Royal Naval Association Worthing Branch "Once Navy, Always Navy"
Royal Naval Association       Worthing Branch "Once Navy, Always Navy"


A number of older items have now been moved to the "Archive" page 




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.







November Mess Meeting


The September Mess meeting will take place on Friday 4th November at TS Vanguard - 9A Broadwater Road Worthing.


In addition to attendance in person, the meeting will also take place on Zoom.  Zoom details will be promulgated to shipmates by email, but can also be obtained by emailing


The meeting will commence at 1900 with doors open from 1830.  
This to allow more of the social element on completion of the usual Meerting business.







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.





Preperations for the Trafalgar Night Dinner are now all but complete.



Dinner at the Ardington Hotel in Steyne Gardens, Worthing. 


Saturday 22nd October - 1900 for 1930.


Dress:  Mess Undress / Black Tie / Lounge Suit for Gentelemen,

Evening Dress for Ladies.

Miniature Medals - Negative swords.


Complementary Rum Tot on arrival.


There will be a raffle on the evening, with all contributions welcomed.


Guest Speaker: Vice Admiral Peter Hudson CB CBE RN (Rtd)




October Mess Meeting


The September Mess meeting will take place on Friday 7th October at TS Vanguard - 9A Broadwater Road Worthing.


In addition to attendance in person, the meeting will also take place on Zoom.  Zoom details will be promulgated to shipmates by email, but can also be obtained by emailing


Please also note that the meeting will commence at 1900 with doors open from 1830 rather than as previously at 2000.  This to allow more of the social element on completion of the usual Meerting business.


It is also inteneded that in the future there will hopefully be a presentation of guest speaker on completion of the mess business.


Also, it is planned to re-commence the raffle, so suitable raffle prizes are requested.




Annual Canadian Memorial Service


This years annual Canadian Memorial will take place on Sunday 22nd August commencing at 1000 - Sea below.


Shipmates are requested to muster at the memorial at the bottom of Grand Avenue by 1045 in readiness for the start of the Service.


Usual RNA rig to be worn.




Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose delivered her fifth blow to drug runners in the Middle East this year.



Her team of sailors and Royal Marines seized around 870kg of crystal methamphetamine from a dhow in the Arabian Sea during a six-hour operation.

Persistence from the boarding team led to a secret compartment being found aboard the vessel, revealing hidden illegal narcotics.

The haul was brought back to the frigate for inspection and weighing. The drugs totalled 870kg when counted, worth around £15.5m wholesale value in the UK according to the National Crime Agency.

It’s the fifth drugs interdiction of the year by the ship while operating under the international Combined Task Force 150 and means Montrose has prevented nearly £47m illegal narcotics reaching the streets in 2022, denying the proceeds to criminals or terrorists.

The frigate, which has been deployed to the Middle East since the beginning of 2019, also seized two illegal arms shipments earlier this year – all of which underscores the importance of maintaining a major Royal Navy warship in the region on a long-term mission.

“Today we have disrupted the unlawful use of the oceans. A seizure of this size will deal a huge blow to the criminal or terrorist gangs using these illegal narcotics to fund their activity,” said Commander Claire Thompson, the frigate’s Commanding Officer.

“This success proves we will persistently deny criminals the freedom to conduct their illegal activity on the High Seas. Disrupting terrorist organisations, criminals and their funding lines is key to keeping to UK, and rest of the world, safe. 

“It is a privilege to command HMS Montrose and the incredibly professional, highly-trained and dedicated personnel that I have on my team. I could not be prouder of each and every one of them.”

The frigate is one of numerous international warships attached to Saudi-led Combined Task Force 150, itself part of the wider naval security mission from Suez to the Seychelles and western seaboard of the Indian sub-continent directed from Bahrain by the Combined Maritime Forces, a partnership of 38 nations committed to safety, security and the free passage of trade on the key sea lanes in the Middle East.
CTF 150 is one of several task groups in the region. It has a specific remit to conduct maritime security operations across a vast area spanning the Red and Arabian Seas, and much of the Indian Ocean, where it combats drug smuggling, human trafficking and illegal weapons.





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.


                                          Bar available.






Sea Sunday takes place on the first Sunday in July.
This year it falls on Sunday 3rd July.
Unlike previous years where we muster at Splash Point and march to the Pier, this year muster will take place at the foreshore by the Pier.
The details programme is as follows:
1415         Muster at Foreshore by Worthing Pier.
1440         Reform at RNA Window
1445         Mayor of Worthing Cllr Henna Chowdhury to be accompanied by Worthing RNA
                 President S/M Bob Scott & Chairman S/M Noel Atkins to RNA Window
1455         Standards march to window
1500         Sea Sunday Service.
On completion of the Service the Parade and Standards will stand down
We hope that as many of you can attend this Service.








Meets Monthly on the First Friday of the Month

At TS Vanguard,

9a Broadwater Road


BN14 8AD


New Members always welcome











Survey ship HMS Echo’s 20-year Royal Navy career formally ended today at a decommissioning ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base.



The ship was the first of two Echo-class survey ships – alongside HMS Enterprise, which is still in service – designed for hydrographic and oceanographic operations across the world. 

The 5,000-tonne ship was commissioned in Portsmouth but was based at Devonport Naval Base during two decades of service.

HMS Echo’s Commanding Officer, Commander Adam Coles, said: “Being trusted with the final command of HMS Echo is a real honour, and I feel privileged to have served in her.”

HMS Echo’s colourful Royal Navy career saw her deployed to all corners of the globe, making notable discoveries along the way. 

She discovered an uncharted sea mountain off the Yemen coast during two years of operations across the Middle and Far East around 2010 and found the wreck of a Second World War cargo ship off the coast of Libya.  

Closer to home, HMS Echo helped create superior images of the Firth of Clyde and captured three-dimensional images of HMS Dasher, a Second World War aircraft carrier which sank off the Ayrshire coast.  

More recently, Echo deployed to the Baltic and Arctic and searched for the wreck of one sunken Second World War cruiser and updating existing information about another, HMS Edinburgh, over whose wreck Echo’s crew held a service of remembrance.

As the White Ensign was lowered on HMS Echo for the final time in Portsmouth, it marked the beginning of a new approach to the Royal Navy’s hydrographic and meteorological operations. 

The Future Military Data Gathering programme will see the use of more modern equipment, autonomous systems deployed and the introduction of new survey craft later this year.

The Royal Navy’s hydrographers and meteorological experts will continue to serve aboard ships across the globe but will also deploy in smaller teams around the UK and overseas.

It will also see the Royal Navy work even closer with UK Hydrographic Office




Portsmouth Falklands 40 Parade

Sunday 19th June 2022



A parade to commemorate 40 years since the Falklands Conflict was held in Portsmouth on Sunday 19th June.


There was a large RNA representation at the event, and S/Ms Tony Avery and Richard Shenton attended - Tony as the Platoon Marshall, and Richard as the Senior Standard bearer.


A few photos from the event, courtesy of S/M Tony.



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



Royal Navy Chef Gains award as Armed Forces Caterer of the Year

A junior Royal Navy chef has been named Armed Forces Caterer of the Year after impressing judges with his commitment to using local produce while deployed and using themed meals to keep morale high.

Able Seaman Devorne Gibson spent seven months of 2021 at sea with Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond as part of the UK Carrier Strike Group.

His efforts and hard work, both in and out the galley, throughout the global operation were highlighted in his winning citation, which also championed his determination to excel.

Devorne said: “When I saw the nominees from the other services – all of whom were a much higher rank than me – I said to myself there was no way that I could compete with them.

“When I discovered I had won, I felt that it was a massive achievement for me in such a short time within the Royal Navy.”

He explained that his determination and will to work hard was to set an example for his children, saying he wanted them to know they can achieve anything and see him as a hero. 

He joined Diamond in May 2020, straight from basic and professional training and his impact made in both the galley and wider ship was described as “simply immense”.

“Throughout last year’s gruelling seven-month Op Fortis deployment, his irrepressibly affable nature and unrelenting professionalism truly shone through,” read the citation.

“Junior he may be, yet he has stood out among a competitive field of caterers on board as the one who consistently delivers the highest-quality food.

“His role in managing the ship’s catering account has been equally impressive… he has also carefully considered the availability of local produce from foreign ports and adapted menus accordingly, demonstrating a seemingly instinctive appreciation for the finer nuances of his trade that normally only come with considerable experience.”

The junior chef’s efforts to keep his shipmates happy and boost morale was also underscored in the citation; many of Diamond’s port stops were restricted by Covid-19 regulations.

The citation added: “Recognising the significant restrictions placed on the ship’s company throughout the deployment, through his own initiative he actively sought out opportunities to lay on numerous themed Caribbean evenings.

“Exceptionally well-executed, these events proved hugely successful and important catalysts to unite the ship’s company, offering a major boost to morale when it was sorely needed.

“Simply put, Gibson is a superstar; even at this early stage in his career he is deservedly established as an outstanding role model to junior sailors of all branches.”

Devorne was once again deployed when the Armed Forces Caterer of the Year awards ceremony were held, so his trophy was collected by Warrant Officer (CS) John Connor, Fleet Warrant Officer Catering Services.

His win comes as Royal Navy chefs held off competition from the Army and RAF to be crowned cookery champions last month at the two-day Exercise Joint Caterer.

A 26-strong Catering Services team delivered a mouth-watering display of culinary art and fine-dining skill at the event, held for the first time as part of the Public Sector Catering Expo at the NEC in Birmingham.

The team returned with 32 medals and 15 best in class awards, picking up the team ethos award in the process.



New Fleet Commander

Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd CBE handed over the reins of Fleet Commander to Vice Admiral Andy Burns CB OBE.


Watched by First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin KCB, ADC, a ceremony took place at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth – which the outgoing Fleet Commander once commanded - to formally transfer the second most senior Command post in the Royal Navy.


The Fleet Commander is responsible for commanding all operational elements of the Royal Navy – ships, submarines, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Marines, and Royal Fleet Auxiliary – and acts as Joint Commander for the North Atlantic Operating areas.

VAdm Burns assumes the role of Fleet Commander with a rich operational background and was a previous Director Develop, ready to command the Navy of the future which is Global, Modern and Ready. He previously commanded the Amphibious Task Group and was Commander United Kingdom Strike Force, and Rear Admiral Surface Ships. He is also the Royal Navy’s Chief Naval Warfare Officer and Gender Advocate.

Adm Kyd joined in 1985 as a seaman officer and, after fleet training, his early years were spent at sea with operational deployments to the Gulf, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Caribbean, Baltic, Indian Ocean and wider Atlantic.

Commands at various ranks have included HMS Monmouth, Ark Royal and Illustrious. He has served as captain of BRNC and upon promotion to Rear Admiral in November 2018, he was appointed Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships.

Appointed Fleet Commander in March 2019, VAdm Kyd said: “It has been a distinct privilege being the Fleet Commander and I now hand over the watch with pride at what is being achieved by the Fleet across the world.”

VAdm Kyd has been at the centre of the Royal Navy’s return to carrier strike operations, first as Commander of United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group in 2015 and then as the first Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth the following year.

His shore-based appointments centred on the Ministry of Defence in London, including two years as the Military Assistant and Deputy Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence Staff, the Deputy Head of the Directorate of Operational Capability and as a desk officer for the Future Surface Combatant project (now Type 26 frigate). He has also instructed at the Maritime Warfare School, HMS Collingwood.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said: “Thank you Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd for everything you have done as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Commander."

VAdm Kyd added: “None of this is possible without the officers, ratings, marines and civil servants, whose dedication, resilience and leadership I have been so fortunate to work with and command.

“As ever, the greatest lesson is that you need to take your people with you, command them well and treat them with courtesy and respect. I am indebted to every Jack one of them.”

It has been a distinct privilege being the Fleet Commander and I now hand over the watch with pride at what is being achieved by the Fleet across the world.

Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd


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 following is a copy of the article published in the June edition of the Worthing Journal, and is reproduced with kind permision of Paul Holden, the Editor.


The widow of a Falklands War veteran says his ashes will be scattered at sea from a Royal Navy vessel.


Helen Hall made the pledge after her husband died of cancer at the age of 62.

Commander Neil “Nobby” Hall received a full military funeral at Worthing Crematorium.


The one hour, 40 minute service was attended by senior officers from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines including an admiral, rear-admiral, a commodore, several commanders, and a lieutenant colonel.


Cdr Hall’s cap and ceremonial sword were placed on top of his Union flag draped coffin.


Dozens of veterans, including ten standard bearers with flags bearing black mourning ribbons, stood to attention as the hearse pulled up outside the Kingswood Chapel.


He was ‘piped aboard” by fellow RN veteran Keith Durrant.


After a red, white and blue anchor-shaped wreath was taken into the chapel, six naval pallbearers carried the coffin inside as family, friends and fellow officers looked on.


In the chapel was a ship’s bell draped in the White Ensign and Royal Marines flag which at the end of the service was rung eight times to symbolically signify the “End of the Watch”.


A six-strong choir, plus a keyboard player, from the Royal Marines School of Music, in full ceremonial uniform, beautifully sang the hymns Eternal Father Strong to Save and Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.


The funeral, which began with a recording of Heart of Oak by the Band of the Royal Marines, was conducted by the Rev Alastair Mansfield, an RN chaplain.

Cdr Hall’s sister, Joanne Lawrence-Hall, read Harbour Bar by John Masefield, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, The Naval Prayer, and John Reed, Crossing The Bar, by Alfred Lord Tennyson.


Cdr Bob Hawkins, who served with Cdr Hall in Tampa, Florida, gave a comprehensive eulogy charting every twist and turn of a distinguished career and brave battle against bouts of cancer.


His voice occasionally breaking, he said: “Nobby was the most inspirational person I have ever met on this earth.”


He noted that Cdr Hall had raised almost £100,000 for armed forces and cancer charities.


Wife Helen said he was a brave and remarkable husband who had such a zest for life and intended to live it to the full; a natural storyteller and born naval raconteur with a wonderful sense of humour.


He was Navy through and through, always in search of the next adventure, and an intelligent and well-read man, especially in the fields of naval and military history.


Cdr Hall served in 17 ships before “Crossing the Bar” - RN parlance for passing away.


One was HMS Fittleton, a minesweeper which sank in the North Sea with the loss of 12 lives following a collision with HMS Mermaid on September 20, 1976.


Cdr Hall had been due to sail on the ill-fated ship’s final voyage but was struck down by acute appendicitis shortly beforehand.


The service fittingly included the song Sailing by Sir Rod Stewart.


Cdr Hall was married to Helen for 28 years after they met on a blind date. She was a chief wren and he a lieutenant commander.


Born in Shoreham-by-Sea, he progressed from the sea cadets to the Royal Naval Reserve in 1975.


He joined the Royal Navy two years later and became an officer, serving all over the world and witnessing close up a series of conflicts, as documented in the following pages.


In 2001 Cdr Hall was posted to Cyprus and served for eight years there.

During that time he retired from the Royal Navy (though remaining in the Royal Naval Reserve) and joined Sovereign Base Areas Police as a direct entry inspector.


Cdr Hall then took up the post of assistant commissioner in the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, fulfilling a two-year contract, but chose not to extend his stay.


He subsequently served for two years with Sussex Police in the specialist crime command intelligence branch, before, in 2015, being recalled to the RN and promoted to commander.


Cdr Hall’s final posting was to NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium, where a memorial service was held at the same time as his funeral, and flags lowered to half-mast.


He was a former chairman of Worthing Royal Naval Association, and president of Worthing Veterans, attending various Armed Forces events, in full uniform, such as Remembrance Sunday (where he was the senior officer on parade), and Sea Sunday on the pier.


Cdr Hall proudly wore no less than eight campaign medals, including the Accumulated Campaign Service Medal.


In 1997 he commanded a Royal Marines band on the Navy’s Ocean Wave tour when a British flotilla visited 34 countries.


In a letter to Helen, Lieutenant Colonel Huw Williams RM said: “Many of us met Nobby for the first time in 1997 on HMS Illustrious.


We were naturally nervous to be serving at sea, many of us for the first time.

“Nobby took us all under his wing, showing us that whilst it was a serious business, sea time was something to embrace, to lean into, and there were always good times to be had.”


Cdr Hall’s funeral, handled by Worthing Funeralcare, concluded with two Royal Marines buglers playing Last Post followed by observance of a minute’s silence.


He is survived by his parents, Brian and Helena, and sisters Joanne and Nicola.

Cdr Hall’s family asked for donations in his memory to The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.     Please visit




The following was taken from an article first published by The Journal in October 2017 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Falklands War.




Commander Hall recalled: “None of us expected to ever have to fight a war.

“The Cold War was running but nobody thought we would see shots fired in anger.”


In early 1982 Cdr Hall, then a sub lieutenant under training, was appointed to HMS Andromeda, a Leander class frigate equipped with Sea Wolf missiles.

The warship was immediately deployed to the West Indies and eastern coast of America.


Then, on April 2, the Argentines invaded the Falklands Islands in the icy South Atlantic.


HMS Andromeda was ordered to steam from Halifax in Canada back to Plymouth, its home port, at full speed.


The vessel was rearmed, refitted and restocked with supplies ready for an 8,000 mile voyage to the Falklands as part of the Task Force’s second wave of warships.


They left Plymouth the day after HMS Sheffield was sunk, which focused shocked minds on the reality of what lay ahead.


Cdr Hall recalled the mood on board was very sombre but also sanguine.

He said: “The Argentine cruiser Belgrano had already been sunk so we knew the gloves were off.


“We realised this wasn’t going to be easy and we would need to get into a full scale war to sort it out.”


“Everyone was very professional and ready to get on with the job.”

HMS Andromeda paused at Ascension Island for 24 hours to take on more ammunition, then arrived on station, in the 200-mile exclusion one around the Falklands, on May 25 - the day HMS Coventry and the Atlantic Conveyer were sunk.


Cdr Hall said HMS Andromeda acted as a “goalkeeper” - putting herself between Argentine jets and major assets such as aircraft carriers and supply ships, without which the Task Force could not operate.


Soon the air raids started, although onboard it was difficult to keep abreast of what was happening in the wider theatre of war.


Possibly the most alarming moment came when an Exocet missile locked on to HMS Andromeda.


Cdr Hall admitted: “I wasn’t frightened; I was terrified.


“I was on the bridge at the time as second officer of the watch.

“A Super Etendard jet fired the Exocet from quite a long way off.

“One of our frigates put up chaff (strips of metal foil) as a decoy which deflected it away from the big ships.

“The missile then locked on to the next available target, which was us!

“I was watching it on the radar coming straight at us at just under the speed of sound.

“At that point we started firing decoys, turned to face it, and locked onto the Exocet with our Sea Wolf missiles.

“It would have been the first missile to missile engagement in naval warfare.

“I remember two things from that moment - if we don’t get it right I am going to die in less than two minutes; and how everybody around me was so calm and professional, especially the captain who was controlling the ship from the operations room.

“Fortunately for us about two miles out it disappeared from the radar. There was a huge collective sigh of relief.

“We reckoned it was fired so far out it ran out of fuel.”

During darkness, HMS Andromeda escorted convoys into San Carols Water, where ground troops went ashore.


She also gave anti-aircraft and anti-submarine cover to ships providing naval gunfire support to soldiers and marines fighting their way towards Port Stanley, capital of the Falklands.


On the night of June 12, HMS Andromeda was with HMS Glamorgan, bombarding enemy positions in support of 45 Commando Royal Marines.

They remained in action an hour longer than anticipated, and the decision proved fatal.


A land-launched Exocet slammed into the Glamorgan, killing 14 sailors, who were buried at sea.


Cdr Hall witnessed the explosion as the missile struck.


HMS Andromeda also picked up stores dropped into the sea by Hercules transport planes, and SAS troops who parachuted into the South Atlantic.

Cdr Hall said there were no celebrations when the Argentines surrendered, rather a quiet sense of relief at having survived.


HMS Andromeda escorted the cruise liner Canberra into Stanley to pick up enemy prisoners.


The frigate went first amid fears the approach had been sown with sea mines, for it was regarded as more expendable than the converted troop carrier.

Cdr Hall said: “After being the goalkeeper we were then designated as a one-time minesweeper, which made us think the admiral didn’t like us.”


On a voyage to South Georgia to re-supply the garrison, Cdr Hall said he experienced the worst storm in his 43-year naval career, with waves the size of tower blocks crashing down.


The galley could not be used so the crew lived on stale bread and water for three days until the tempest subsided.


HMS Andromeda returned to Plymouth on September 10, having spent 127 days at sea.


Cdr Hall said the homecoming was very emotional.

He recalled: “We thought we would be forgotten but the reception was rapturous, absolutely incredible, with HM ships cheering us, lots of little ships, fire tugs spraying water, fly pasts, and the band of the Royal Marines on the jetty where family and friends were waiting.”


Cdr Hall went on to serve in the Gulf Tanker War, the 1st Gulf War, Northern Ireland, the Balkans and Sierra Leone.


He now three times a year gives lectures on the realities of war to cadets at Britannia Royal Naval College.


Cdr Hall also organised a recent reunion of serving Falklands veterans, including the First Sea Lord.


Looking back on the war, Cdr Hall said: “During the whole time I never saw anybody crack or complain.


“People just got on with the job under the most difficult of circumstances, which is a great tribute to naval training.”




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 :






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.







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: or

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









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 1st November 2022

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