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This year's reunion dinner, the 44th will be on Saturday 13 May in the Royal Sailors Home Club, Queen Street, Portsmouth. It will again be held in Nuffield lounge (on the, right of the main foyer). As usual the time will be 1730 for 1800. Alternative accommodation may be available at the Foyer Tel 023 9236 0001 for £17 per night. The menu the committee have chosen for our dinner is:
Roast Topside of Prime Beef with Yorkshire pudding, horseradish sauce & a rich gravy
Roast and Croquette Potatoes, Broccoli mornay & minted Baton carrots
English Sherry Trifle Cheese and Biscuits Coffee and Mints
Provision can be made for those who are vegetarians, or who require a special menu A glass of wine will be served during the dinner and farther wines may be purchased from the waitresses. The dinner will be preceded by a minute's silence in memory of those who cannot be with us; this will be followed by a toast to Barham. For the toast a tot of rum will be provided for each male diner and a glass of sherry for each lady.
Thanks to Peter Yuile's gift the dinner will again be free for survivors and one of their guests, for associate, members and one guest the cost will be £5, and for others £18. If you wish to attend please will you complete the attached slip before 28 April and send it to Sidney Petherbridge.
We intend as usual to have a raffle of donated prizes. The dinner will he followed by our Annual General Meeting when there will be an opportunity to raise items on the management of your association or volunteer to join the committee. On Sunday 14 May after the dinner it is hoped that as many as possible will attend the morning service in St. Ann's Church, in the Dockyard at 1000.
Our remembrance and wreath laying service in Westminster Abbey was held on 27 November to which 93 replied that they, would attend. We were directed to sit in the nave until being called forward directly into the choir stalls for the traditional Evensong service which finished with the Naval hymn. The remembrance service was conducted by Canon Robert Wright and the Association Standard was paraded by my son-in-law Keith Miller. Mrs Betty Heslop whose father Leading Seaman Pop Bolam was killed when the ship sank laid our wreath which included red carnations that had been beautifully prepared and donated by "Flowers by Patricia" of Morden, Surrey. John Keane also laid a wreath in memory of his Uncle Stoker Jeremiah Connolly. We have very kindly been presented with the Midshipman's journal of Arthur H Forbes by his stepson Lt Cdr John Townend RNVR. Midshipman Forbes served in HMS Barham from September 1934 to January 1937. It is of exceptional quality and if handled carefully may be seen at the dinner.
If any ex-serviceman or woman is in need of sheltered accommodation I can recommend the Church of England Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's' Housing Association who manage the flats in which I live for the Greenwich Hospital.
A Mr Phil Thorne who lives in Portsmouth is seeking commissions to undertake oil paintings of HMS Barham or other ships in which members might be interested. Also a Mr E Mayou is offering personalised commemorative hand crafted pottery mugs.
Following the publication of last September's newsletter I was sadly informed of four more deaths: Pat King a survivor, Mervyn Sutton another survivor from whom we had heard about the Barham Cup boat race at Newton Abbot Barrie Martin, Pincher's son, and Mrs. Stella Miles. Since the Remembrance service I have also been told of Alf (Danny) Daniels death on 23 December 1999, he was a Petty Officer at the time of the sinking, and Mrs Elsie Toyer on 1 February 2000, a sister of Kenneth Guerny RM who was killed in the sinking. Her daughter has kindly sent the Association a donation of £150 collected at the funeral. Tom and Phyllis Colemans' daughter Miss Diane Coleman has joined the Association and came to our Remembrance service. Mrs SH (Chippy) Green has asked to join. She lost her brother Temporary Lieutenant K Michael Bond and attended the original Remembrance service when the candlesticks were dedicated. Bill Caston an AB at the time of the sinking has also joined. Another request has come from Mr C Motton who lost a relative in the sinking of HMS Duchess. William Neill's son has sadly written to say that his father has had to admitted to a nursing home with Alzheimer's disease
I would like to end by thanking all those who have written or sent me cards and special thanks to all those who have made donations including postage stamps particularly as small contributions although welcome may have not received a personal letter in reply.
| last updated:
13 July 2013