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Ramsey comes to town

HMS RAMSEY visited its adopted town of Ramsey, Isle of Man, to be presented with the freedom of entry – and the local RNA branch played a prominent role. CO Lt Cdr Steve Brown and his

ship’s company paraded through the town with Lady Dunt, who launched the minehunter in 1999, taking the salute.

The march through ended at the Masonic Hall, the branch’s meeting place, where Lt Cdr Brown was presented with a Manx flag and a huge cake decorated with the ship’s and the RNA badges. The event was also attended by

buffet for more than 100 guests as well as tots all round, drunk to the loyal toast “The Queen Lord of Man”.

citizens and the ship’s company. To commemorate the day

and trust shipmates provided a

Conference is short and to the point

AREA 10 have staged a successful conference attended by about 250 shipmates from around the North West. The weekend began with a welcoming party

that included a quiz night and the first round of a regional uckers competition. The uckers competition lasted the whole

weekend and was eventually won by Sterling Simmons and John Arnold from Crosby

branch. The quiz was also won by a Crosby member.

The conference itself was recorded as being one of the shortest on record at just an hour. Although short, the meeting covered many

topics, including the developments of the National Conference which will take place at the beginning of this month in France. The motions due to be raised at the

conference were also discussed and created some lively debate. The Saturday evening culminated in a gala

dinner, with entertainment provided by a rock ’n’ roll band and a singer/comedian. Following the Sunday morning service,

shipmates were treated to a two-and-a-half hour SODS Opera show from the Crosby branch, which was well received.

Vice Admiral Sir Paul Haddacks, who is both the island’s Governor and president of Ramsey branch. The

Granting the freedom of entry traditionally allows military units to enter a town and recruit sailors, although today it represents friendship


the town commissioners were presented with a painting of HMS Ramsey by Heather Ruffins, which will hang in the Town Hall.

Special service

CHESHUNT branch celebrated St George’s Day with a special church service at Christ Church, Waltham Cross, conducted by padre Rev ‘Mother Jane’ Dicker. The standards of Cheshunt,

Enfield and Loughton branches,

with the Royal British Legion’s men’s and women’s sections, were presented at the altar.

Reunions end


“DIMINISHING numbers and age-related problems” have

prompted the HMS Ladybird (Sesebo

Association to call a halt to further reunions. However, the association will continue to function, and contact should be made through vice president S/M Robin Tubbs at or on 02380 897923.

The Mighty Hood – as she might have been

TONY Ansell has created a model of

battlecruiser HMS Hood.

But before the pedants out there

the renowned

start picking holes in his work, it is HMS Hood as you have never seen her before. “It’s a project I have had on my mind for years,” said Tony, who has been building such models since 1980.

“I like to make warships which,

if you go to a show, you do not see 20 models of the same thing. “I decided to research Hood as

she would have looked. “There was not much to work from – we have got the minutes of a meeting at the Admiralty in March 1939, and that’s all I had to go by.” But Tony carried on, and has

built a model of Hood as he believes she would have appeared had an extensive three-year refit gone ahead in 1939. She carries more aircraft but

fewer boats, for example, and there are major changes to her bridge and funnels – in specific areas Tony used work carried out on

SEA Cadets from TS Endeavour escorted the Association Colour at the 91st annual dinner dance

of the Bristol Royal Navy and Royal Marines OCA, which was

held at the Bristol Reservist unit HMS Flying Fox.

● Tony Ansell with his scale model of HMS Hood as she might have looked had she entered refi t as planned in 1939

other ships such as HMS Renown as an indicator. There were also changes to her secondary armament. “This is very much, I think, how

it would have been,” said Tony. “I don’t think anyone can say for sure if I am right or wrong because as far as I know there were no official plans produced.”

There was one unnerving incident while

Tony was

completing the model. “When I first started the model I ensured that the rudder was centred by briefly fitting the radio control gear, which was removed to build the model” said Tony. “Three years later the last thing to do to complete the model was

to refit the radio control. “Guess what – the rudder went hard to port and, believe me, I don’t know how this happened. “When Hood was sunk it was

unknown if the order had been given for her to turn to port to bring all her guns to bear. “When they found her, yes... the rudder was to port. Spooky...”

1950-53) Cadets on duty Aurora Association founder mourned

LAST year saw the closure of the HMS Aurora Association, a victim of falling numbers as members succumbed to illness and the passage of time. Now the former association secretary, S/M Derrick


Denyer, has announced the death of association founder S/M Harry Jones, who crossed the bar on April 11 at the age of 88. Harry joined the Arethusa-class light cruiser in

1941; she began the year working in cold northern waters (including the search for Bismarck) and ended it steaming in the Mediterranean. Aurora operated for a period with HMS Penelope

Branch forced to close down

THE mystery ship in our April edition (right) was HMS Maryton, and Mr J Soanes of Torquay wins £50 for providing the correct answer.

This month’s submarine

(above), is not – despite her name – a state-of-the-art nuclear attack submarine which has featured regularly in our news pages in recent years, but a diesel boat from the tail-end of World War 2. Of their ilk, only the above boat

and the name ship of the class were completed before the war ended.

What was the submarine’s name, and what was the name ship of the class?

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 July

12. 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 August edition. The competition is not open to Navy News employees or their families.


Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . My answers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

AFTER more than 60 years of

comradeship, Bishop’s Stortford

branch has paid off because of falling membership rolls and a lack of younger shipmates stepping up. First commissioned in 1948, the branch has enjoyed mixed fortunes over the years, but has also managed to raise many thousands of pounds

naval and national charities. Branch president S/M Alan Kendell paid tribute to shipmates past and present, and to

residents of the town for their support over the years. Attending the very last branch meeting were S/Ms Tony Knight, Ted Laird, Cyril Banks, Alan Jendell, Gordon Day, Ernie March and Les Hutchin.

Veteran dies

DUNKIRK veteran James ‘Lofty’ Christmas has died just weeks before the 70th anniversary of Operation Dynamo. In our May edition we reported

that James, who was a junior rating in 1940, had been interviewed by Dan Snow for a documentary on the evacuation of Allied troops from northern France. But WO Mick Gentry,

April 30. James crossed the bar on the

● The launch of the Albert McKenzie VC Memorial Fund in London

Picture: Southwark News

Salute to local hero

AN APPEAL to fund a statue of a South London war hero has been officially launched – and now the hard work begins. On St George’s Day – also

Association of Dunkirk Little Ships RN Liaison Warrant Officer, contacted us last month to report that


Bermondsey to pay tribute to Albert McKenzie VC. Albert won the highest military honour for his bravery under withering enemy fire on the mole at the Belgian port, and though he survived his injuries he was too weak to survive the ’flu epidemic of that year, and died just before the Armistice.

dignitaries gathered in

the anniversary of the raid on Zeebrugge in 1918 – supporters and

eye-catching statue erected in Tower Bridge Road has fired the imagination of an enthusiastic team of supporters, including the local Southwark News, some of Albert’s relatives, local MP Simon Hughes and members of the Oxford and Bermondsey Club, of which Albert was a member. Anyone who would like to make

The initiative to have an

a donation should send a cheque of no more than £100, or no more than £1,000 from a business, made

payable to the Albert McKenzie VC

Memorial Fund, to the Oxford and Bermondsey Club, 3 Webb Street, London SE1 4RP.

for both

and two destroyers, HM Ships Lance and Lively, as Force K based in Malta, striking Axis convoys – in one operation, on November 9, all seven merchant ships in a convoy were sunk by gunfire from Force K, as well as an Italian destroyer. Aurora survived the war and was sold to China in

1948, but in 1949 she defected to the Communists and was sunk in an air raid. Salvaged and refitted in 1951, she was finally broken up in 1960. Harry Jones, meanwhile, rose through the ranks and took a commission, ending his Service career as a lieutenant.

Clubz club welcomes former PTIs

PTIs – Physical Training

Instructors – are responsible for the health and well-being of all serving personnel in the Royal Navy, and most would agree that they are a unique bunch. They have shaped the lives (and

physiques) of young and old alike within the Navy for better or for worse for at least a century. The PT School at Pitt Street

in Portsmouth opened in 1910, although the PT branch was formed in the late 19th century. Your view of the ‘clubswinger’ Clubz) depends

(or on your

attitude to physical exercise, but for those who love sport it is quite simply the best specialist branch in the Navy.

The PT Branch Association,

which endeavours to maintain the traditions of the branch, is looking to grow. The Association now has a

website to keep PTIs in touch with all RNPTBA activities, and within a year of its creation it is reaping the benefit of the camaraderie of PTIs.

Capt Mike Farrage, currently the Director Naval Physical Development (DNPD) and also the chairman of the RNPTBA, is pushing the management team toward a healthy family- style Association with a positive outcome to find all PTIs wherever they may hide, to ensure that they become members. This year there are two reunions to look forward to for all PTIs and associate/honorary members – the RNPTBA golf reunion at the Whitsand Bay Golf Club in Cornwall on July 8, and the main RNPTBA reunion at HMS Temeraire on July 15-16.

Seaford celebrate jubilee

THEY came from Chichester in the west, Maidstone in the east and from Hertfordshire in the north, all to help celebrate the silver jubilee of Seaford branch. Seaford town centre came to a standstill as the Royal Navy came to town.

After rededicating the branch standard at St Leonard’s Church, a parade through the town to the Royal British Legion Club was led by the Royal Naval Band from HMS Collingwood, followed by the

standards from RNA branches, the Royal British Legion, various ship associations, the Fleet Air

Arm Association, Submarine Association,

Seaford Sea Cadets and the Merchant Navy, not forgetting a platoon of ex-Servicemen and women.

Association President Vice Admiral John McAnally, while Area 3 president Admiral Sir Derek Reffell and the Mayor of Seaford Cllr Tracy Willis also attended.

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