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This November will be the 62nd, anniversary of the sinking of HMS Barham and the Dean of Westminster Abbey, The Very Reverend Dr Wesley Carr has kindly agreed to our remembrance and wreath laying service being held on Saturday 22nd November 2003. As usual those attending the service should arrive at the West Door and gather in the seated waiting area of the nave between 2.30 and 2.40 p.m. To enable staff to identify members of the Association medals should be worn and those having badges should wear them.. Abbey staff will direct members to the nave choir or the transepts for evensong. This will be followed by our remembrance service around the nave altar . If you would like to lay the wreath please let me know. The book of remembrance will be open after the service. Whilst on the Abbey service I should like to thank "Flowers by Patricia" for the annual making of our wreath and hope that our request will be again be made available, Thank you very much.
As the Abbey staff wish to have some idea of the numbers attending please would you complete and return the attached slip. We shall again ask the Union Jack Club if we can meet there after the service. For security purposes they need nominal list so please print the names of all your guests on the slip.
We had a successful Reunion dinner with 9 survivors present and a total attendance of 57. We were honoured to have both our President, the Earl of Gainsborough and Lady Gainsborough with us and were very glad that Lady Rosemary Griffin was also able to attend . Many thanks are also due to all those others who have kindly made donations when returning their attendance slips.
Our President gave an enjoyable story of being a young lad attending the Jubilee Fleet Review of 1935, when lo and behold an actual programme of the review was presented to the President by Chief Petty Office Bob Woodgate. The Fleet Review programme was presented to CPO Woodgate on behalf of the Association, still in its original envelope, by the wife of a Royal Marine who was attending hi own intakes reunion at the same time as our dinner in 2002. Her uncle, Midshipman Willis, was a member of the Royal Naval Reserve serving on HMS Barham at the time of the review. Midshipman Willis remained on board, eventually being promoted to Sub-Lieutenant, and losing his life at the time of the sinking.
Mention was made of the voyage of the yacht "Papageno" to the site of the sinking, details can be seen on the voyage page.
The skipper of the Papageno, James Pritchard-Barrett was among those who attended the morning service in St Ann’s Church where the wreath was blessed and passed to the protection of Mr James Pritchard-Barrett on behalf of the Association.
A member of the Association Mick Tapsell revisited the Church of Saint Michael’s at Tokyngton, where as a Sea Cadet in 1959 he marched with survivors of the sinking and the T.S. Barham Sea Cadets for the presentation of a model of H.M.S. Barham to the Parish. Mick stated that the model still hold pride of place in the church. A memorial service is held every November to H.M.S. Barham and the men who served in her.
It is with sadness that I have to list those that have died since the last newsletter. Five deaths were reported at the dinner . Joan, wife of Stan Read died last August in Wagga Wagga Australia,. May O`Day the widow of Warrant Supply Officer Sinclair.W.Lowes. Irvine Goodger (known as Marine Pressland) died in January. Les Booker an RNA Standard bearer who advised on drill and supported the Association. Also Winnie Corbett informed us that her husband Gavin died on the 18th April at Lithgow N.S. Wales, Australia. Daniel Islwyn Thomas died in hospital after a short illness, on September 21st 2002, Daniel was a regular at the Westminster Abbey Service where he met an old friend. Gordon (Jimmy) H. Newell died in November 2002. A recent notification revealed that Derek Cutting, a Royal Marine survivor died in Melbourne , Australia aged 80 years. His son Tony has joined the Association and was present at the annual dinner. If I have missed anyone please accept my deepest apologies for the omission.
As usual the Annual General Meeting of the Association was held after the dinner where the following items were placed before the floor :
Next years dinner will be held on Saturday 15th May in the Royal Sailors Home Club, Queen Street, Portsmouth. Many thanks for all your letters and contributions.
The Association would like help in tracing the owner or owners family of the cup presented to the "Champion Rifle Shot" H.M.S.Barham 1934. If anyone can recollect or has any record of this event, the Association would be grateful.
| last updated:
13 July 2013