June 2022

Tribute from Dave Walker LRO (T), Lindfield, West Sussex F1431


My tribute to Her Majesty the Queen on her Platinum Jubilee.

She was my 'Boss' for 25 years. It was a pleasure to serve you Ma'am.

I have managed, at the age of 82 years, to get into my blue suit of the 1970's, although I did have to breathe in at one point !

Remember June 2nd is a Dress Ship Day.


Refurbishment of GANGES Mast Commences

On 6th June, believed to be the 46th Anniversary of the last parade held at GANGES, a small invited audience gathered to witness the removal of the topmast for renovation.

The iron lower mast, which had been the foremast of the corvette CORDELIA [1881-1904] will be sandblasted before renovation in situ. The upper yards and royal mast have already been removed, as they are rotted and unsafe. The main yard, from the armoured frigate AGINCOURT [1868-1909], appears to be in better condition and may be saved.

Wavensmere Homes, who are re-developing the site have undertaken to restore the mast and to retain the parade ground, as an open space. Current plan is that the mast should be back in place in good order by May 2023. Phase I of the redevelopment includes over 200 homes of mixed categories, plus community facilities and re-purposing of St Vincent and Nelson blocks and the swimming bath. Completion is aimed for 2025.

Unfortunately the Chiefs and PO’s messes are too badly deteriorated and will be removed. Guard Room, Galley and Boys’ accommodation have already been flattened.

The ceremony was supported by the excellent Blue Jacket Band of the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, with representatives from GANGES Association, GANGES Museum, local branches of the Royal Naval Association, Royal British Legion, Babergh District Council and the Developers in attendance.


Photo 2 – Shipmates Tony Chaplin and Peter Down represented Stowmarket RNA. Lt Cdr Chaplin served at GANGES in early 1960’s as Chief Shipwright tending to the boats.  Later, when appointed to the Maintenance Unit in Gibraltar, he was responsible for refitting TONs held in Strategic Reserve there.

Photo 5 – Barrie Stockwell of GANGES Museum brought along a scale model of the mast.

History Detail from Wikipedia

HMS Cordelia was an iron-hulled Comus-class corvette of the Royal Navy, built at the Portsmouth Dockyard and launched on 25 October 1881. She commenced service on the China Station before being transferred to the Australia Station arriving in April 1890. On 29 June 1891, during gun practice while on a cruise from Fiji to Noumea, a gun burst killing five, mortally wounded another and injuring thirteen crew. She left the Australia Station in late 1891 and was sold in 1904 for breaking up.

HMS Agincourt was a Minotaur-class armoured frigate with an iron hull and five masts, built   in the 1860s, she spent most of her career as the flagship of the Channel Squadron's second-in-command. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, she was one of the ironclads sent to Constantinople to forestall a Russian occupation of the Ottoman capital. Agincourt participated in Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Fleet Review in 1887. The ship was placed in reserve two years later and served as a training ship from 1893 to 1909. Agincourt served twelve years at Portland, as a depot ship for boys., 1904. In 1905 she was moved to Harwich and renamed Ganges II. After four years at Harwich, Ganges II made her final journey, to Sheerness, in 1909 where she was converted into a coal hulk known simply as C.109. She was scrapped on 21 October 1960.


Northern Standard Bearer goes Walkabout

Vice Chairman Peter Down visited the Festival of the Sea held at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, close to the old GANGES site, on 11th June.

As ever, the pupils of the school were on tremendous form and their Bluejacket Guard and Band put on a superb performance, matched only by the RN Parachute Display Team - No - we did not know we had one either,

Within minutes of arrival, Peter met Dave Parrish, our Northern Standard Bearer, who was on holiday in East Anglia and had dropped in to visit the festival.

An excellent time was had by all.


News from the White Rose

A brief report on our meeting in the Longboat bar, Premier Inn, York. Saturday the 18th June 2022. Nine members attended . Four sent their apologies.

We discussed our weekend away in September. Alan Hewitt is to book the Saturday evening meal at a local pub.

Our next meeting/meal is in the Longboat Bar 1300 on Saturday the 10th of September. The day before we attend the Eden Camp All Services Memorial Parade. Dave Parrish will parade the TCA Standard. John Rogers will parade the RNA Standard.

Future TCA Reunions Discussion Paper was considered. As expected, a lively debate with various ideas put forward, but mostly talking in circles. A suggestion was made to look at the North Euston Hotel in Fleetwood, where the VICTORIOUS Association have held a successful reunion.

Their website has been checked and looks good. Now all we need is a North West Regional Coordinator to arrange a meeting there ... Editor

Shavington Remembrance Sunday  

TCA affiliated with the village of Shavington, near Northwich in Cheshire, about 25 years ago but the link faded away when the principals on both sides moved away/retired. We have now been contacted by the Community Manger for the Parish Council who has re-discovered the affiliation and has invited TCA to be represented at their Remembrance Day service. Volunteers please contact the Editor for details