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30 NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2011


Veterans return for Inchon re-enactment


Dauntless badge set to return


A SHIP’S badge from a Great War-vintage light cruiser is to be presented to her modern-day namesake by RNA Headquarters. The existence of the badge (pictured above), cast


to the


Secretary S/M Paddy McClurg through a contact in Fernham, Dorset.


Thinking it may have been the tampion from a gun, the object was retrieved from her wall – and it turned out to be a metal plaque from the Danae-class ship which was commissioned just weeks after Armistice.


in phosphor bronze, came ears of


believed to be former General


MEMBERS of British Korean Veterans


Association


travelled to the Far East to help mark the 60th anniversary


of the Inchon Landings. The group of 18 were responding to an invitation from the ROK Korean Veterans Association to attend the ceremonies – the success of the landings is regarded as being crucial in preventing the spread of communism to the south of the Korean peninsula. WO Ian Smith of the British Embassy in Seoul met the group at the airport, and with a number of civilians helped chaperone them through a busy programme of visits.


to Portsmouth and, accompanied by a photograph of the ship’s company in New York Harbour in 1922 (believed to be just after British sailors rescued 14 of their American counterparts after an accident), was due to be handed to the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless over the summer. But for various reasons the


formal presentation could not be fitted in, so HQ staff hope that a new date can be arranged early this year.


The badge was brought back


S/Ms Joe Guy (who served in HMS Ocean during the conflict), Denis Philips and Fred Darwent; Ron Smith and Geoff King represented the Royal Marines, while the remainder of the party were from various Army formations. First on the agenda was a visit to the National Cemetery where a wreath was laid, followed by a tour of the National War Memorial displays. That evening they attended a reception given by the British Ambassador. An early start was required the


following day to catch a bullet train to Pusan for a pilgrimage to the UN cemetery where the British dead are buried or their names remembered on plaques. “The UN Commonwealth Cemetery is beautifully kept and


Cairn pays tribute to Sturdy rescuers


A CEREMONY has taken place on a remote corner of the island of Tiree in Scotland which saw the completion of a cairn and plaque to pay tribute to the men of HMS Sturdy and the islanders who rescued and looked after her ship’s company in difficult and dangerous circumstances. The old destroyer ran aground on the Inner Hebridean island in a fierce storm in the small hours of October 30 1940, breaking up on Sandaigh Beach. Five


sailors died, and are


buried in the Soreby graveyard, Balemartine, but the presence of mind of Capt Donald Sinclair, a Merchant Navy man, prevented much greater loss of life – he signalled the surviving sailors and told them not to abandon ship until daybreak, when the tide


would have gone back. Lt Cdr Gibson had contacted


Navy News in the hope of finding relatives of the casualties (and raising the profile of the campaign), and one woman, the daughter of CPO Springett – who survived the wreck – saw the letter and travelled back to the UK from Australia to attend. Dawn Springett laid a wreath on behalf of survivors,


Cdre


Charles Stevenson, of Rosyth, laid one for the Royal Navy and Lt Cdr Gibson laid one in memory of Capt Sinclair, who died shortly after the Sturdy incident when his convoy was attacked. Some 80 people attended the ceremony, overlooking the beach; the service was led by the Rev Peter Williams and the Rev Bruce Neill.


The RN contingent consisted of


● S/M Joe Guy presents Capt Joo of the Republic of Korea Navy with a ship’s badge from HMS Ocean


is a credit to the way the South Koreans look after those that went to their aid and became casualties of ‘the forgotten war’,” said S/M Joe.


and laid wreaths; three members had brought wreaths from the UK to lay on the graves of lost comrades. “I was able to take a very good picture of the names of those RN and RM with ‘no known graves’. “I believe that all those lost on


my ship, HMS Ocean, during the war are recorded save for Lt Cdr Machem, who I presume has a grave amongst the 2,000 British


Cheshunt members rewarded


CHESHUNT branch held their


annual dinner at the Halsley Masonic Hall, with Cllr Charlie Traham as guest of honour. During the evening S/M Marian


Joy, the widow of the former branch chairman,


presented the Ron


Joy Memorial Cup to treasurer S/M Norman Dicker, while PRO S/M James ‘Spud’ Murphy was awarded Life Membership by chairman S/M Vic Everest. Branch member S/M Ernie


Havis had earlier been chosen for the Mercury Newspaper Civic Award for lifelong achievement. Ernie has devoted himself to


the youth of Broxbourne, not least through his presidency of the local Sea Cadet unit TS Intrepid. Though critically ill, Ernie has fought a long, successful battle to establish a site for their new HQ. He is a well-known poppy collector, and has been a driving force behind a plan to erect a memorial to the crew of a fully- laden US bomber which managed to avoid the town of Waltham Cross but crashed and exploded. Ernie had attended the scene as


the youngest member of the fire brigade.


● Pictured above are the three remaining members of Wishaw who were left with the sad task of decommissioning the branch. S/Ms Tommy Leggate, Alex Thomas (branch chairman) and Alex Dickson (branch vice chairman) had to call it a day after 27 years as the branch had ceased to exist as a functioning unit. At a small service held at TS Enterprise, the local Sea Cadet unit in Airdrie, the trio handed over their standard to the youngsters for safekeeping, with the hope that the branch can be rejuvenated in the near future. In attendance were members of the RNA from Glasgow and the Scottish Area, who were entertained by the cadets’ demonstrations of leadership, knot- tying, drill and other such activities – a good night, though coloured with sadness at the loss of the branch


“We held a suitable service


killed that are on this site.” The next day was supposed to be a quiet one; not so, as the party was roused early and told “no medals or military insignia, bring passports”...


driven to the 38th Parallel, to look at various conflict sites along the demilitarized zone between the two Korean states. Another early start, this time


They boarded coaches and were


listened to speeches by various dignitaries


including the President of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak. A re-enactment followed, loud explosions


featuring


represent the preliminary bombardment by American and British ships,


cruisers HMS Kenya and HMS Jamaica.


including light


buffet, provided by Republic of Korea Navy chefs, after which S/M Joe had the opportunity to make a presentation.


Philip Gibson to bring a plaque back to the UK from the Auriga deployment. That plaque was taken to


and asked his WO1 forthcoming visit


the Far East by S/M Joe, who presented it to Capt Joo, who had organised the event. The two Royals, S/M Joe and


There was then an impressive


Capt Keith Blount, Commanding Officer of HMS Ocean, had been made aware of S/M Joe’s to Korea


to and politicians,


● Lt Steve Cole, from HMS Raleigh (left) with S/M Dave Eaton, Chairman of the Fisgard Association


Memorial created for Fisgard


an Army comrade then joined the head of a mile-long military parade through the street of Incheon, standing in a Jeep (“Fantastic!” according to Joe). The remainder returned to


to avoid heavy traffic, heralded a day of celebrations at Wolmido, Incheon, site of the surprise landings in the Korean War. On a hot day, with seats in a prime position,


the veterans


their hotel in Seoul before a final evening of opera and another banquet. That represented the end of the


formal visit, and the party returned to the UK having thanked all the officials and embassy staff who had helped make the trip such a memorable week.


of two RN bases used to provide training for apprentice marine and weapon engineers, shipwrights and engineers for the Fleet Air Arm. These apprentices, known as or


artificers


to train at Fisgard until the establishment closed in 1983. Artificer new entry training


transferred to Raleigh while the technical aspect of the course was carried out at other RN training establishments. In 2006 artificers were replaced


tiffies, continued


Fisgard Association gathered for a service of dedication at the marble stone, located in the Trevol Business Park, close to HMS Raleigh. The service was conducted by RN chaplain the Rev Mark Dalton, and shipmates were joined by officers from Raleigh and other dignitaries, including the Mayor of Torpoint, Cllr Eddie Andrews. Fisgard opened in 1939 as one


A MEMORIAL stone has been unveiled on the site of a former Royal Navy base near Torpoint to remember all those who trained at HMS Fisgard. More than 100 members of the


by engineering technicians (ETs) specialising in weapon, mechanical and air engineering. The new memorial was paid for by the association, which also obtained a 99-year lease on four square metres of soil. Association chairman S/M David


Eaton, who trained at Fisgard in the 1950s, said: “As an association we wanted to remember all those who passed through the gates of HMS Fisgard. “We hope very much that this memorial will remain here undisturbed for many generations to come to remind people of the Royal Navy artificer apprentice.”


York remembers


YORK branch members joined the RBL and United Services at the city’s Railway Memorial for a remembrance service. That same afternoon, members of the family of the late Royal Marine David Hart, of Poppleton, accompanied by his former troop sergeant and members of 40 Commando RM, attended a tree- planting in David’s honour. Branch PRO Bernard Hallas said there was a degree of consolation in the fact that David was so well thought of by all who came into contact with him.


● A dozen veterans were invited along to Fratton Park to watch Portsmouth play a Championship fi xture against Doncaster Rovers. Louise Purcell, Poppy Appeal organiser for the city, was contacted by the club, which offered VIP treatment for the 12 veterans, of all ages and from all three Services. One was Louise’s husband, who was serving in HMS Sheffi eld during the Falklands and was also in the fi rst Gulf war. He, like the rest of the veterans, was introduced to the crowd on the pitch just before the minute’s silence for Remembrance, and had a thoroughly enjoyable day – though the Pompey fans amongst them will not have been too pleased by the 3-2 defeat


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