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28 Monks Way
AUTUMN 2016 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 26th 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 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.
Last year our service was held on the 28 November and was conducted by the Reverend Canon Andrew Tremlett. Survivors Jack Nealon and George Knott supported by his son Simon together laid the wreath for the 74th anniversary of the sinking of HMS BARHAM. 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”.
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 increased security and non members will have to seek prior permission 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.
A newsletter addressed to Roy Bowden in Auckland, New Zealand has been returned deceased. He was a Stores Assistant at the time of the sinking. Mrs JA Ford Has written to say that her mother Joan Oliver the widow of a survivor George Oliver died on 17 June.
Only 34 people attended our service but still some were there for the first time including Mrs Janette Robertson. This year I am hoping for a larger turn out as it will be not only the 75th anniversary of the sinking but also the centenary of the battle of Jutland.
During the Battle of Jutland HMS Barham was the Flag ship of the fifth battle squadron and withstood 5 hits but 26 of the crew were killed and 37 wounded. I have placed my version of the part in the battle of Jutland played by the 5th Battle Squadron and HMS Barham on our website. I am working on adding those killed in the battle on the crew list of those lost and also adding the place of their memorials or graves to the list. I also plan to do the same for all those killed while serving in the ship that are named in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.
Survivor Archie Ross kindly wrote from Haliburton, Toronto wishing us a pleasant service as always. He regularly thanks me for the newsletters and was 96 last year. At the time of the sinking he was a Stoker 1st class. He also wrote to Mrs Janette Robertson whose father Leading Stoker Andrew Wilson was lost in the sinking providing her more information about her father which she had not known.
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:
11 September 2016