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This year's reunion dinner, the 46th, was held on Saturday 18 May 2002 in the Royal Sailors Home Club, Queen Street, Portsmouth. It took place in the Nuffield lounge (on the right of the main foyer). Some photos can be found here
Some important changes were made during the dinner to the Association, to read more, see below.
The menu the committee chose for our dinner was:
A glass of wine was served during the dinner. The dinner was preceded by a minute's silence in memory of those who cannot be with us, this will be followed by a toast to Barham.
Of 61 Guests, 8 Survivors attended the dinner. These were
Other relatives included
Survivor Albert Smith who was a Musician who had planned to be here has had to go into hospital.
John Nealon is a newly discovered Survivor who only heard of the Association via this website, in February this year. Mr Statton-Brown and all the other guests were very pleased to welcome him. He has spent many years living in Zimbabwe until February this year. He had no idea that any kind of getting together was organised for his former shipmates.
The Dinner was also attended by Lord Barham, Lady Gainsborough and Lady Rosemary Griffin. Guests were also happy to see Mr and Mrs Paul Skinner who had come over from Canada to attend the dinner. Paul was just 4 when his father died. He has signed the online Guestbook which can be viewed on this site.
During the dinner, Mr Michael Stratton-Brown announced that the Survivors had held an "Extraordinary Meeting" of the Association just prior to the dinner and that a number of important decisions had been taken.
It was decided that the Association would change from being just representing Survivors of the sinking in November 1941, to include a)previous ships company and b) together with all the families of the Survivors and those lost in the sinking.
Once this change had been effected, Mr Stratton-Brown said there would be 196 members of the newly formed and re-named "HMS BARHAM ASSOCIATION" as well as 25 Associates.
It was explained that at present the Association comprises 47 Survivors (known to us). Of these, 12 live abroad. There are also 14 previous members of the Ships Company.
Mr Stratton-Brown reported that there had been a record attendance of the service in Westminster Abbey in November 2001 with 150 people attending.
It had also been decided at the "Extraordinary Meeting" that George Eliot would like to step down as Chairman. Mr Stratton Brown said George felt it was time to give way to someone new and explained that he is not currently in the best of health.
Mr Stratton-Brown explained that he had been asked to become Chairman in George's place. Tributes to George's hard work and dedication were many and he received a standing ovation and a toast.
Mr Ray Oliver is the new Secretary of the newly formed HMS Barham Association.
The new Chairman read out a list of deaths which sadly have occurred since the publication of the April 2002 newsletter. They are
William Caston, Eric Field who served on the ship from 1938 until 1941, Eric Mundy and Herbie Rawlings who was acting Stoker P.O. at the time of the sinking.
The new Chairman asked if anybody knew if there was a war correspondent from the TIMES newspaper on board the ship when it was sunk? Apparently Cdr. Grogan had met someone who said this was so. Any information from anyone who has any knowledge of this would be appreciated.
| last updated:
13 July 2013