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28 Monks Way
AUTUMN 2014 NEWSLETTER
The Very Reverend John Hall, Dean of Westminster Abbey, has very kindly given permission for us to hold our Remembrance Service at the abbey on Saturday 22nd November. Survivors, members and guests are advised to enter the abbey by the west door no later than 1430 and proceed to the nave seating as directed by the abbey staff. I recommend coming slightly earlier to avoid the exodus of tourists leaving by 1430. Prior to Evensong the abbey staff will direct us to seats in the choir stalls for the service.
On completion of Evensong we will 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 includes the laying of our 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. An alternative is the Cellarium cafe just off the Abbey cloisters (cellariumcafe.com). 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 held on St Andrew's day and attended by 74 people. The service was conducted by the Reverend Canon David Stanton, the new Canon Treasurer. Survivor Jack Nealon supported by his grandson laid the wreath on the 72nd anniversary of the sinking of HMS BARHAM. Survivor George Knott also attended in a wheel chair having discharged himself from hospital the day before. As ever our beautiful wreath was made and donated by Patricia Picket assisted by her husband Alan who brought it to the Abbey. Many thanks yet again. I read the Tennyson poem "Crossing the bar".
Sadly one of our survivors has died David James Stewart on 10 August 2014. Jeff Stewart says that he had been suffering from dementia for sometime and had died peacefully at Haigh house facility for ex-servicemen in the Erskine hospital. We have sent a donation to his chosen charity. He was a boy at the time of the sinking. We believe that there are about a dozen survivors living.
As the eagle eyed of you may have noticed I have downsized to a flat two doors away from my address for the last 45 years. The loss of space has meant that I have had to donate our battle ensign (which is 17 feet by 8 feet) to the Royal Naval museum, Portsmouth. It was presented to the Reverend Burnham when he left the ship in 1941.
Survivor Archie Ross kindly wrote from Haliburton, Toronto wishing us a pleasant service as always. He regularly thanks me for the newsletters and was 95 last year. At the time of the sinking he was a Stoker 1st class.
I have had a letter from Mrs JP Smith whose brother Leading Seaman HN Reddick was lost in the sinking. He had just passed his exam for Petty Officers.
Again this year I shall only be sending hard copies of this newsletter to our survivors. 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:
07 September 2014