A number of older items have now been moved to the "Archive" page
May Mess Meeting
The May Mess Meeting will take place on Thursday 4th May at the Broadwater Working Men's Club.
Gathering from 1830 for a 1900 start.
We look forward to seeing as many Shipmates there as possible
All prospective new members welcome.
Crossed over the Bar
It is with great Sadness that we have to report that S/M Betty Scott passed over the bar last Wednesday - 26th April.
Our thoughts and Prayers go out to S/M Bob and his family.
Details of Funeral will be posted when known.
LatestType 26 Frigate - HMS BIRMINGHAM - Laid Down
On the fourth day of the fourth month the fourth Type 26 frigate – and the fourth ship to bear the name Birmingham – began to take shape on the Clyde.
Work has now got under way on the latest of the Royal Navy’s next-generation submarine hunters, a £840m warship which will carry the name and motto – Forward – of England’s second city around the globe for a quarter of a century.
Joined by VIPs from Birmingham, builders BAE and veterans of the most recent ‘HMS Brum’ – as the ships were nicknamed – Defence Procurement Minister Alex Chalk joined BAE shipwrights in cutting the first steel plate in Govan, Glasgow.
Commodore Steve Roberts, heading the Type 26 programme for the Royal Navy, said: "Seeing the next Type 26 start the construction journey is a tangible representation of the success of the programme, thanks to the hard work put in by the DE&S and BAE Systems teams.
"These advanced anti-submarine warfare ships will provide the Royal Navy with a world-class cutting-edge capability to protect our Nation's interests well into the future."
Birmingham is the first of the second batch of five frigates which will complete the class – Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh, London – to join the original trio of HMS Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast already under construction.
Identical to the first batch, but incorporating lessons learned in their construction and exploiting a new assembly hall which will shield the vessels from the Scottish elements unlike the first three Type 26s, the second batch represents a £4.2bn investment in the future of the Royal Navy and the shipbuilding/defence industry.
She’ll be the fourth Birmingham to serve under the White Ensign, building on foundations laid by ships whose service spanned the 20th Century.
The first two were cruisers which served through World War 1 and 2 respectively. No.1 fought at Heligoland, Dogger Bank and Jutland and served around the globe until the early 1930s.
She was replaced by a Town-class cruiser which was deployed around the globe but only earned one battle honour in WW2 (Norway), adding to it with service in Korea and broken up in 1960 (her sister, HMS Belfast, survives as a museum in London).
The most recent Birmingham was a Type 42 destroyer which joined the Fleet in 1976. Unlike many of her class, she didn’t serve in the Falklands conflict but was sent south as part of the security/peacekeeping operation around the islands afterwards.
Other peacekeeping duties included the Adriatic, protecting shipping in the Gulf during the ‘tanker wars’ and evacuating Britons and entitled civilians from Albania in 1997. She was paid off two years later and sold for breaking up in 2000.
The new Birmingham will be equipped with the Sea Ceptor missile defence system, a 5in medium calibre main gun, a Merlin or Wildcat helicopter, medium-range radar, powerful array sonars, a Mk41 vertical launch silo for missile systems, and a ‘mission bay’ allowing the ships to carry adaptable ‘pods’ for wide-ranging operations, such as disaster relief, drones, and mine warfare.
The eight 26s replace the eight dedicated Type 23 anti-submarine frigates currently in service (five new Type 31s will supplant the general duty 23s reaching the end of their lifespans) and are expected to serve for at least 25 years, taking the class into the 2060s.
And thanks to lessons learned building the first batch, plus improved assembly facilities – including a new undercover construction hall – Birmingham and the four Type 26s will be built for around two-thirds the cost of the initial trio, and they will be built and delivered to the Fleet more quickly.
Construction of the 26s will sustain around 1,700 jobs at BAE’s yards in Govan and Scotstoun, plus 2,300 jobs across 120 suppliers and sub-contractors.
SEMAPHORE CIRCULAR - 05 April 2023
Wishing you a very happy Easter – here is the link to the latest Semaphore Circular: https://royal-naval-association.co.uk/members/downloads/2023/, there will be a Semaphore Short with you on Easter Monday and as well as that, we also have some updates for you:
Coronation Pin Badges
We are delighted to tell you we have a limited edition Royal Naval Association Coronation Badge to commemorate the Coronation of King Charles III for £5 including postage, it is similar to the Jubilee badge. If you would like to order please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or more information via our Facebook group.
Uckers World Championships
The 2023 World Uckers Championships (doubles and singles) will take place at the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth on Saturday 21st October 2021. Registration is now open email email@example.com or via this link to our Facebook group.
Army vs Navy Rugby Match
We still have availability for subsidised tickets for the Army vs Navy on 13th May - £40 tickets for £35 and £35 tickets for £30 - support for transport costs are also available, please fill in the form available here: https://royal-naval-association.co.uk/.../rugby-booking... and send to firstname.lastname@example.org – cut off date is Friday, 14 April.
RNA Gazebos – New Branding
We are able to source Gazebos centrally for a price of £976 (including VAT). This is a high-quality, 3x3m, commercial grade Gazebo; a quality gazebo comes at a substantial cost, negotiating a price centrally can allow clubs to ‘buy into’ and share the cost of a branded gazebo; more information attached, email email@example.com with any questions or to order.
APRIL MESS MEETING (SOCIAL)
As covered in the February minutes, all future Mess meetings will now take place at Broadwater working Mens Club and no longer at TS Vanguard.
In addition, the meetings will revert back to the first Thursday of each month and not the first Friday.
Finally, there will be a Formal mess meeting only every three months, with the intervening meetings being a social one - hopefully as time goes on, with presentations or visits.
This new arrangement will allow Shipmates to catch up in an informal manner over a drink or two, without the formal reports and procedure. It is hoped also to conduct a raffle.
The April Socail Mess meeting will take place at Broadwater Working Mens Clun on Thursday 6th April at 1900, with doors open at 1830.
We look forward to seeing as many shipmates as are able to make it along.
POTENTIAL CHANGE OF VENUE FOR MESS MEETINGS
We have been informed by Broadwater Working Mens Club, that the meeting room at the club would now be available once again on the First Thursday of each month.
It is planned to investigate the option to revert back to using the club on the first Thursday of the month for future mess meetings instead of Fridays at TS Vanguard.
The distinctive blue-white Topaz Tangaroa, which has arrived at the Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead, will become the UK’s first ship dedicated to safeguarding vital seabed telecommunications cables and oil and gas pipelines, beginning operations in just six months’ time.
Military equipment will be installed and the ship painted grey before the ship – the first of two planned Multi-Role Oceanographic Survey (MROS) vessels – begins training with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ready for its first front-line operations this summer.
Announced by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace in November 2022, the accelerated acquisition of this MROS vessel will be vital to our national security.
“The first of two dedicated subsea surveillance ships will join the fleet this Summer, bolstering our capabilities and security against threats posed now and into the future,” he said.
“It is paramount at a time when we face Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, that we prioritise capabilities that will protect our critical national infrastructure.”
The Royal Navy scoured the world for a vessel which would meet its requirements and selected the Topaz Tangaroa.
She was built in Norway four years ago to support a mix of underwater operations such as work on oil/gas rigs, construction, maintenance and inspection work, as well as survey and remotely-operated vehicle/autonomous submarine operations, making her ideal for underwater surveillance and seabed warfare.
The 6,000-tonne vessel, which is equipped with a helipad, crane, and expansive working deck – 1,000 square metres, or the size of five tennis courts – has most recently been operating in the Pacific on underwater construction projects.
The ship also features a ‘moon pool’ – a large access point in the bottom of the hull through which robot submersibles can be launched.
The vessel, whose new military name is still to be announced, will be crewed by around two dozen RFA sailors, plus up to 60 Royal Navy specialists will operate the undersea surveillance systems and other survey and warfare systems when embarked.
“This is an entirely new mission for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – and one we relish,” said Commodore David Eagles RFA, the head of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
“We have been entrusted with supporting a key operation to safeguard the UK’s infrastructure, security and prosperity and that fills all of us in the RFA with pride. These are really exciting times.”
The Royal Navy has taken up the reins of Combined Task Force 150; tasking international warships and aircraft to patrol the Indian Ocean and waters of the Middle East to deter terrorism and illicit activities which support it, such as drugs smuggling. This is the eleventh time the Royal Navy have taken command of the Task Force.
The force has proven to be particularly successful in the fight against the illegal drugs trade. Since July 2022, and under the recent command of the Royal Saudi Naval Force, there have been six busts: capturing more than eleven tonnes of hashish, three tonnes of heroin, two tonnes of methamphetamines and three tonnes of opium – taking over £150m drugs off the streets.
One of those seizures – totalling nearly £15.5m of illegal narcotics – was carried out by Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose in October. She’s now been replaced in the region by her sister ship HMS Lancaster which has been on patrol in the Strait of Hormuz with the US Navy.
The Royal Navy’s Captain Jim Byron took charge from the Royal Saudi Naval Force at the group’s HQ in Bahrain.
Capt Byron said his predecessor, Rear Admiral Abdullah Al-Mutairi had achieved “huge success” in his six months in charge.
“Commanding Combined Task Force 150 is a huge privilege and I am delighted to have been welcomed so warmly to Bahrain to work once again with our Combined Maritime Force partners.
“The work these 38 nations do – ready and stronger together – is a clear demonstration of what can be achieved when like-minded nations come together for the common good.”
“Through persistent military presence, we will do all we can to maintain maritime security across the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, ensuring the legitimate use of the global maritime commons and disrupting the illicit activity of terrorist organisations and narcotics traffickers.”
He continued: “My Royal Navy staff, supported by personnel from both the Royal Navy of New Zealand and the Italian Marina Militare, will work tirelessly to keep a watchful eye over the region”.
The Chief of Joint Operations at the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood, Lieutenant General Charlie Stickland, highlighted the United Kingdom’s long history of contributing to regional security in the Middle East, working with allies and partners.
“Taking Command of CTF150 for the eleventh time demonstrates our continued commitment to supporting maritime security in the region. During the UK’s Command, CTF150 will bring together our partners to collectively respond to malign smuggling activity and promote the international rules based order to deter the illicit use of the seas.”
CTF 150 is one of several task groups operated by the Combined Maritime Forces, the world’s largest international naval partnership, with more than 30 nations providing security for merchant shipping by conducting, supporting counter-piracy, counter-terrorism and maritime security patrols.
They cover the Red Sea, the Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and the wider Indian Ocean and include three of the world’s busiest maritime chokepoints – the Suez Canal, the Bab el-Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz.
Disruption to the regular flow of traffic would impact not just the UK – which benefits from regular supplies of liquid natural gas from the Gulf – but the global economy
DIARY OF COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS - WORTHING 2023
(Further details for each event will be promulgated once timings etc are known.)
27th January Holocaust Memorial Day Beach House Park Memorial Tree
10th February Annual General Meeting TS Vanguard
24th May HMS HOOD Worthing Memorial outside Town Hall
30th June Battle of Boars Head Memorial Beach House Park
2nd July Sea Sunday Service Worthing Pier
20th August Canadian Memorial Canadian Memorial - Opposite Grand Avenue
17 September Battle of Britain Service Christs Church, Chapel Road Worthing
24 September HMS Fittleton Memorial Worthing Pier
15th October HMS Broadwater Memorial St Mary's Church, Broadwater
20th October Trafalgar Night Dinner Ardington Hotel, Worthing
6th November Open Garden of Rememberance Town Hall
12th November Rememberance Parade Worthing Memorail outside Town Hall
19th November Pidgeon Memorial (Animals) Venue tbc
REMEMBRANCE DAY PARADE 2022
The annual Remembrance day Parade took place at the War Memorial on Sunday 13th November.
The Branch was represented along with representatives of local Cadets and Youth services.
Trafalgar Night Dinner
The Branch held a Trafalgar Night Dinner at the Ardington Hotel in Worthing on Saturday 22nd October
Photos can be found on the Trafalgar Night 2022 page on the website.
The Trafalgar Night Dinner for 2023 is booked for Friday 20th October 2023 again at the Ardington Hotel.
HMS BROADWATER MEMORIAL SERVICE
The annual HMS BROADWATER Memorial service was held at St Mary's Church in Broadwater on Sunday16th October.
The Service was attended by Shipmates from Worthing Branch, the Mayor of Worthing - Councillor Henna Chowdhury, TS VANGUARD and the Standards from the RNA, Royal British Legion and Worthing Sea Cadets.
September Mess Meeting
The mess Meeting for July will take place on Friday 2nd September at
TS Vanguard, 9A Broadwater Road, BN14 8AD.
Please also note the new times!
Doors open at 1830 for a prompt 1900 start.
ROYAL NAVAL ASSOCIATION
Meets Monthly on the First Friday of the Month
At TS Vanguard,
9a Broadwater Road
New Members always welcome
“ONCE NAVY ALWAYS NAVY”
New Members always welcome
Here at Worthing Branch of the RNA, we are always looking to add new members to the Branch - an opportunity to meet with fellow "old Boys and Girls" and exchange a dit or two and socialise.
Membership of the RNA is free, and there is a small annual Branch subscription only.
Members can be Veterans, serving members or simply those with an affiliation to the Royal Navy.
Anyone interested in joining us, can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naval Association Parade - London 12th September
Shipmate Richard Shenton - the Unit Standard Bearer, attended the RNA Parade at the Cenotaph in London on September 12th following the Naval Associations Parade. Richard is shown carrying the Area 3 Standard along with S/m Ian Robinson, who carried the County Class Destroyer Association Standard.
The minehunters are represented by: Her Majesty’s Ships Chiddingfold and her sister Brocklesby (berthed outboard) with 36 and 32 crew appearing in the photograph and Shoreham and, outboard, Penzance (33 and 32 sailors on parade).
They rely on the Mine Countermeasures Battle Staff (18 personnel lined up in front of Chiddingfold’s stern) and all the vessels need maintenance support and assistance. Step forward 23 engineers of the Forward Support Unit (in front of Shoreham’s bow).
Although principally a Royal Navy hub, the base is also home to a detachment of soldiers for force protection (nine are lined up here, the rest are on duty guarding the facility), and eight RAF personnel who live on the base but operate the small, but crucial, air hub for moving personnel in and out of Bahrain as well as crucial supplies for the fleet.
(And the two ships top left? They’re US Avenger-class minehunters with whom RN vessels train frequently.)
With personnel on duty both in the ships, on the base, and in the UK/US headquarters the actual number of personnel – military and civilian – supporting the RN’s peacekeeping and security operation in the region is well over 403, closer to 600.
Commanding them for the past two years, said Cdre Bassett, had been “an honour”: “the professionalism, sense of duty, commitment and humour has been quite extraordinary, particularly during the past 12 months when the global pandemic has made life much more demanding.”
During his time in charge, Montrose has made her mark as the RN’s permanent major presence east of Suez – both safeguarding shipping and, with other British and allied warships, keeping millions of pounds of illegal narcotics off the streets of the UK and Europe thanks to a series of major busts.
Cdre Bassett has handed over the reins to Commodore Ed Ahlgren. The role also involves serving as deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, the coalition of more than 30 nations and navies committed to the safe passage of shipping from Suez to the shores of Pakistan and as far south as the Seychelles.
Cdre Ahlgren takes over having previously commanded one of the coalition’s major task groups, CTF 150, which is focused on maritime security across more than two million square miles of ocean and has been operating since the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US in 2001.
Designed to defend a class of aircraft carriers which were never built, Bristol was the sole Type 82 destroyer delivered to the Royal Navy and, until now, its second oldest commissioned vessel thanks to a unique career.
Her final Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander David Price, said: “We knew the day HMS Bristol decommissioned from the Fleet would come, so it is my privilege as her final Commanding Officer to lower the White Ensign for the last time on behalf of the thousands of sailors and cadets for whom this ship has been an invaluable training platform, and also for all those who served on board during her first commission.”
Bristol notably saw action in the Falklands during 1982. Initially leading a group of two destroyers, five frigates and one RFA supply ship arriving as reinforcements, the ship later joined the carrier battle task group to fulfil her primary role as an air-defence destroyer and then assumed flagship duties.
Representatives of Navy Command, the HMS Bristol Association (1982 veterans), youth organisations and ship's company gathered on her upper deck for a small decommissioning ceremony. They were also joined by Major Theo Hogg, RM, grandson of Lady Hogg who launched the ship in 1969. The senior Royal Navy officer present was Rear Admiral Philip Hally MBE, Director Personnel and Training.
Do you have any old Photos of your old Ships?
We are looking to start a page dedicated to ships that members have served upon in the past (or where still serving - currently) as a sort of Rouges Gallery!
If you have any photos - along with any comments or dits that you would like to see go on, please email to :
NAVY OFFICERS AND RATINGS MAKE HISTORY AT UNIQUE PARADE
For the first time in the history of the Royal Navy sailors and officers today passed out side-by-side.
The parade ground at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth – the spiritual home of the officer cadre for the past 115 years – witnessed a unique ceremony as 34 ratings and 130 officers completed their training.
Britain’s most senior sailor, First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin, welcomed the ratings – who formed a guard of honour – and officers into the naval family as the guest of honour.
Traditionally, the nine-week transformation from civilian to sailor takes place at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, but with a surge in interest in joining the Navy, an additional course was provided at Dartmouth.
Among the ratings completing training was 24-year-old Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering) Sarah-Jayne Stoppel from Northampton. “The course has been good, but some parts have been really challenging, particularly the Initial Military Fitness because it’s quite intense.
“Physical exercise in civvy street really doesn’t prepare you for two hours of military exercise, but I can feel that my fitness has massively improved. It’s been exciting to be part of something significant by training here at Britannia.”
Fellow Engineering Technician Lucas Cann from South Wales joined the Royal Navy to travel, gain qualifications and enjoy a better lifestyle. The 18-year-old lost both of his grandfathers while he was in training.
“When I found out my grandads had died I just wanted to leave, but everyone got around me and I’m still here. The staff and the management team of recruits were great. The Navy is really good at handling this type of thing.
“I have made friends for life. I don’t have words to describe how good it feels to complete this course. There was no pressure from the Royal Navy, but as a group we got together and decided that we had to make an impression being the first to train here.”
Of the officers passing out, 98 completed a 29-week initial training programme, while 28 more underwent the transition from ratings. Four nursing officers of the Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service, 11 new officers for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service and 28 international cadets from 13 overseas nations also completed their training.
“I’m extremely proud, and grateful to all the people who have been on this journey with me – it’s been a long road to get here, with lots of ups and downs, but I feel more confident, capable and stronger than ever. It’s also an absolute privilege to be passing out alongside the ratings. I think being part of this historic moment is one of the best silver linings we could have hoped for,” said 23-year-old Midshipman Ellie Johnson from Suffolk.
“It’s amazing to think how far we’ve come in eight months, and there have been so many highlights, but my favourite part was definitely being on destroyer HMS Defender. We learned so much at Dartmouth, but it all seemed to come together finally living on board an operational warship.”
Admiral Radakin told the officers and ratings gathered before him:
“This is a historic occasion – and it is historic on two levels. It is of course the first time that we have ever had officers and ratings training together, and passing out together, at Dartmouth. And that is historic in itself. But it is also a historic occasion for each and every one of you. You will always remember this day as the real start of your naval career.
“That applies to all of you on parade, officers and ratings, regardless of your specialisation or which country you come from. You have made a commitment to put yourself in harm’s way. To serve your country. And to do so cheerfully, with determination and in the face of whatever challenges may come. You should all be enormously proud of yourselves.”
Captain Roger Readwin, the Captain of BRNC, bristled with pride at the sight of officers and ratings passing out together.
“It is magnificent to see them all standing side-by-side, as they will at sea in the years to come. Our people are the life blood of the Royal Navy.
“They have all worked hard to meet the stringent standards and thoroughly deserve their place on this historic parade ground. It is also very special to welcome their families and friends on this momentous day, to thank them all for their incredible support during these uncertain times and introduce them all to the Royal Naval family.”
Most of the Officers passing-out began their training in January and over the course of the 29 weeks, they have been tested on Dartmoor, on the River Dart and have spent time at sea on board an operational warship.
Both Britannia Royal Naval College and HMS Raleigh have continued to train throughout the pandemic to provide the front-line Fleet with fresh blood. A further class of ratings will begin training at Dartmouth in October.
HMS HOOD Event
As a result of the restrictions for COVID19, the annual service of Rememberance for HMS HOOD could not take place this year.
Not wishing to fail to mark the event at all, a duly "Socially Distanced" 2 minutes silence was observed in the front garden of the President S/M Bob Scott.
In attendance were The President - S/M Bob Scott, the Chairman - S/M David Shipley, S/M Tony Avery, and S/M Richard Shenton who attended with the standard. S/M Paul Minter attended as the photographer to record the event!
HMS HOOD Anniversary
The Branch normally holds its own HMS Memorial Service, but due to the current COVID19 issues, we have had to cancel this year.
We have now heard that there will be a Virtual service which shipmates can log onto and watch. Details below.
Friends and relatives of those who served in or went down in battle-cruiser HMS Hood are going ahead with their annual commemorative service – but virtually.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the commissioning of the ship, which came to symbolise the Royal Navy during the Inter-War period.
She was lost – with all but three souls aboard – engaging Hitler’s flagship Bismarck in company with HMS Prince of Wales in the Denmark Strait early on the morning of May 24 1941.
Among the 1400+ casualties who went down with Hood was Admiral Lancelot Holland, in command of the two British capital ships.
He worshipped at St John’s Church in Boldre, Hampshire, where in the years since the disaster a special section has grown honouring the ship and her men, with a service held each year on the Sunday closest to the sinking.
This year’s service will now be a virtual affair due to the lockdown, but you will still be able to ‘join’ the congregation courtesy of the internet;
the 11am service on Sunday May 24 will be broadcast via the church’s website:
https://www.bsbb.org.uk/ or https://www.bsbb.org.uk/virtual-church/
Plans are already being drawn up for the 2021 service – provisionally set of May 16 – when the 80th anniversary of the tragedy will be marked.
VE DAY Photos
Altough there were many events and celebrations that had been arranged to commemerate VE day, sadly these all had to be cancelled.
A number of "socially distanced" events did take place, and a couple of these are shown below. Any additional photos to include, email to email@example.com
PRESENTATION OF HMS CONSORT TIE TO TS VANGUARD
On Wednesday 11th March, The Worthing Branch of The Royal British Legion presented to TS Vanguard the Tie given to the Unit by Cannon and Mrs Nunn. The tie was given to Cannon Nunn whilst he was serving as the padre onboard HMS Consort.
S/M Paul Minter accepted the tie on behalf of TS Vanguard in his role as Chairman of the Unit.
Mrs Nun was unable to attend the presentation, and it was agreed a separate occasion would be arranged for her to visit and view the Tie on display.
Also present at the presentation were the Worthing RNA Branch President -S/M Bob Scott, and the Branch Chairman - S/M David Shipley, as well as the Worthing Deputy Mayor, Cllr Lionel Harman.
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Updated 02 May 2023