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21 Monks Way
AUTUMN 2012 NEWSLETTER
Following last year's record attendance the Very Reverend John Hall, Dean of Westminster Abbey, has very kindly given permission for us to continue to hold our Remembrance Services at the Abbey and this year it will be on Saturday 24th November. Survivors, members and guests are requested to enter the Abbey by the west door no later than 1430 and proceed to the seating in the centre of the nave. Prior to Evensong the Abbey staff will direct us to seats in the choir stalls for the service.
On completion of Evensong we retire to the nave seating for our service in memory of all those who died in HMS BARHAM and we also remember all those survivors and Association members who have passed away during the year. The service will be conducted by the Canon in Residence Dr Bob Reiss. It starts with the laying of the wreath which Pat Picket has again volunteered to make. If any member or members of the Association wish to lay the wreath please let me know. After the service the book of remembrance will be open for inspection.
Some members have planned to meet at the Methodist Central Hall restaurant for a light lunch and get together before the Abbey services. The Union Jack Club has again kindly given permission for members and their friends to use the club's bar and restaurant after the Remembrance service. The Union Jack Club is in Sandell Street on the east side of Waterloo railway station.
The guestbook on our website has a steady stream of entries from members of families of those who served in HMS Barham but for whom the Association had never before had any contacts. We would welcome any of them and any others who wished to come to the Remembrance service.
Last year our service was conducted by the Dean, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall. Three survivors Richard Laland, Jack Nealon and George Knott laid the wreath on the 70th anniversary of the sinking of HMS BARHAM. At the service Bob Woodgate paraded the HMS BARHAM Survivors Association Standard for the last time at Westminster Abbey.
As ever our wreath was made and donated by Patricia Picket assisted by her husband Alan who brought it to the Abbey. Many thanks yet again.
At the service we counted two hundred and twenty five members and their friends in attendance. This must be a record number for many years and it is very pleasing that so many wish to support our service and keep the name of HMS BARHAM and their loved ones in their memories.
On the following Sunday 4 December Bob Woodgate paraded our Standard at St Ann's church in HM Dockyard, Portsmouth. The normal 10.00 Holy Eucharist service was conducted by Revd Keith Robus who dedicated our Memorial stone in the National Memorial Arboretum. The Chaplain of the Fleet, the Reverend Scott Brown QHC BD gave the sermon. At the end of the Service the Standard was laid up and will be on view in the gallery.
I would particularly like to thank Bob Woodgate for parading our Standard on so many occasions over the last five years. He has also been a stalwart committee member for twelve years.
On Sunday 18 March the Dean of Portsmouth dedicated a memorial stone in the ambulatory of the cathedral to the 534 Royal Naval Boy Seamen who were killed in World War II. There is also a Book of Remembrance with all the names including the 23 Boy Seamen who were killed when HMS Barham was sunk on 25 November 1941. Maurice Key is also named but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and the Portsmouth War Memorial have him as an Ordinary Telegraphist aged 18. Not included is Boy Bugler George Miller Royal Marines.
Sadly one more survivor Tom Cropp who was a Petty Officer at the time of the sinking died in February his funeral was held at Upham near Bishop's Waltham in Hampshire.
Ray Oliver decided to retire as our Secretary at the end of last year. A great debt of gratitude is due to him and Diana for organising all our events over the last ten years. I would personally like to thank them for all the hard work and time they have given for the Association. In particular his arrangements for the making of the memorial stone, it's siting in the National Memorial Arboretum and the organisation of its dedication.
Without a Secretary and due the ever increasing cost of postage I shall only be sending hard copies of this newsletter to our survivors in the UK. If you know of anyone without access to the internet who wishes to keep in touch about our activities please tell them about this year's service.
| last updated:
13 July 2013