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We had a successful Reunion dinner with 14 survivors present and a total attendance of 68. Our President, the Earl of Gainsborough. was unable to come but we were honoured to have Lady Rosemary Griffin with us. Before the dinner started we and the HMS Hood Association were entertained in rotunda by a choir of 14 German sailors from the Bonn Marine Kamerad Shaft, their equivalent to our RNA. It was much enjoyed and at the conclusion plaques were presented to the chairmen of both associations.
The occasion was videoed and copies are available from Personal Video Productions, 81 Brompton road, Southsea, Hants, P04 9AJ (tel 01705 735211) for £ 12.50. Our Annual General Meeting was held during the dinner and the first item was to thank Peter Yuile again for his generous donation. Many thanks are also due to all those others who have very kindly made donations when returning their attendance chits.
The secretary reported that he had had 28, now 29 replies all approving the revised constitution and I therefore signed it as our agreed constitution. The treasurer reported that we were solvent and that finds remained at a similar level to last year. It was proposed and carried en bloc that the committee should be re-elected for another year. Members may wish to know that the HMS Queen Elizabeth Association is holding its reunion on 2 October and that they have invited our members to attend. The cost is £16.50.
The Dean of Westminster Abbey, The Very Rev'd Dr. Wesley Can has kindly agreed to our next remembrance and wreath laying service being held on Saturday 27 November 1999. As usual those attending the service should arrive at the West door and gather in the waiting area of the north aisle of the nave between 2.30 and 2.40 pm.
To enable staff to identify members of the Association, medals should be worn and those having badges should wear them. Abbey staff will then direct members to the 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. 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 a nominal list so please print the names of all your guests on the slip. I am purchasing a few more lapel badges and will bring them to the service for anybody who would like one. Jimmy Annandale's speech machine packed up sometime ago and we have been trying to get it replaced through the British Legion who control the fund set up by Mrs Cooke for the dependants of those who died.
It is hoped that he will soon be assessed to identify a suitable machine. Dorothy Wynne has written saying that she has passed the last newsletter on to a friend of John's a Hugh Jones who was a signalman in HMS Barham pre-war. He became a POW from HMS Prince of Wales and now lives at Conah's Quay in North Wales. There are still eight Barham trophies one of which is a silver "Eastbourne" cup in the Wardroom of HMS Collingwood.
It was presented by the County Borough of Eastbourne for the highest aggregate points in the field sports during the visit of the first battle squadron in June 1923. HMS Barham and FIMS Valiant tied first with 18 points each so a duplicate cup was made for HMS Valiant. HMS Barham's was subsequently presented to the winners of the interpart marathon: 1925 Foretop, 1926 Torpedo, 1929 and 1934 Fo'c's'le, 1935-7 Royal Marines, 1938 Officers.
It is with sadness that I have to list those that have died since the last newsletter. At the dinner I reported three deaths. Two survivors, John Symons who lived at Brandon,, Manitoba in Canada, he was a Boy Signalman at the time of the sinking, and David Ritchie who lived in Devon and was a Royal Marine. Also Captain Goeffery A Cooke a nephew of the ship's Captain died this year. We have also heard that Bill Taylor died in November 98. He was a cousin of Marine Robert Wood who was lost in the sinking. John Keane has written asking to join the Association. His uncle Jerry Connolly was a Stoker who went down with the ship. I would like to thank Lady Rosemary and Jim Samuels for their kind offer of newsletter back numbers. Except for November 1982 1 believe we now have a complete set from 1980. The earliest is March 1966 with a number in the mid 1970's. I am still interested in collecting any of the earlier ones if possible. Next year's Reunion dinner will be held on the Saturday 13 May in the Royal Sailors Home Club, Queen street, Portsmouth.
| last updated:
13 July 2013