10 September 2022
I wonder if others of you found that the celebrations earlier this year for the Platinum Jubilee boosted your pride in Britain? Mine had been somewhat flagging given the political turmoil in our country, but the national rejoicing that was so very apparent in support of Queen Elizabeth II in her 70th year on the throne, restored my belief that we remain a great country.
While we all realised that her age was making her less mobile, her death - announced just 48 hours ago as I write this appreciation – caught us by surprise and caused seismic shock waves around the country and around the world. The papers, TV and radio channels are running near continuous eulogies, describing the many most wonderful qualities that combined to make her, in my view, the greatest monarch our country has seen. To me, it was her steadfastness, wisdom, utter decency and charm that combined to make her our exemplary Head of State, unparallelled in the world.
I was privileged to meet her on a number of occasions, the first time as the only midshipman attending a dinner on board the Western Fleet flagship HMS Eagle in 1969. On completion, the royal family attended a sods’ opera in the hangar, with none of its ribaldry censored out. The Queen’s sense of humour certainly showed through! Another brilliant dinner was when she attended a dinner party for the Fleet Flag and Commanding Officers on board the flagship for her Silver Jubilee review in 1977, which I attended as CO of HMS Shavington [Below: Dressed Overall].
While mentioning dinners afloat, the last I attended with her was in 1992 for the 40th Anniversary of her Accession when I was Captain F9 and HMS Norfolk. I have the three dinner plates from those dinners proudly hanging in our dining room. On each occasion, Her Majesty moved around all the attendees to talk with knowledge and humour.
It was very special to get my MBE from Her Majesty as a Lieutenant, and later it was huge fun to be guests at the parties she threw for two royal weddings. As the Duke of Lancaster, Her Majesty launched HMS Lancaster; I was present for that, and later attended the commissioning as Captain F9, where I was able to discuss with the Queen the splendid innovative features of this new class.
My final meeting was when I was FOST when she visited the Plymouth Naval Base. Each meeting was memorable for that most wonderful, warm smile and the interesting exchanges. Her charm invariably shone through her undoubted aura.
All of us have had her as our monarch for the vast majority of our lives, and we have benefited from her love and interest in her Navy. We celebrate her life and her countless achievements with gratitude and affection. May she rest in peace.
I know that King Charles III shares her qualities and will now continue her great example. We have been privileged to have him as our Patron.
Photographs of the Furneral Cortege in The Mall 14 September 2022 taken by TCA President
Goodbye to our beloved Queen
God Save the King
We had originally estimated a cost of £10-£12,000 but I'm pleased to say that the quote, from the Cathedral stonemasons, has come in at slightly under £ 11,000 .
The Fund now stands at £ 5,740; a fraction over the half-way mark !
We understand that London Area Reserve Naval Officers (formerly known as President Retired Officers Association), has promised a donation of £1,000.00 and thank TCA for their additional donation of £500.
So it looks very promising. We would like to thank everyone who has donated to the Memorial fund and ask those who have not yet been able to do so, to make a donation, no matter how small. We still need to find that balance.
The Treasurer of All Saints Fittleton has made an interesting appeal video [ https://www.dropbox.com/s/lwf8u8owb20bj3g/HMS%20F%20med%20res.mp4?dl=0 ]
Members who have a 'Facebook presence', may like to put this on their page and, with a bit of luck, it may magically generate the balance still needed.
Phil has set up a web page www.hmsfittleton.org which will take you direct to the page on All Saints website where details of how you can make donations are given.
You can also go direct to their 'Just Giving' page by using the link: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/hmsfittleton-appeal
A brief report from the meeting of the White Rose branch of the TCA held in the Longboat Bar, Micklegate, York on Saturday 10th September.
Present were: Colin ( Pancho ) Brett, Dennis Cook, " Pincher" Martin, Terry Foreman, Trevor Dixon, Dave Parrish, John Rogers, guest Frank Moss ( ex RN) and myself.
The All Services Remembrance parade due to be held at Eden Camp Museum, Malton, has been cancelled due to the passing of Her Majesty the Queen.
We discussed the proposal from Chairman Bob re Aims and Objectives of the TCA in the Constitution. All in favour.
Clive gave an update on our weekend away. White Rose Rum Rats on Tour Polo shirts were issued to those attending.
Date for next meeting .Saturday the 14th January 2023. 1300 in the Longboat bar of the Premier Inn, Blossom St, York.
We will be attending the funeral of Alan Clayton, long time TCA member and one of the earliest members of the White Rose branch.
Up Spirits was piped and for the first time the toast was "The King, God Bless Him".
Frank had a good afternoon and says that he will be joining us again.
The ladies joined us at 1530 for our meal.
On Tuesday 20 Sept members of the White Rose Branch attended the funeral of Alan Clayton who served on HMS Kildarton 1956- 1958.
L-R on photo John Rogers parading the RNA Standard, Pincher Martin, Terry Foreman (negative beard), Clive Dennison, Allan Brown and Dave Parrish who paraded the TCA Northern Standard.
Not on photo Sue Dennison and Judy Martin