three, “He was generous, willing to
thick and fast – when members
and the association was blessed president of the association. very proud to have him on board.
including Boy Seaman 2nd Class help anyone who needed it.
of the association committee
Bob Williams (1959), now Cdre “He loved the Hanworth
were invited to Veterans Day in
Williams. RNA Club and organised many
Bolton, the mayor showed them
The BBC also attended the functions to raise money for his
further memorabilia, including
reunion to record interviews of favourite charity, the RNLI.
the cruiser’s battle ensign, battle
former button boys and other “Farewell to a big, lovely man
honours plate and ship’s bell, and
graduates of Shotley for an item in who went before his time.
the frigate’s honours board and
their Living History programme. “We have been proud and
They interviewed the oldest privileged to have him as one of
After long discussions with the
member, George Hearn who
local authority, the council decided
joined Ganges in 1931, and his
that the items should join the
nozzer colleagues, Vic Cowling
other material at Chatham.
(1935) and Robert Mawson and
But still the obsession persists.
Perky Mellow, both of 1936.
Colin has now tracked down
Saturday evening’s gala is celebrated
an anchor, a Bofors gun, bridge
dinner entailed plenty of pomp
radar display, captain’s chair and
and circumstance, with the
THE FLEET Air Arm Association
both telegraphs, all in a museum
new president taking the salute
(Hanworth branch) have staged a
in New Zealand – the items were
at Colours and inspecting the
celebration to commemorate the
removed from the frigate, by then
centenary of the formation of the
HMNZS Southland, before she
Sunday featured Church Parade,
Fleet Air Arm.
after which nearly 100 members
More than 100 people attended
Bets are being taken on the
and guests boarded coaches to visit
the event, at which a number of
chances of Colin getting these
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
standards were paraded.
items for the Dido Association
The 2010 reunion will be
Hanworth, along with
● Members of the HMS Fisgard Series 29 Artifi cer Apprentice Entry gather at the ME Museum in HMS
reunion in Gibraltar next year – Sultan
held at Alvaston, near Nantwich
Birmingham and Gosport, was one
that, of course, depends on how
in Cheshire, with a provisional
of the three branches which met in
Deanna feels about having more
bits and pieces of warship stored
in her conservatory... Tiffi es gather at Sultan
booking having been made for the
1985 and agreed to form a national
weekend of April 23-26.
Fleet Air Arm Association.
If you are interested in joining
the association, contact Colin at
HMS SULTAN opened the doors
1903 until the present day. artificer apprentices are no longer
or see the
of its Marine Engineering Museum
The museum is the last remaining recruited with the introduction of
for sailors attending the annual
depository of ME training records the Engineering Technician.
You can also call 0121 742
reunion of HMS Fisgard Series
in the RN today, following the The last artificer class
29 Artificer Apprentice Entry
closure of HMS Fisgard in 1983 undergoing training at Sultan
– 105 artificer apprentices who
and HMS Caledonia in 1986. complete their training to pass
joined the Royal Navy at HMS
Future additions of artificer out in November 2010 – the end
Fisgard, Torpoint in Cornwall in
training records will shortly cease as of an era.
DURING a recent visit by January 1957.
Vice Admiral John McAnally On this occasion 21 members
to Stourbridge and District of Series 29 Entry, together with
Spirit of Aldenham lives on
branch, the National President their wives, travelled from all over
found himself face-to-face with Britain for the reunion, taking the
THEY may be getting a little too George said: “At one time we
another vice admiral – none other opportunity to call in at Sultan’s
long in the tooth to meet in person, used to meet in Aldenham each
than Lord Nelson. museum to view their training but two old shipmates still foster year to attend a church service to
Both admirals (one was, records. the spirit of the last RN destroyer remember our fallen comrades.
in fact, S/M Dave Weaver in The museum, founded in 1986, to be sunk in World War 2. “Now, getting a little older, we
● A survivor from the sinking of HMS Eagle on the Pedestal convoy
impressive uniform and wig) were houses an extensive collection of George Drewett contacted Navy find the journey can no longer be
to Malta still likes to maintain a naval environment, even in his 80s.
piped aboard by an extremely records, artefacts and memorabilia News about Tommy Leonard, who made. Never mind, a phone call
The living room walls of Dick Greenwood’s house in Wiltshire are
competent contingent of Sea
associated with the training of is in his late 90s, and who survived now and then, plus a Christmas
adorned with almost 40 ship’s crests (pictured above), and he also
Cadets from TS Sherbourne in
marine engineering artificers,
the sinking of HMS Aldenham in card, keeps the spirit of our age
has some 25 ship’s letterheads (dies) which are also mounted. Dick’s
mechanicians and mechanics from
December 1944 in the Adriatic. alive.”
sister, Nora, said although he suffered a stroke in 2007, he is still
mentally alert. Below is another picture provided by Nora of Dick
(left) and his brother Syd
031-033_NN_jul.indd 2 22/6/09 08:45:34
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