The October ‘meeting’ was the annual Trafalgar Night
Dinner at the Officers’ Mess in Episkopi which also
coincided with the 10th anniversary of
the formation of the Branch.
members and guests attended with Commander British
Forces Cyprus, Air Vice Marshal
CB, MBE, MA, BSc, RAF,
and his partner, Dr Maria Stuttaford, as our guests
The main course was a traditional roast beef dinner,
as English a meal as can be imagined which suited
the theme of the evening and the whole event was
very well served by the ever attentive mess staff,
who were constantly ensuring that no glass remained
less than half full.
Our Chairman (Bill Hellier) had sought out a
‘cakemaker’ to do the necessary honours to mark the
occasion of the Branch’s 10th anniversary
so a slice of birthday cake was also distributed.
Our guest of honour was well aware that he would
have to say a few words once the port had been
passed and toasts had been made but I don’t think
that anyone present had ever been made aware of the
Air Force’s contribution to Nelson’s victory at
The point being made was the AVM was sure that a
young lad must have been strapped to the top of the
main mast (all 203 feet of it) as an early warning
device . . and as this lookout was so high above
mean sea level that he could well have been
considered an ‘air asset’!.
Our Secretary (Gordon Redpath) was heard to mutter
that this was a ‘false claim’ - my words not his -
and that the lookout was in fact a forerunner of the
Although not giving up on his ‘air asset’ claim for
Trafalgar the AVM went on to give an overview of the
role that the British Forces in Cyprus provide to
the current conflict in Afghanistan and the Middle
East in general. A very interesting brief indeed -
we wish him well on his new appointment in December
the end of the dinner bouquets were presented to the
two ladies on the top table, Norma Hellier:
. . and to Dr Maria Stuttaford:
. . and so to the bar.
very enjoyable evening was had by all and it is
worth re-iterating that we are very lucky to be able
to have such a venue made available to us . . . but
whether we can ever secure the attendance of such a
high profile guest of honour remains a problem for
The July ‘meeting’ took the form of a lunchtime
social at Kyrenia Beach Taverna between Episkopi and
Pissouri on Sunday 15th. Despite the annual mass
migration to cooler climes at this time of year a
dozen members still turned up.
Celebrating the Queens Diamond Jubilee at Lemona – 2
The Branch President (Sir Edward Du Cann KBE) hosted
over 100 members and their guests from both Branches
of the Royal Naval Association here in Cyprus to an
outdoor buffet at his home in Lemona to celebrate
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. With a coach bringing
the Larnaca members and their guests and the every
one else making their own way it was inevitable that
the approach road to Lemona duly became an extended
car-park however Sir Edward was on hand to
personally greet every individual at the front gate
as they arrived.
Once everyone had assembled in the courtyard and
charged their glasses Sir Edward gave a short speech
of welcome for this historic occasion and raised a
toast to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to mark her
Diamond Jubilee, an event that has only happened
once before in all of our nations’ history, which
was heartily taken up by all.
The Chairman, Bill Hellier, then made a presentation
to Sir Edward for hosting this day’s event, on
behalf of all RNA members on the island, of a framed
photograph of Sir Edward’s former craft from his
days in Coastal Command - MTB 5015.
The picture shows the craft at speed with various
crew members at their respective posts and one of
the two officers on the open bridge . . is Sir
Norma Hellier then presented a bouquet to Maureen as
a thank you from all of those present.
The effort that went in to making the day such a
success can only be imagined but Sir Edward later
said that it was all down to Maureen’s hard work and
not him as he was only responsible for greeting the
guests at the front gate and signing the cheques.
Please view the photo’s of the event by
June meeting -
The June meeting was held on Wednesday 13th with
Bill Hellier presiding as our new Chairman and with
31 members present.
After the Padre’s Piece, the next item was for any
guests to be introduced and S/M Kev Barnes presented
Nic and Jane Ley from Konia who had previously
expressed an interest in becoming Associate Members
as Jane’s father was a WW2 and Palestine navy
veteran, Nic’s father is a serving Chelsea Pensioner
and, more importantly, their son is a serving CPO in
the Royal Navy . . and so the branch membership was
duly increased by two.
The various Branch Officers then made their reports
which resulted in the final Committee vacancy
(Social Secretary) being filled by Alison Kennedy.
Alison was not present due to her presence being
required to invigilate at her school exams but she
had made her wishes known to other committee members
and, as there were no other volunteers, her
appointment was confirmed.
A lot of comment was made about the celebration of
the Queens Diamond Jubilee at Sir Edward and
Maureen’s house in Lemona on the 2nd June. All
available photo’s can now be viewed via the link on
the Home page. Sir Edward made mention of the framed
presentation photo of his former craft (MTB 5015 -
which now has a home in his study) and that the
other officer on the open bridge with him got a DSC
for his efforts during the Dieppe raid during WW2.
Apparently he was the skipper of another MTB that
day and disobeyed orders to retire from the beach
area and instead took his craft back in and rescued
some 50 soldiers who would otherwise have been left
to be killed, wounded and/or taken prisoner.
The new batch of re-designed ‘RNA Cyprus’ plaques
have now arrived and can be purchased from the Hon
Secretary for €50 each, Sir Edward was the first
The second part of the evening was given over to
John Keenan who gave a very informative and humorous
slide presentation about the time that he and his
wife were caught up in last year’s earthquake in
Christchurch, New Zealand. This then set the scene
as he went on to describe a ‘work/hobby in
progress’, namely about his plane building project
on South Island, the reason he was there in the
first place. I believe he has already booked his
tickets for his next visit to NZ to continue with
the project later on this year.
It is intended that July’s meeting will be in the
form of a social event. The details of the date,
time and venue will be emailed to all members by the
Secretary when confirmed.
The first event of the evening was the formal
presentation of a donation from Branch funds to a
‘colour party’ from the 57th (Episkopi)
Sea Scout Beavers (Myles Dixon, Hannah Branfoot and
Kevin Reeves) and three staff members (Dr Ruth
Burley, Kevin Reeves (snr) and Richard Dixon) and
their Chairman; Brian Nicolle. The actual
presentation was made by Sir Edward to Myles Dixon.
The various officers’ reports were then given.
general discussion then ensued regarding various
options that could be persued for recruiting new
members. With Branch membership now numbered in the
‘forties’ several members came forward with some
alternative propsals that will be investigated
further. Eric the Cleric has a contact with the UKCA
(Limassol Branch) who have their own magazine and
that we could possibly use this to reach a different
section of the ex-Pat community. Regarding the
annual social events within the ex-Pat calendar it
was agreed that there would not be another dedicated
RNA stall at the 2012 Episkopi Summer Fair in Happy
Valley this year due to the reduced numbers of the
general public and the poor return for the effort
put in during last years event. Rather than relying
on the more formal approach through various parts of
the media, including local redio, it was generally
recognised that nothing was more effective than
individual members recruiting other RN veterans
within their own social circles.
S/M John Keenan brought along a very large, well
made, cased, model of the ‘new’ Albion Class LPD (or
Landing Platform Dock). The model was almost a metre
long and even had cut-away sections in the hull to
view the interior . . and it was looking for a home.
Apparently a former member of the Paphos Yacht Club
(Peter Decker) had recently passed on and had left a
legacy of three model craft, including an even
larger one of HMS Sheffield (circa 1936: Town Class
light cruiser) and a vast collection of RN themed
books, a selection of which were on display and also
looking for a home. Due to the available room in the
Paphos YC their committee had decided that these
items were available to anyone who wanted them and
had asked John to bring them along tonight to see if
there were any takers . . so for anyone wanting some
additional reading matter about various aspects of
the RN then please contact: Brian Layng on 99 279
302 who will arrange a viewing . . the LPD model was
snapped up by the 57th (Episkopi) Sea
S/M Bill Hatfield (a SSAFA co-ordinator) gave
notice of a joint RBL (Larnaca) / SSAFA fund raising
event to be held at the Beach Club in Dhekelia on 15
June, cost €15 per person. He then gave a few facts
and figures about the dramatic increase in the
financial costs required to support SSAFA cases in
the past year or so (+ 67%), hence the need for the
Due to circumstances beyond his control, Sir
Edward’s presentation on his experiences with
Coastal Forces had to be postponed so Richard Hughes
stood in and gave a demonstration, with a few
co-opted members, on a certain aspect of police
work. Some of the relevance of the finer points of
this play acting may dwindle in the memory but
no-one will forget the hilarious, real-life,
anecdotes of portrayed by ‘Salty’ – the sea dog.
And finally . . congratulations were in order to our
oldest associate member who had made the effort to
come tonight, Sylvia Tooes, who will be 100 this
The main event for this meeting was the election a
new Chairman. The President gave a brief summary of
the events which had necessitated the need for the
election for which there were two candidates, S/M’s
Gordon Redpath and Bill Hellier. The returning vote
duly saw S/M Bill Hellier elected to the Chair and
the first sentiment recorded was a unanimous vote of
thanks to the efforts of the previous incumbent S/M
S/M George Williams (Vice Chair) made the point that
as the Branch membership has reduced over the past
few years from over 100 to about 40 that we now need
to recruit new members and that this is a
responsibility that falls to all members not just the
reported earlier, the Branch will be celebrating the
QDJ at Sir Edward’s home in Lemona on Sat 2 June,
this invitation has also been extended to the
members of the Eastern Branch in Larnaca. It is
intended that a bus be hired to transport the
members from the Eastern Branch, and any of our
members who live en route, to and from Lemona.
The second part of the evening was given over to
Eric the Cleric who gave a PowerPoint presentation
on his recent (Jan – Mar) visit to Sri Lanka and
India. To those present this was a thoroughly
enjoyable kaleidoscope of photographic images
including; the local fishing industry - using
locally made boats of dubious construction to
individuals spending hours attached on to a vertical
pole in the sea fishing by line, a three footed
elephant (victim of a land mine) in a local wild
life sanctuary, local temples, ethnic weddings, tea
plantations, giant Hibiscus, a ‘Colonial’ meeter and
greeter at a local hotel – completely attired in
white jacket / shorts / long socks / topee and Sam
Browne, wood carvings, the CWG cemetery at Kandi
(in which a survivor of the Battle of Waterloo had
been laid to rest), a moonstone mine where you can
have bespoke jewellery made, herds of water buffalo
(Eric personally vouched for them . . as making the
best steaks ever!), a former tea factory that was
now a very high quality hotel, the list goes on but
finally, a couple of pictures of some recruits at a
local army camp (2nd Batt. Gemunu Watch)
who were being drilled by their immaculately turned
out Sgt Maj, uniform pressed to razor sharp creases
whose head dress even sported a huge red hackle (who
said the Empire was dead?).
Due to rather inclement weather only 16 members
managed to make the March meeting.
The Chairman (S/M David May) started the meeting by
unveiling a new acquisition for the RNA Cyprus
Branch from the widow of a former shipmate and
gifted model maker, Donald Hawes, namely a four foot
scale model of the Destroyer HMS Saintes . . it even
has it’s own propulsion unit!. It is hoped that this
model will eventually be on permanent display within
the mess and moves are afoot to secure and preserve
it within a glass case.
S/M Richard Hughes (Welfare) gave an update on S/M
Jack Philips, who is now back in the UK and
recovering slowly but steadily.
S/M George Williams then announced a
date for all diaries . . that the RNA Cyprus Branch
will be celebrating the Queens Diamond Jubilee on
Saturday 2nd June 2012 in Lemona, at the
home of our President, Sir Edward Du Cann
further details will be announced when known.
The second part of the evening was in the form of a
PowerPoint presentation by the ‘Medal Man’ (S/M
Kevin Barnes) who gave an account of a medal
research project he had undertaken a few years ago
concerning a triple gallantry medal winner who had
served twice in both the RN and the
Coastguard. This story was then linked to a
follow-on account of, probably, the most decorated
priest (for bravery) in the Christian church.
Next month’s presentation will be from ‘Eric the
Cleric’ who will be regaling us with his recent
adventures in the Indian sub-continent.
Visit by Commander
and Mrs. Alan Castle
Shipmates of the Branch were
pleased to enable hospitality for Commander Alan
Castle, his wife Irene and daughter Claire during
their holiday in the first two weeks of February.
Now almost 80 years old,
Commander Alan served as an RN pilot flying Gannets
in the 1950s at Nicosia airfield which is now in
Turkish Northern Cyprus. Chairman Shipmate Surgeon
Commander (D) David May and wife Denise called at
the Castle’s hotel in Limassol where they a good
chat ‘swinging the lamp’ and hearing Alan’s
reminiscences. Shipmate Lt.Gareth Turner RN also
kindly arranged for the family to visit RAF Akrotiri
and see how air defence in the eastern Mediterranean
has changed over the years.
In a letter of thanks Alan
said that he had visited the new British Cyprus
Memorial which holds the names of three Gannet crew
members, including his relief, who died the day
after he left the island. A sad note.
It is an honour to be able to
help veteran shipmates such as Alan and his family
revisit their past in Cyprus.
David May presents a
Branch plaque to Commander Castle
members attended the February meeting which was also
the AGM for the Branch.
Following ‘Apologies for absence’ the Rev Alan
Hodson then gave a stirring prayer woven around the
main values of the RNA: Unity, Loyalty, Patriotism
The salient point of the evenings business was the
implementation of the results of an internal review
of the future makeup of the ‘Main Branch Committee’
to ensure compliance with RNA rules and regulations.
The Chairman then gave a summary of the main events
of the previous year, from a presentation on
earthquakes, followed by the reality of the Japanese
disaster, to the narrow escape by the majority of
the membership at the Governors Beach taverna last
summer which was then devastated by the blast from
the Mari naval base some 12 hours later.
The Welfare Officer next floated an idea to the
members for the possibility of raising a list of
‘volunteers’ to be on the look out for ex-naval
veterans in their particular area who may appreciate
an occasional visit. Some shipmates have been in
Cyprus for a long time and may since have lost their
partner, had surgery or were just becoming elderly.
Items of a social nature came next. These included
plans to join up with the Runcorn Branch to
celebrate Trafalgar Night. Runcorn shipmates enjoy
that event abroad it seems. Our President has
offered to host the Branch at his home to celebrate
HM Diamond Jubilee in June.
Following an excellent serving of sandwiches the
second part of the evening was taken up by S/M
Richard Hughes who gave a very interesting insight
in to policing public events in London over a seven
The first meeting of 2012 got under way with 23
members present. The first item was a brief prayer
from Alan Hodgson, who was standing in for Eric the
Cleric who is currently taking a few months
sabbatical leave. The various committee members then
read their usual reports with the Social Secretary
mentioning a few points of more immediate importance
to the members present in that, a) sandwiches would
be available at the forthcoming AGM, b) that,
although we have access to the Mess bar for
refreshments, coffee and tea is also available from
the main dining room, and c) that VyVy was making
her last call for those wanting to join her latest
venture to Sri Lanka.
The second part of the meeting was taken up by SM
John Hale (having just celebrated his 87th
birthday two days previously) who provided a DVD
presentation of the sinking of the German pocket
battleship the Scharnhorst north of Norway
December 1943 . . .
an event at which he was
a participant all those (68) years ago whilst
serving on HMS Jamaica. The DVD itself was of
a BBC TV ‘TimeWatch’ programme that was originally
broadcast back in 2001 and John actually featured in
it as one of the interviewed veterans. He had also
brought along all sorts of memorabilia of his life
and times on the Arctic Convoy routes including the
4 Russian medals that had since been awarded to him
by, despite the intervening Cold War years, a
grateful Russian government. Despite the current
problems with the world today the personal
recollections that are occasionally brought to the
surface by some of our members tell of times past
that were infinitely harder.
meeting of 2011 was a relaxed affair where festive
nibbles and the like were provided on the usual
‘bring and share’ basis however all were saddened by
the news that S/M Fred Cooper, one of our (two)
Honorary Life Vice Presidents had ‘crossed
the bar’ on 4th December.
Nobby Hall, a fellow Honorary Life Vice President,
probably knew Fred the longest and wrote the
following tribute which was passed on to Fred’s
family the day before his funeral on the 15th
Cooper was a Founder Member, Vice Chairman, Welfare
Representative and Life Vice President of the Cyprus
Branch Royal Naval Association and he will be sorely
missed by all his fellow Shipmates. From day one he
threw himself whole heartedly into the running of
the Branch and quickly established himself as one of
the main characters. Nothing was ever to much
trouble for Fred and he could always be found in the
midst of any meeting or event. One of his greatest
achievements was the RNA Stall at the Annual
Episkopi Garrison Fete where he worked tirelessly to
raise money for the Naval Charities. His wine
tasting lunches at his local vineyard are the stuff
of legend and were thoroughly enjoyed by all who
man of the people he was totally at ease in any
situation and in his role as Welfare Rep' he
provided much assistance to Shipmates in need. As a
former Royal Navy Leading Stoker and Diver nothing
ever phased him and he could always be relied upon
to undertake any task on behalf of the Cyprus Branch
or any of the Shipmates. In later years he was
plagued by ill health, which he suffered
stoically, and although this forced him to slow down
he continued to remain a loyal member right up until
he Crossed the Bar. Throughout it all he was both
totally and ably supported by his Wife Norma who,
along with the rest of the Cooper Family, have our
deepest condolences for their loss.
in the Cyprus Branch of the RNA will remember Fred
with great affection and take comfort from the fact
that we know he will now be looking down and keeping
a watch over us from his Heavenly berth.
Branch Royal Naval Association
With the various monthly reports and updates
dispensed with George Williams then gave a repeat
performance of a presentation about the First World
War that he had initially prepared for his
grandson’s benefit who was attending the American
Academy during the period of Remembrance 2009.
Apparently the object of his original presentation
was to assist the History teacher and give the 1st
and 2nd year children an informative
resume about the Great War, which was to be
accompanied by personal memorabilia from some of
George’s relatives who had served in the army at
that time. However, having compiled his IT
presentation, supported with photographical images
of the time, he first handed it to the History
teacher for comment, who passed it on to the
Headmaster . . the upshot of which was that George
ended up giving his IT presentation to the whole
school (as well as all the Greek students) – over
640 of them!
Despite the accumulated historical knowledge of the
subject by the members present it was still a
riveting presentation and made more personal by the
effect it had on his family members.
Having lost our previous RN Rep’ (Wtr David Edgar)
to Afghanistan we now have a replacement - Lt Gareth
Octobers ‘meeting’ was in the form of the annual
Trafalgar Dinner so the normal summary of ‘what
happened’ may best be described by perusing the
photo’s taken on the night which can be viewed at
the next meeting.
However, the secret of the success of the night was
the fact that we were allowed to hold the dinner in
the Officers’ Mess and were superbly supported by
the Mess Manager and his staff.
The setting was further enhanced by the six
musicians from the Band of the Army Air Corps who
played a comprehensive repertoire of naval tunes.
One person who was not able to make this event was
S/M Richard Hughes who was back in the UK having
taken up the ‘Commando Challenge’, along with his
son (Nathan) and brother (Phillip), to raise funds
for naval charities. To summarise his efforts would
be to do him a severe injustice so his report is as
“ I served in Her Majesty’s Royal Marines from 1967
to 1977 and have for quite a while fancied having a
go at one of the Commando tests, the series of
physical tests that have to be passed by all Royal
Marine recruits, before I get too old and decrepit.
At 61 years of age I thought I had better get a move
on. I had thought about trying to arrange to do an
individual fundraising effort to benefit RM
charities. Last year while browsing the Internet I
came across the Commando Challenge website and was
immediately interested in taking part to raise money
The Commando Challenge is designed around the
Endurance Course one of the Commando tests completed
in the final week of recruit training at the Royal
Marines Commando Training Centre (CTC) Lympstone and
takes place on Woodbury Common, a small piece of
heath land about 3.5 miles from the camp. The
Endurance Course consists of a 2 mile cross country
run with various water obstacles and a 4.5 mile run
back to CTC followed by a rifle shoot, all to be
completed in about 70 minutes carrying 21 lb of
equipment and rifle.
The Commando Challenge team have taken the Endurance
Course theme and built a weekend of fundraising
consisting of the “4K fun” and the “10K Marine”
around it. The 4k fun is the wet and muddy part of
the Endurance Course with the 10k Marine being
equivalent to the course completed by recruits in
training at CTC, the 4k fun with a 6k run added to
it. Royal Marines from CTC run the “endurance
course” part of the event and provide transport in 4
ton military trucks from Bicton Arena to the start
on Woodbury Common; with the rest of the event being
run by the Commando Challenge team assisted by
volunteers, 150 each day, from the supported
charities, this year Devon Air Ambulance
and The C
based at the Bicton Arena, an equestrian centre just
east of Woodbury Common and about 3 miles inland
from Budleigh Salterton 2011 was the 21st running of
the Commando Challenge and took place over the
weekend of the 8th and 9th October with nearly 4000
people taking part raising over £260,000 for the
Needing a team of three, I persuaded my son Nathan,
aged 37 who also served in the Royal Marines and my
brother Philip, 50 who spent 27 years in the Army,
most of it in the PT Corps to help me:
Calling ourselves “The Old Gits” we entered the 4k
fun raising between us £381.73 and surprising
ourselves by coming 3rd in the male team category.
Many people from Cyprus helped me raise money
including from The Cyprus Branch Royal Naval
Association, The Eastern Cyprus Branch RNA, and
SSAFA. I would like to thank all those who
contributed to this successful fundraising event.”
Following the summer recess, a regular meeting of
the RNA (Cyprus) took place on Wednesday 14th
September with 29 members in attendance.
Amidst the committee reports was the announcement
that a volunteer (S/M Gordon Redpath) had come
forward to take on the role of Branch Secretary now
that the only serving RN member, and the current
incumbent (Wtr David Edgar), is hastily updating his
military skills prior to being deployed to
Afghanistan next month.
After the committee reports, the chairman (S/M David
May) took the opportunity to donate a cheque for €
120, on behalf of RNA (Cyprus), to Tina Graham, who
had been invited to attend this evenings meeting in
her role as Chairman of SSAFA in Cyprus.
Donations from RNA (Cyprus) have also been
distributed to the following service charities:
- RN & RM CF
The second part of the evening was taken up with a
video documentary drama about the recollections of
the naval surgeon (William Beatty) aboard HMS
Victory at the battle of Trafalgar.
Advance Notice: RNA (Cyprus Branch) Trafalgar
Night Dinner - 2011
RNA (Cyprus) will hold their
annual Trafalgar Night Dinner at the Officers’ Mess,
Episkopi, on Wednesday 19th October 2011, timings:
19:00 for 19:30.
This event will be black tie for
the men and the ladies are asked to dress
commensurate to the occasion, miniature medals are
to be worn.
Members are allowed to bring
additional guests and a flat fee of €30 per person,
member or guest, for the evening will include the
A full roast beef dinner with
Wine & Port
(Vegetarian or Celiac
alternatives are available)
After dinner drinks may be
purchased at the bar at Mess prices. There will also
be a quintet from the band of the Army Air Corps who
will play a selection of music throughout the
confirm numbers attending with the Social Secretary
no later than Wednesday 5th October along
with any particular dietary requirements.
A seating plan will be made.
Shipmates with guests will be seated with them
.Shipmates without guests are asked to state if they
have a preferred dining neighbour at the time of
booking. As far as possible those requests will be
Armed Forces Day – 2011
Armed Forces Day 2011 was
commemorated at Episkopi Garrison on 20 June with a
flag raising ceremony directed by Lt Col Bob
Pickford and supported by the band of the Kings’
Division. The standards of the Cyprus Branch of the
RNA, RLC Association and the RAF Association were
also on parade:
The Armed Forces Day flag was
raised by the Garrison RSM;
WO1 (RSM) Doug Adesile KRH
CYPRUS SHIPMATES ESCAPE EXPLOSION - July 2011
A good party has sometimes been described as a
‘blast’ but in the case of the two Cyprus branches
this was almost literal.
The Eastern Cyprus Branch of the Association was
commissioned in January 2007 but since then there
has been no initiative to get all our island
shipmates together socially. The two Chairmen, David
May (Cyprus Branch) and Eric Hirst (Eastern Cyprus
Branch), overseen by the President of the Eastern
Branch, Reverend Shipmate Eric Freeman and with the
encouragement of Sir Edward Du Cann, President of
the Cyprus Branch planned a united Banyan at the
‘Faros’ fish restaurant, Governor’s Beach on the
afternoon of Sunday 10th July.
In celebration of Sea Sunday there was a meal of
local mezes and other traditional dishes. Eric
Freeman gave a short address followed by the two
Chairmen and Sir Edward. The ‘Faros’ is very popular
with Cypriots. Our organiser, ‘Mr.Fixit’,
Vice-Chairman George Williams had warned us that any
speeches would have to be at full volume to overcome
the noise of the local fun. He was right but Eric
Hirst managed to present a Branch plaque to the
Cyprus Branch. Toasts to the RNA in Cyprus and the
Cyprus Branch were proposed
L. to R: Sir Edward Du Cann, David May, Eric Hirst,
Rev. Eric Freeman
Shipmates drifted away in a happy mood after a very
warm afternoon by the beach; friendships having been
made and renewed.
The end of the day could easily have been very
different. Tragically about 14 hours later the
Governors Beach tourist site was devastated by the
munitions explosion at the Evangelis Florakis Naval
Base about one kilometre away. At the time of
writing 12 are reported dead including the Commander
and Executive officers of the Base and there is
widespread damage around the area. The main Cyprus
power station was put out of action resulting in
island wide power cuts.
Sir Edward Du Cann has written a letter of
condolence to the President of Cyprus on behalf on
the Royal Naval Association.
It remains to be seen how this serious accident will
affect Cyprus in general.
The meeting on Wednesday 8th June
was attended by 24 members but as the Chairman was
off island it fell the George to update the members
with a few parish notices before handing over to
Gordon Redpath who then conducted a very successful
Quiz Night . . with a naval theme, although a few
Bootneck related questions were thrown in to keep
everyone happy. A good evening was had by all.
The meeting for Wednesday 11th May
was in the order of a ‘Curry Night’ at the Officers
Mess in Episkopi, although times move on, faces and
names change and we all get just that little bit
more nostalgic, it seems that nothing can ever beat
the occasion of a ‘Mess Curry Night’. On completion,
our Chairman gave everyone an update about Branch
matters. This included a cash donation from Branch
funds of € 200 to the 57th Cyprus (Episkopi)
Sea Scout Group, who were represented by their
Chairman Brian Nicholle, their Cox’n (Rob
Weatherstone) and three Sea Scouts; Keiren, Emily
(standard bearer) and Josh who formed a ‘colour
party’ parading their new unit Sea Scout flag that
had been purchased with last years RNA donation and
which had recently been officially presented to them
by Nobby Hall.
John Keenan has now returned to the fold after his
‘earthquake’ adventure in Christchurch, N.Z. and
George Williams has now forsaken hospital food for
good and is back on his hind legs in perfect working
The one piece of sad news was the passing of Lucy
Ronan, aged 86, on 23rd May in New
Zealand following a long period of ill health. Lucy
was an Associate Member of RNA Cyprus, having joined
in October 2002, and wife of the late John (Jack)
Ronan. Flowers and a card have been arranged for her
A tale of Peary Land, pulks and a polar bear
April meeting began with an update by the Chairman who
mentioned that our Vice-Chairman had been readmitted to
hospital for an operation, we have since heard that he is
making a good recovery, also that our Slops member Bill
Hellier has resigned but shipmate Ron Jones has taken on the
job. The shipmates thanked Bill for all his efforts while in
officers gave reports as necessary. It has been found that
if every officer speaks the evening is too prolonged so
input is kept to a minimum.
particular Richard Hughes (Welfare) reminded everyone of the
SSAFA Fete (see Home Page) and the Episkopi Fete planned for
September 17th. Books, CDs, DVDs and drinks
bottles (full) will be needed to stock our stalls for these
Richard will also be asking for your support for an
enterprise that he and his son (both former RM), his
brother-in-law and nephew (both ex-Army) will be undertaking
in October to raise funds for the Royal Marines Charitable
Trust Fund and the Devon Air Ambulance Trust; namely taking
part in the ‘Commando Challenge’. All Royal Marines recruits
have to pass what is called the ‘Endurance Course’ as part
of basic training, and again as they progress up to corporal
and sergeant. Basically it’s a one and a half mile obstacle
course over rough ground on Woodbury Common near the
Commando Training Center, Devon and is usually followed by a
timed 4 mile run back to CTCRM. If you want to know more log
on your internet browser and you will appreciate what he and
his family members have set themselves up for. More details
as they arrive.
evening’s presentation was a remarkable tale given by Chris
Shorrocks (former RAF Radio Engineer and RAF Mountain Rescue
team member) who took part in a perilous four and a half
month adventure in 1969 to circumnavigate and map a 750 mile
route around, and into the hinterland of, ‘Peary Land’ on
the northern coast of Greenland, recording any wildlife
along the way. This 12 man party of intrepid explorers was
made up of 4 from the RAF, 3 from the Army and Navy and 2
presentation was in the form of 35mm colour slides which
more than adequately gave an impression of just how
desolate, harsh and beautiful that part of the world is. For
those of you with an atlas, try and find it. For those with
a bit more geographical knowledge it lies at 83 º 38’ N.
Temperatures went down below -30 º and apart from taking the
necessary technical data readings they also had to drag
their equipment (up to 600lbs deadweight) on pulks (that’s a
low slung, draggable sledge) across snow, ice, melt water
streams and, when the snow ran out, they even had to lay a
carpet of it over the rock to allow their continued passage
with the pulks.
recollections of multiple journeys to and from a base camp
to create store dumps on the intended route ahead sounded
all the more remarkable given the conditions described and
also as a test of endurance. Notwithstanding all of the
above, as they were all mountaineers of varying expertise
they took the opportunity of climbing dozens of previously
unclimbed peaks along the way.
part of their trek they awoke in their tents to find a polar
bear helping itself to the contents of one of their pulks
outside. Chris showed us slides of the bear enjoying this
unintended picnic, as well as others taken later on. The
bear was about seven and a half foot on its hind legs and
appeared at different parts of their route. It thus posed a
threat to the group so sadly it had to be shot (6 rounds of
.303 resulted in its demise!).
All in all
it was a wonderful tale which we heard also resulted in
accolades from the prestigious Royal Geographic Society.
March 2011 – Wills, wakes
To a backdrop of high winds and lashing
rain, this month’s meeting still managed to attract some 22
intrepid members to brave the elements gather at the
Officers’ Mess in Episkopi.
The Rev Eric Freeman has returned safely
from his recent visit to Sri Lanka as a member of one of
Vyvyan’s repeat group visits to the island, meanwhile George
Williams is recovering at home from his recent operation and
is gathering his strength before going back for his next
one, meanwhile a bunch of flowers had been delivered to him
from the membership to help aid his recovery.
Richard Hughes then went on to ask for
volunteers to help him with the SSAFA ‘Party in the Park’
event in Happy Valley on the 4th June as well as
for the Episkopi Fete on 17 September. Any volunteers can
find Richard’s contact details on the
tab on the home page.
Jack Philips stood up and gave a summary
of his recent visit to the UK where he and two other members
and their wives attended a second official memorial service
at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines in Devon for
our recently deceased Chairman; Andrew Noyes, which was
followed by a wake in the Officers’ Mess.
To say that it was well attended by the
Corps is a bit of an understatement as it seems that over
150 people were there including no less than eight (8)
former Commandants General Royal Marines, which shows the
high regard that Andrew was held in by his fellow officers.
Our Secretary (David Edgar) then put on
his other committee hat (permanent Royal Navy
representative) and gave the members a summary of recent
naval events and operations over the past few months. The
main emphasis seems to be the ongoing situation regarding
international piracy off the coast of Somalia.
A short talk was then given by S/M Lee
Hinton who related that caution should be exercised when
drawing up a ‘Cypriot’ will, especially if the lawyer used
is also the executor. His key point being that if the
remuneration wording on your policy reads:
‘ . . the executors may be remunerated for their services
in accordance with the fee guidelines of the Cyprus Bar
Association . . ‘
. . . or something similar then it may be
prudent to review the policy.
It would seem that the commercial norm’
on the island is for the legal profession to publish their
minimum fees (even these can be quite eye-watering) for
administering to your last wishes, but not their maximum
fees – apparently there aren’t any! For further
information, contact Lee directly.
The main event of the evening was a
presentation from two members (Alan Wagstaffe and Keith
Adair with technical support from Frank Goddard) of the
Paphos 3rd Age (P3A) organization on a subject that was to
become all too familiar over the next two days –
The knowledge imparted was in-depth,
authoratitive and current, especially on the seismic
activity around our part of the Med’ and Cyprus in
particular. I understand that this presentation will also be
given in other venues around the Paphos area shortly, if you
get a chance to hear it – take it.
The look forward to our next meeting on
13 April is a presentation by Chris Shorrocks about his time
on a Joint Services Expedition to Greenland between the
months of March and early September back in 1969.
2011 – A new year and a
new man at the helm
The sad events that closed 2010
necessitated a reorganization of the Branch Committee. To
this end a full committee meeting took place on 27 January
followed by the AGM on 9 February, which was attended by 32
The updated nominal of Branch Officers is
now on the Home Page of this web-site however, one post that
has now become vacant is the Associate Members Rep’ as SM
Raymond ‘The Judge’ Naqvi has had to stand down due to the
volume of his official duties and a decision was then taken
to let this post lapse. In future, any enquiry from any
shipmate (Full or Associate) can be directed to any
Committee member they think appropriate for advice or
resolution of a problem.
The new chairman, David May, then addressed the
membership and reflected on the highs and lows of the
previous year and then projected his hopes and aspirations
for the year ahead. He went on to state that the RNA Cyprus
web-site had had some 4521 ‘hits’ since November 2009 so it
would seem that there is a lot of interest ‘out there’ in
the Branch and its activities.
The President (Sir Edward
was then invited to say
a few words and also took
the opportunity to present SM John Hale with a commemorative
medal from the Russia authorities marking his time on the
Arctic Convoys during WW2.
Eric Freeman then gave a very interesting
and informative talk on the arrival of the British in Cyprus
back in July 1878, at a time when political allegiances had
changed back and forth between Britain, Russia and the
Ottoman Empire, Britain was ‘gifted’ the possession of the
island by the Ottomans. Led by General Sir Garnet Wolseley,
the first Governor, the first British troops arrived on 22nd
July but rather than just giving a dry history lesson, Eric
peppered his account with anecdotes that brought his topic
to life. We may concern ourselves with the searing
temperatures of last year but the arrival of the 42nd
Foot (The Black Watch) on that fateful day, saw the death
within 24 hours of one of its VC holders (Sgt Samuel McGaw
–VC awarded 5 years earlier in Wolseley’s Ashantee campaign)
who died of heat apoplexy after a short (7 mile) forced
march. And if you ever wondered about the sight of
eucalyptus trees around the island, apparently they were
imported by Sir Garnet’s administration to drain the Larnaca
swamps. You learn something new every day.
This AGM also saw the signing up of our
first Cypriot shipmate – Despina Leonidou.
Some good news from New Zealand, SM John
Keenan has been in contact to say that although they have
lost their camper van and all of their possessions to the
earthquake, they are in fine form and are being well looked
after, but that they only have the clothes they were wearing
at the time.
Wednesday the 16th saw Mike
‘the Pipe’ Hasney representing the RNA at a presentation of
Certificates of Appreciation by CBF to two ladies from
Pissouri (Viv Taylor and Pat Gardener) who had raised
several thousand euro’s for service personnel transiting
through Bloodhound Camp on their ‘decompression’ stopover
prior to their return to the UK from active service. The aim
of the money raised was to provide recreational items for
them that were not available through service sources.
Although predominantly an ABF event, the RNA and RAFA were
also invited to attend.
Christmas Party 2010
The Branch party was held
at the Episkopi Officers Mess on Wednesday 8th
December and took the form of a bring and share buffet.
Letters of thanks to the
shipmates from Jackie and Caroline Noyes were read and there
was discussion on the election of Officers due at the AGM in
the New Year.
Shipmates took the
opportunity to chat, meet guests and enjoy a relaxing
evening together. Drinks from the Bar helped to engender the
Christmas spirit but were not needed to keep out the cold on
going ashore as Cyprus has had a prolonged ‘Indian Summer’
Lt. Col. Andrew John Frederick Noyes RM Rtd.
Shipmate Andrew, was laid to rest in a quiet glade
among pine trees as the afternoon sun dappled the
ground and birdsong laced the air. A Royal Marine
bugler sounded the last post and the standards of
RNA Cyprus, RNA Eastern Cyprus, the British Legion
and SSAFA were lowered. Many of Andrew’s friends
from all facets of his life attended in support of
his wife Jackie and their daughter Caroline. Over
one hundred and fifty people were at that graveside
Military Cemetery on Friday 12th
memorial service in St.Barnabas
Church was conducted by the Reverend Rod Price. An escort of Royal Marine
veterans preceded the coffin down the aisle. After
opening prayers the 23rd’Psalm was sung
followed by a reading from Caroline. Caroline went
on to give us an appreciation of her father which
she delivered with great courage and no little
humour. It was a testament to Andrew and wife
Jackie’s character that their daughter was able to
carry out such a sad task so well. Eulogies were
read by Trevor Philpott representing the Commandant
General, Royal Marines and Robert Bensley. Prayers,
The Royal Marines collect and the naval hymn
followed by The Commendation concluded the service.
A celebration of
Andrew’s life was held later at the Episkopi
Officers Mess. The tenor of the whole day was set by
Jackie who asked that no mourning rig be worn, that
the ladies should attend in summer dress, and that
the men wear light suits with Service ties. After
drinks and felicitations the company were
entertained by a recitation of Andrew’s ‘party
piece’ Rindicella. A poem from the ‘Bard of
Bathgate’ was followed by a revealing and mostly
hilarious speech from Major Mike Ball. It was an
occasion which Andrew would have loved.
his ‘best man’, has kindly allowed me to extract
details from his Eulogy. The following includes just
a few of his notes:
Andrew lived life
to the full, always giving and working to help
others. His personal standards of integrity and
courtesy were high and seen throughout his career
and life. Born on 15th.April 1948 he met
his future wife Jackie at their local kindergarten.
Andrew went to school in East Anglia in grew up in
London. He joined the Royal Marines at ITCRM in
Andrew served with
42 Cdo. in 1968-69 and was trained in jungle
warfare. He married Jackie on 12th.
August 1970. The perversity of the Service took him
almost immediately to sea in HMS Tartar. Thereafter
he served with 40 Cdo. during Operation Motorman in
Northern Ireland and also in the USA. In 1974 Jackie
accompanied her husband to Sharjah where he was on
loan service to the Trucial Oman Scouts. Andrew
reorganised and developed the Garrison there such
that he was able to hand over to a full Colonel on
completion of his tour.
Andrew went on to
become an accomplished Staff Officer. This was
evident in his appointment to serve as the RM Corps
Secretary from 1992 until his retirement in 2006. In
that time he administered over 67 high profile Corps
and public events including Mountbatten Concerts and
Beat Retreat ceremonies on Horse Guards Parade. He
was central in establishing the RM Benevolent Fund
which supports royal marines and their families who
fall on hard times. In addition he was a Trustee of
the RM Museum, the RM Association, the RM/RM
Children’s Fund, Seafarers UK and was an Area
Supervisor for the RN Benevolent Trust.
In Cyprus he
carried his administrative skills into civilian
life. There he was heavily involved with SSAFA, the
RBL and the RNA. He also was prominent in the
Pissouri Residents Association, the Pissouri
Ramblers, and the Episkopi Hash.
Andrew Noyes was a
man who accepted challenges, who had a great sense
of humour and who was attractively eccentric. For
him life was something to enjoy. He touched the
lives and hearts of all who knew him.
There is perhaps no
better summation of him than that of Mike Groves of
the Cyprus Waggoners who said:
Noyes was a man who did’
15th. Nov. 2010
NOVEMBER MEETING 2010
Shipmates were very
saddened by the news of Chairman
Andrew Noyes’ sudden death on
Saturday afternoon 6th.November. We
gathered in the Episkopi Officers Mess on the 10th.
to pay tribute to him and to say farewell to Janet
Gould who was retiring as Secretary. For 4 years
Janet has organised meetings, the Episkopi Fete
stand at Happy
Valley, Christmas parties plus sandwiches for every meeting. Janet thanked us
for her gifts at Trafalgar Night and promised to
return to visit
Williams, who succeeds Andrew in post, paid tribute
to his service to H.M.The Queen, to the RNA and to
many other organisations of whom Andrew was a member
and leader. A more comprehensive list of these is
included in an appreciation of his life herein. We
all joined George in expressing our sorrow and
sympathies to Jackie and Andrew’s daughter Caroline.
After leading the
members in a silence Shipmate Eric Freeman, Branch
Chaplain, read the seafarers version of the 23rd.Psalm
(Captain Rogers). Then he touched upon Andrew’s
personal qualities and quoted Mike Groves of the
Cyprus Waggoners saying ‘Andrew was a man who did’.
Shipmate David May
read a message of condolences to Andrew’s family and
the Cyprus Branch from the Branch General Secretary
Paul Quinn OBE. He is to be remembered by the
National Council in silence on the 4th.December
Our President Sir
Edward du Cann reminded us of the analogy of a full
rigged ship sailing which can be seen in the
Memorial Page of this website. He lifted or spirits,
as he always does, and underlined our determination
that the Branch will go on.
And so the shipmates set to; looking
to our future and setting the Branch up for a
‘refit’. Which started by sending the Gangway Box
takings to the RM Fund and the RN Children’s Fund.
Two of Andrew’s charities.
TRAFALGAR NIGHT 2010
The Moniatis Hotel
39 Shipmates and
guests attended the Branch’s celebration of
Trafalgar Night at the Moniatis hotel in Yermasoyia
Limassol on the 21st of October, the 205th
Anniversary of the Battle. Shipmate George Williams,
our Vice Chairman, took particular responsibility
for finding this venue and arranging the details of
our menu, accommodation and entertainment. George
deserves a massive ’Bravo Zulu’ for all his much
President, Sir Edward du Cann, was unable to be with
us this year as he had a previous engagement in the
United Kingdom. He always raises the Branch’s moral
with his particularly stirring addresses so he was
much missed. However it was a wonderful surprise to
welcome back Honorary Life Vice President Nobby Hall
and wife Helen for the occasion.
Shipmate David May
led the company in Nelson’s Grace after which a very
good three course meal was served including
traditional roast beef. The following Loyal Toast
and a toast to The President of Cyprus were proposed
by our Chairman Andrew. Andrew’s speech emphasised
the vital need to have HM Ships in the English
Channel as a safeguard for the
United Kingdom even during the
Battle of Britain.
Our long serving
and stalwart Secretary Janet Gould will be leaving
later this year. It was therefore timely for Andrew
to present her with our gift of a silver dish and
cut glass goblets accompanied by flowers as an
appreciation of all her efforts over the years and
in the company of her late husband Vice Chairman
Janet and Ian were
among the original members of the Cyprus Branch of
the RNA and Nobby added his comments to those of
Andrew in outlining just how much time and effort
the Goulds have given to our gatherings. Janet has
not only performed secretarial duties but also
organised our stand at the Episkopi Fete for many
years and produced the lovely sandwiches at our
meetings. We wish her all good fortune in returning
to her family in
England and she carries our
love and happy memories with her.
The Immortal Memory’ was proposed by Major
Mike Ball a retired officer in Cyprus Joint
HQ as SO2 JI (Personnel). Mike originally
joined the REME and went on to commando
training in the RM. After time in the
Brigade Air Squadron plus HM Ships Albion
and Bulwark he became a WO1 in the REME and
was eventually commissioned into the Army
Education Corps. Mike is a noted Toastmaster
who recently won the ‘Toastmaster of the
Year, Cyprus’ award. His preceding talk was
peppered with amusing notes, often personal,
such as how like Lord Nelson he lost
(nearly) an eye in Corsica (thumped with a
soup ladle!). Of special interest was his
narration of the French version of the
Battle. It seems political ‘spin’ was alive
and well even two centuries ago. Mike
highlighted Nelson’s relationship with
Collingwood. These aspects of the Battle of
Trafalgar will be well worth researching for
those who take the time.
Mike Ball addressing the company
EPISKOPI FETE 2010
Many thanks to SM
Richard Hughes and his team of helpers at this year’s
fete on Saturday 18th September. They raised
the sum of 385.31 Euros which was an excellent result.
Many other stall
holders said that there were less people there this year
and those that did attend spent less.
Grateful thanks are due
to SMs Janet Gould and Raymond Naqvi for organising and
preparing donations and to those generous shipmates who
and guests met at the Officers Mess, Episkopi on
the 15th September for the first get together
after the long and extremely hot summer recess.
Chairman Andrew started the proceedings with a
few notes of welcome to Tania and to Alec and
Mary Clement from the Hanworth Branch.
It is always good to see shipmates from other
branches and the Clements are regular visitors.
Andrew noted the death of
Flt.Lt Jack Blocki, a WW11 Polish VC holder who flew
with RAF Bomber Command, recently interred at
Dhekelia Cemetery and known to many in the Episkopi area.
There was happier news of an invitation to shipmates to
visit 800 Squadron RNAS currently deployed at RAF
Shipmate Padre Eric Freeman recalled WW11 Operations
Avalanche and Source before leading us in the opening
prayer. He reminded us that next Sunday would be Sea
Shipmate Richard Hughes (Standard Bearer) celebrated his
60th Birthday with a tot of rum for all the shipmates.
It was delicious and much appreciated. Richard is seen
here with Vivvy and Peter.
Shipmate Kevin Barnes
(above) gave us an overview of the world of medal
collecting; in particular miniatures. Interested in the
subject for 16 years he is now the Cyprus Secretary of
the Orders and Medal Research Society. Listening to an
expert was enlightening as Kevin outlined the history of
medals (the United Kingdom was very late into the
scene). The details of awards, their value in the market
and rarity were all mentioned. Aspects such as the
preference for miniatures to full size became obvious
i.e. they are more easily obtained, cheaper and easily
kept. Kevin’s thoughts on the origins of miniatures are
worth a particular mention. In the 18th and 19th.
centuries there were two British armies, the regular
army and that of the East India Company. The latter wore
thinner cotton uniforms hence use of the lighter weight
Apart from the beauty of Kevin’s collection seen in the
photographs below there was, of course, the human
interest behind the medals. He told us just a few of the
tales of gallantry and endurance but it was enough to
make us appreciate what a wide subject is this branch of
There is an enormous data base of reference books,
catalogues, periodicals available to anyone who would
like to start a collection or find out about relative’s
awards and service records. There are also the internet
and professional organisations such as Kentigern House
in Glasgow for sourcing information.
Just some of Kevin’s
THE BIRLEY'S DEPART
July meeting was Lt.Cdr. John Birley’s farewell meeting.
During his time on the Headquarters Staff in Cyprus John
and his wife Kim were great supporters of the RNA Branch
where John regularly gave an update on the Royal Navy
and Royal Marines at our monthly meetings. Kim meanwhile
ran the monthly raffle for the Branch. At the July
meeting The Chairman thanked Lt.Cdr. and Mrs. Birley for
all their support to the Cyprus Branch over the past two
and a half years and wished them well at John’s next
appointment in FLEET HQ. John then gave an extended
update on the Royal Navy and showed the most recent RN
produced DVD “2-6” as a fitting end to his time in
John always gave his
presentations in a light hearted manner holding the
Shipmates attention with his particular view of the
Senior Service news. John and Kim will be missed at
MEDALS FOR SHIPMATE
On Tuesday 22nd June
shipmate David May was asked to attend at a local
Paphos hotel to receive the Pingat Jasa Malaysia
medal. Shipmate Mike Hasney was also asked to
attend a similar ceremony at the RBL in Limassol to
receive his medal. It is awarded for service in the
Malaysian theatre during confrontation with
Soekarno’s Indonesia between dates in the 1960s.
The people of Malaysia wish to express their gratitude
to those who helped protect their new country at that
time. However they have no record of names, formations,
ships or dates of service. Therefore they have invited
anyone who was involved to apply individually for the
award pictured (left). Her Majesty has graciously allowed
her Forces to accept the medal but there are
restrictions as to wearing.
Fuller details can be obtained from several good
websites entering ‘Pingat Jasa Malaysia’ in the search
JUNE FOR CYPRUS SHIPMATES
was an unusual day for the shipmates of our Branch in
that two significant events were attended.
Pictured here Richard
Hughes parades our standard, with true Royal Marine
flair, flanked by those of the RBL and the RAFA. The
flag raising ceremony was attended by eight shipmates
and was held at the Garrison in the Episkopi Sovereign
The second event was a
meeting of shipmates with a group of ex Wrens from
Portugal. 9 RNA shipmates, three of whom were genuine ex
WRNS, 2 Waafs, 2 husbands and 2 ‘also rans’ joined the
party for drinks at the Miremar
Beach hotel in Limassol at 1830. Much to our member’s great surprise and
pleasure they were all invited to join the visitors for
dinner when they mingled and exchanged stories.
One result was that
Marjorie Thompson found herself sitting at the same
table a lady who was in the same intake as herself in
1956; they even had the group photo to prove it.
The ladies will be
keeping in touch so our Secretary Janet is sure that
further news can be obtained from Marjory.
On Wednesday 16th. June our shipmates met at the
Hideaway Taverna in Pissouri to share a good social
evening in the gentle warmth of the Cyprus summer
At this time of year the air at dusk can be heavy with
the floral scents such as the Night Scented Jasmine. In
the village square the local vendors set up their food
stalls and the local expats and tourists enjoy eating in
the open with views all around of the Cyprus
There is an air of fun and relaxation with many smiling
SHIPMATE WILLIAM GEORGE
Our good friend and
shipmate Bill died quietly at home on 17th.June
with his friend and latterly companion Tania by his side.
Her devotion and care for Bill was of the highest order. She
regularly saw that he attended our meetings and her company
not only lightened his days but eased his struggle against a
Bill was born in Wales and
left school to join the Royal Engineers. He talked little of
his time in the Army but was in the D-Day assaults as a
member of the 6th. Airborne Division landing by
sea. That day he went on to protect Pegasus
Bridge and others from further damage plus other engineering tasks.
After WWII Bill became a
Clerk of Works in the Army.He was involved in building
quarters and roads in the Cyprus bases. In 1959 he joined
the Diplomatic Service as a Queen’s Messenger retiring as a
Bill settled in Cyprus and
was a member of the RBL, the Air borne Forces Association
and the RNA. It is as a shipmate in the latter that we
remember him; a quiet kindly and self effacing man. The sort
of man that our Branch attracts and for whose company we
will always be grateful.
Bill is buried here at
Erimi with his brother and sister in the company of other
gallant Airborne soldiers.
2 LANCS AND AFGHANISTAN
On Thursday 13 May
the Branch was priveleged to be hosted by the 2nd
Battalion the Lancaster Regiment in their Officers'
Mess in Episkopi Garrison. The meeting started with
a presentation of 200 Euros to the Episkopi Branch
of the Sea Scouts and the donation was presented to
the Sea Scouts by our Chairman, Lt Col Andrew
After normal Branch
business Major Edward Hemesley, the Second in
Command of the 2 Lancs Battalion, then spoke to the
Branch on life for the Battalion in Cyprus, welfare
issues, preparation and training for operations in
the Middle East, and recent operations in
Major Hemesley chats with the Philips.
The presentation, aided by numerous slides, was of a high
standard and members present found the evening a most
revealing insight into current operations by the Army in
Afghanistan, and this was followed by a long question period
by Branch members. The Branch are most thankful to 2 Lancs
for their hospitality throughout a most successful evening
Branch shipmates met in the Base Officers Mess, Episkopi in
sombre mood on Thursday 8th. April at 1930. In
everyone’s mind was the dear memory of Vice Chairman Ian
Gould’s crossing the bar on the 30th. of March. Our
Secretary Janet Gould and son Douglas were greeted with
great affection and sympathy. Appreciations were read from
Chairman Andrew Noyes on behalf of the branch, from former
chairman and Life Vice President ‘Nobby’ Hall and Helen Hall
and also Janet’s own tribute to her husband. Extracts of
Remembering Ian, (Janet and Douglas in right foreground)
I and my children would like to thank most sincerely. All of
you who either by your physical presence, or by you kind
words, cards and emails, gave us the strength to face our
grief and to say our farewell to Ian in such a wonderful
way. I can guarantee that the village would never have seen
anything like it.
was a great character who lived his life by a high standard.
He had strong beliefs in many subjects, and if given a task
to perform, did so diligently and well. He also had a wicked
sense of humour and could keep us all entertained with his
fund of silly jokes and stories. He was in fact many things
to many people, and all have a different and special memory
justly proud of his short time in the Royal Navy, and is
still today held in very high regard by many of the ex young
and nervous conscripts that he helped adjust to life away
for the first time from their families. He loved the RNA and
worked hard to support the Branch. He did not miss a single
meeting since he became a member at the inaugural meeting.
never before appreciated or given much thought to what a
lovely and apt expression is “Crossing The Bar”. It comforts
us all greatly to know that he is not really gone from us
and will always be remembered.’
‘Ian was an invaluable member of our Branch. A founder
member, committee member and a great supporter of the
Branch’s activities, he was also extremely pleasant and
great fun to know socially. I, in particular, am most
grateful to him during my short period as Chairman during
which he provided me with such good support and useful
advice to me in his role as the Vice Chairman of the Branch.
Needless to say we will miss Ian at our future meetings and
social activities, but I can assure he will not be forgotten
and will always be remembered as a most agreeable fellow
Shipmate, most sincere member of the Royal Naval Association
and a very proud former member of the Royal Navy.
Shipmates in the Cyprus Branch offer their sincere
condolences, deepest sympathy and our thoughts at this sad
time for you and your family.’
‘Ian was a great character and will be sorely missed by all
who knew him. I have many fond memories of late nights in
the Mess, parties at his and Janet’s home and so much more
involving him, with a brandy and a cigarette clutched firmly
in his hand. You can take solace from the fact that he lived
a long and happy life and brought pleasure to all who knew
world will be a lonelier place without the presence of the
old Club Swinger.’
the editor of this website and not having known Ian as long
as others I can fully endorse all the foregoing and add that
Ian was one of the loveliest characters that I have had the
good fortune to meet in 71 years.
Chaplain shipmate Eric Freeman then addressed the meeting.
He said that although he knew Ian well he had never ever
been able to find out exactly what he had done in life after
leaving the RN. When he asked, Ian would only say ‘lots of
things’! Eric read Captain J. Rogers paraphrasing of the
23rd.Psalm for seafarers and Tennyson’s ‘Crossing the Bar’.
We then stood in silence.
36 Shipmates and guests attended. Guests Mike and
Tatiana Hillier, Andy Kirby, Emma Birley and Douglas
Gould were welcomed by our chairman. The Branch
officers then gave their reports including an RN
update by Jonathan Birley. These are always enjoyed
as Jonathan has a light hearted amusing delivery.
The news of RFA Largs Bay, a dramatic RN flight to
the assistance of two premature babies born in
Stornoway, the building of the bow sections for the
new ‘carrier’ and the inspiring narratives of recent
gallantry awards held our attention. We noted with
regret the departure of our last grey hulls ‘Dasher’
and ‘Pursuer’ by transport for the Clyde Base.
We then stood down for ‘stand easy’ during which
Ann Hasney won the raffle for a beautiful watch.
Kim Birley presents Ann’s watch.
The address for the evening was by Detective Inspector Andy
Kirby who was intimately involved in the investigation of
the loss of the Stern Freezer Trawler MV Gaul on 9th.
February 1974. She had sailed from Hull ostensibly on a
routine voyage but was equipped to monitor the Russian North
Sea Fleet. She was only two years old when she disappeared
without warning in heavy weather off North Cape.
described how he was commissioned to travel to the Bybachiy
peninsula on the Barents Sea and the town of Nikel; which he
described as a most awful place. There he had to oversee the
exhumation of bodies found on the shore line and take DNA
samples for matching to those of the families of the Gaul
personnel. No matches were found but later penetration of
the wreck, once located, yielded positive matches from
described the anguish of the Gaul Families Association and
their reluctance to admit that she had been lost in a severe
storm (waste chutes and a door had been left open). He also
related how a local Hull MP and Cabinet Minister helped fund
Throughout his talk he described in some detail that human
remains found were where they should have been in a storm
situation; this was done at a depth of 1000feet by ROVs. The
resulting forensic analysis was conclusive. Despite all the
alternative theories of capture by the Russians, snagging by
submarines etc. it was proved beyond doubt that the Gaul was
overcome by freak waves in very heavy weather.
Questions about the MV Gaul
Altogether a fascinating talk by the police officer who was
on the spot.
Vice Chairman Ian Gould
With deep sorrow we
announce that our much loved Vice Chairman Ian Gould crossed
Thursday 30th March in hospital after a short illness. Our heartfelt condolences go to Janet,
our Secretary, whom we hold in our thoughts and prayers.
held at St.Nicholas Church in Agios Tychonas Church at midday on
Good Friday. The service was well attended by
shipmates and associate shipmates of the Branch. The
Standards of the Cyprus Branch of the British Legion and the
Cyprus Branch of the Royal Naval Association were paraded in
CHAIRMEN’S RUN ASHORE
While Branch Chairman
Andrew Noyes and wife Jackie were on a Caribbean cruise their ship
put into Grand Turk on the 4th.
of March. They were met by ex branch Chairman and Honorary
Life vice President ‘Nobby’ Hall and Helen Hall who had
travelled 70 miles from their base to meet the ship.
They toured the island in a
marked police car from Nobby’s Force. So it might have been
reasonable for an onlooker to question just why two visiting
‘Brits’ appeared to be having so much fun under the
circumstances! We hear that all went well and a good lunch
Nobby, Helen, Jackie and
Twenty two shipmates attended
our March meeting held as usual in the Officers Mess, SBA
Episkopi. As our Chairman and wife Jacquie were ‘off
island’, incidentally meeting our Honorary Life Vice
President Nobby on a ‘jolly’ in the Turks and Caicos Islands
of which we should soon hear more, Vice Chairman Ian Gould
oversaw the gathering.
In our opening prayer shipmate
Eric Freeman drew attention to the restoration of the two
WW11 air-sea rescue launches now completed in Gunwharf
Quays, Portsmouth. Our shipmates of these coastal forces
were remembered; they saved 10,000 downed aircrew.
Reports from the committee
included a welfare update, an April visit to Cyprus by
members of the WRNS Association (see Secretary’s telephone
number for details) and a heartening word from Jonathan
Birley on the latest Fleet news. Signed up members for this
year are 52 so far.
Richard Hughes told us of his
father’s experiences serving in air-sea rescue launches off
Dover harbour in 1943; these craft had such a shallow
draught that they could run over the minefields unharmed.
Placed strategically in the Channel they homed in on
returning aircraft from Europe who could easily locate them
and ditch nearby. He also said that any crew member who
noticed an attack or threat otherwise unseen was to open the
throttles wide without a definite order!
The main event of the evening
was shipmate Rev. Eric Freeman’s talk on the WW1 Army
Chaplain Geoffrey Anketell Stoddart Kennedy known as
Woodbine Willie. In France he gained this title from his
custom of jumping onto the running boards of trains bound
for the front. In his pocket on one side he would have
copies of the New Testament and on the other packets of
Woodbine cigarettes. There were no ‘atheists’ in the
trenches so both were well accepted by the troops. Eric’s
narration went thoroughly into the man’s background and
motivation. It was a moving talk and Eric did well to keep
going. As the accompanying article illustrates here was a
truly exceptional character who has not received as much
fame as other war poets but expressed in word and action a
real love and understanding of his fellow man. Please read
the whole article. CLICK
download the word document article.
Eric is pictured holding a
priceless first edition of Geoffrey Kennedy’s poems on his
When we had finished the
general opinion was that we had had one of the best evenings
in recent months.
Award for Honorary Life Vice President -
The 11th February meeting at the Officer’s Mess, Episkopi
was well attended and began with our Chaplain Eric Freeman
reminding us of the losses before and during the Gallipoli
Ex ‘Schoolie’ ret. Lt. Graham Locke was welcomed as a
prospective shipmate together with several other visitors.
Then Chairman Andrew Noyes brought us up to date with Branch
Shipmates were concerned to hear of the ill health of SMs
Bill Painter, George Williams and Fred Cooper. We wish them
rapid recoveries and hope to see them at our meetings soon.
Andrew went on to say that all charitable donations planned
at the AGM had been made and welcomed by the recipient
bodies. SM Jenny Revell has agreed to organise our social
events in an ex-officio capacity. We look forward to hearing
reports on another ‘social event’ when our Chairman and wife
Jacquie will meet up with our Honorary Life Vice President
Nobby Hall and Helen while on a forthcoming cruise in the
Secretary Janet Gould reminded us that about now we should
start to plan for the Episkopi Fete stall. Due to lower wine
and spirits costs in Cyprus the lucky dip barrel was no
longer a sustainable attraction. Janet said that, in fact,
the market really ‘had us over a barrel’!
A good opportunity to raise extra funds has resulted from SM
Mike Woods’ kind donation of a superb RN watch which is to
be raffled over the next three meetings. After an update on
the naval scene from SM Jonathan Birley we broke off for
sandwiches and drinks.
The presentation for the evening was given by Andrew who
showed us a DVD about the Royal Navy from 1939, when it was
the largest navy in the world, well into WW2. At the outset
the RN was well set up to fight what was then a conventional
war but it was not suited for the U boat war and it lacked
Shipmates watching HMS Barham in fleet manoeuvres on the
Sound and music to the images
on the large screen made for an interesting documentary. We
saw scenes and action from Malta to Hong Kong and Norway.
The sequences were rare, many in colour and brought home to
us the real hardships of the sea war but also the
camaraderie of our fathers in the Service. Of particular
interest were scenes showing the capture of the Altmark,
high speed (36 knots) destroyer manoeuvres and vintage
footage of liners used for trooping. Incidentally in those
days a torpedo cost £1200.
Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Branch was held in the
Officer’s Mess, Episkopi Sovereign Base Area on Wednesday
the 13th. of January at 1930.
Proceedings were opened by our Honorary Chaplain Rev’d. Eric
Freeman leading us in prayer for our lost shipmates over the
years and in particular for those lost in the HM Submarine
Truculent disaster sixty years ago. We stood in silence in
memory of gallant Captain Daniel Read of the Royal Logistics
Corps 11 Ordnance Disposal Regiment recently killed in
The only Branch Officer due for re-election was our
excellent Secretary, Janet Gould, who once more kindly
agreed to continue in post; no volunteer’s hand shot up to
take her place!
It was with regret that we accepted George ‘Bungy’ Williams’
retirement as Welfare Officer. George’s health has not been
good. We thank him for his contribution to the Branch and
wish him a speedy and total recovery. Our Chairman Andrew
Noyes will take over as our Welfare contact.
Visitors from the Royal Logistics Corps Association Tina and
Stuart Graham, Dave Neville and Drew Elgeti (Publicity
Officer for SSAFA Cyprus) were welcomed as was new shipmate
L/Regulator Andy Dewsnip who will ‘arrive on board’ as our
new Serving Member when Jonathan Birley departs in the
Our Chairman then read his
2009 Branch report for the Association together with
relevant news from our officers. We are sad to lose our
local Squadron with the P 2000s HMS Dasher and HMS Pursuer.
Shipmate Jonathan Birley has agreed to comment on this and
his notes are below.
<------- Dave, Graham, Tina and Drew.
Interestingly, Andrew mentioned that the real ‘Man Who Never
Was’ (Tom Martin) whose body was used to delude the Nazi
forces in WWII was traced as a member of a previous HMS
Kim Birley empties wallets
for the Raffle
After our usual raffle,
sandwiches and drinks, our President Sir Edward gave us a
talk on the Duke of Wellington’s time as a politician after
Waterloo. Like many successful people who go into politics
after a dazzling career in other areas of public life the
Duke met strong opposition. In those days it was fashionable
to lampoon one’s opponents in caricatures and cartoons such
as this one.
Edward has built a collection of these prints and presented
them as a slide show. He had several framed examples to show
us. Sir Edward’s seat in Taunton is not far from Wellington
whence Arthur Wellesley took his Title. We benefited from
the former’s particular interest in Wellington’s
parliamentary progress, overshadowed by the French
Revolution, in economic and military terms. He also touched
upon the Duke’s close relationship with Sir Robert Peel. In
conclusion our President held up Wellington as a man who
stood, above all, for what was right and compared his
example with today’s political scene.
It was a privilege to see and
hear an expert expound such an unusual perspective on the
Mike Hasney signs on Leading Regulator Andy Dewsnip:
Nick and Jane Smith admire one of Sir Edward’s prints.
Jonathan Birley, in the background behind Nick, writes:
‘It will be a sad day when the two remaining RN platforms in
Cyprus depart these shores for pastures new. HMS Dasher and
HMS Pursuer will return to the UK sometime in February to
start preparations for the next stage of their naval
service. They will be moving up to the Clyde to operate in
somewhat cooler waters than those to which they have been
accustomed for the last few years. Losing the Royal Navy
Cyprus Squadron (RNCS) from these shores was not an easy
decision, but one brought about by the current harsh
realities of the Defence Budget. It was no reflection on the
capability, performance or potential of these sturdy little
patrol boats with their dedicated and thoroughly
professional crews. It is in fact quite a feather in their
caps to be selected for a more operational role in Scottish
waters, as they will be contributing to the defence of the
submarines that operate from the Clyde. Our thoughts and
prayers go with those ships and their people, as they have
been excellent ambassadors for the Royal Navy during their
service with British Forces Cyprus.’
We wish you ‘fair winds and following seas.’
CHRISTMAS THRASH 2009
year we felt like having a good social evening and over 40
shipmates and guests attended at the Officer’s Mess,
Episkopi Garrison on Wednesday the 8th. of December. As our
Chairman was off island our vice Chairman Ian Gould (left
fore ground) oversaw the party and ensured a good time for
all. Eric Freeman began the celebrations with our prayer of
remembrance for lost Shipmates worldwide and commented on
his connection with the Southend on Sea Branch which is the
only one in the UK to commemorate the Japanese attack on
Pearl Harbour. We were concerned to learn that our Welfare
Officer George ‘Bungy’ Williams was in ill health and we
wish him a speedy recovery.
Janet Gould and Jenny Revell organised a finger buffet with
delicious contributions from our members which lubricated
from the bar got things off to a happy start.
A raffle and quiz kept our pockets and neurons active while
our publicity officer felt moved to recite his experiences
as the fairy on top of the Christmas tree.
These pictures have been
censored but show the fun that we had. It must be made clear
that the hand grenade illustrated is genuine but empty of
all explosive and fuse. Raymond was delighted to add it to
his collection; mentioned in our last report. Not everyone
gets such in his Christmas stocking!
The Fairy (Glesca
Eric, Rod and their ladies.
Eric claimed that that fairy wouldn’t be recognised in the
Gallowgate’ barras’ (a famous Glasgow flea market).
“ If I drop this into the ‘gangway’ box will it make
the party go with a bang?”
Raymond Naqvi, John Keenan and Ron Jones.
“ No. You have to take the
pin out first”.
Instruction from a former Royal.
"Look what that nice man gave me Darling"
Associate shipmates associate.
AND SO WE WISH ALL OUR
SHIPMATES, READERS AND FRIENDS,
SERVING AND RETIRED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD,
A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A PEACEFUL NEW YEAR FROM CYPRUS.
This year branch Shipmates
attended two venues celebrating Remembrance Day, Sunday 8th
November. At the Happy Valley site in the Episkopi Sovereign
Base Area Vice Chairman Shipmate Ian Gould laid the wreath
on behalf of the Cyprus Branch of the Royal Naval
Association. After the Service shipmates adjourned to the
K.B. Taverna for a refreshing lunch. This has become a
pleasant Branch tradition.
The other Service was the
well publicised unveiling of the British Cyprus Memorial
near Kyrenia; in occupied northern Cyprus. The following are
reports from two of our shipmates who attended.
Sir Edward du
'The ceremony in Kyrenia on
the 8th.November went extremely well. The names
of the 317 Servicemen who died in the Emergency are
inscribed on the Memorial. Wreaths were laid by the British
High Commissioner on behalf of The Queen and Senior Officers
from the Navy, Army and the Air Force also laid wreaths on
behalf of the 3 Services. followed by wreaths laid by
representatives of all the Regiments which served in Cyprus
during the Emergency. A wreath was laid on behalf of the RNA
by Shipmate Jack Philips which, as one might expect, was
well done. More than 50 relatives of those who died
attended. In all there were more than 500 people present.
The Service was conducted by the Bishop of Cyprus. It was a
'Last Sunday 8th.November, I
attended the unveiling of the British Cyprus Memorial which
commemorates the 371 British Service men who were killed
during the Cyprus Emergency 1955-59.
The Memorial was instigated
by the British Cyprus Memorial Trust, set up specially to
raise funds and to oversee the siting of the Memorial. It
was crafted in Norfolk and shipped to Kyrenia to be
assembled by the stonemason who did the work; assisted by
some local masons. It is beautiful; a simple but effective
design, 8 vertical granite pillars on a plinth, engraved
with the Regimental crests of the dead; set out in order of
precedence. Thus the RN and RM crests are on the leftmost
After the unveiling, by HM
High Commissioner, RN Bugle Corporal James Christopher
sounded Last Post & Reveille as well as I have ever heard
them played, very poignant. The 450 odd relatives, veterans
and guests then watched as 31 wreaths were laid by people
representing HM The Queen, The First Sea Lord and Royal
Marines, laid by Lt.Gen.Sir Henry Beverley (a trustee),
followed by representatives of the many units who served
here at the time. Sadly many no longer exist, but at least
their crests will live on, on the Memorial.
I was honoured to be asked to
lay the wreath on behalf of the RNA, one of only two
Associations represented, particularly as I served here
during the Emergency.
The Memorial is a 'must see'
for anyone visiting the North and some local veterans have
been organised to maintain it and keep it tidy in future.'
For further information
In the interest of balanced
reporting it has to be pointed out that there have been
protests in the local Greek Cypriot press and English
printed equivalents over the presence of the Memorial in
Cyprus. This is not unexpected as many Cypriots also lost
relatives in the Emergency years and of course deserve
Our regular monthly meeting
at the Officer's Mess, Episkopi SOB, fell on the 11th.November.
Our thoughts were, naturally, of Remembrance and all that it
means.We know too well that our sons and daughters are still
'in harm's way'. After shipmate Rev. Eric Freeman led us in
prayers our publicity officer Shipmate David May read the
following poem 'Sounds of War' which he wrote with
Afghanistan particularly in mind.
Upon the air a wail is borne.
Another one from mother torn.
From shot or mine a life laid down
To win a freedom we should own
The vessel, home to all her crew,
Is struck and groans in protest too.
Then boiling, dies and sinks from sight
To never more see harbour's light.
High above, the pilot's plane
Shatters and falls in smoke and flame.
A howling scream of final pain
Till earth takes her and crew again.
The sounds of war are not yet
Straight from Hell they rise and riot.
Remember where our Forces go
For they still die where poppies grow.
(D. L May. Cyprus 2009)
Reports then followed from
our branch officers. We heard that our numbers stand at 77
and the final sum raised at the Episkopi Fete was 448 Euros.
Then Janet Gould, our redoubtable Secretary furnished us
with delicious sandwiches. With second drinks to hand we
listened to Andrew Noyes outline a few thoughts on the Great
War. He said that 885,138 UK Service personnel were lost out
of a total Allies loss of 5.7 million. He went on to give
brief outline of the Battle of Jutland but dwelt more on the
history of the 63rd. Royal Navy Division.
Andrew was followed by
shipmate Raymond Naqvi who talked about the human stories
behind those whom we have heard mentioned as war heroes;
people such as Violette Szabo GC, Jack Cornwell VC and Cecil
Lewis MC; author of 'Sagittarius Rising'. He talked very
movingly of the human cost, the lost loves and the heroism
which is not reported. Raymond described Cedric MacDonald
Fraser's sentiments on Hiroshima while serving as an
infantryman in Burma. As Judge on War Pensions in the UK he
is very familiar with the heartrending injustices that can
befall ex-servicemen if they are not protected.
Finally Raymond unveiled a fascinating collection of trench
art and war memorabilia for our interest.
This evening was not graced
by a guest speaker but put together by our shipmates. The
result was a warm and poignant meeting that left us with
full hearts and strengthened feelings of comradeship.
TRAFALGAR NIGHT 2009
Our Trafalgar Night dinner was held at the Club Aphrodite,
Erimi for the second time. 49 Shipmates and guests attended.
The Guests of Honour were our President Sir Edward du Cann
and Mrs. Maureen Wynne - Hope plus Colonel Trevor Brewster
Retd. and Mrs. Joan Brewster from Tala.
After Nelson's Grace was said Chairman Andrew Noyes welcomed
all shipmates and guests. A full five course meal was served
which had been arranged by Shipmate Michael Hasney. In the
best RNA tradition there had to be a few fines (bottles of
port) imposed on our more exuberant shipmates in the course
The speeches were opened by Andrew who read out a Trafalgar
night message from Honorary Life Vice President 'Nobby'
Hall, who has never missed a Trafalgar Night. Nobby
described his determination to hold a proper Trafalgar Night
dinner in the Turks and Caicos Islands this year and
mentioned his success in persuading His Excellency HM
Governor to propose The Immortal Memory.
Andrew then gave an overview
of the political, military and social state of Great Britain
in general and England in particular during the latter half
of the 18th century. This served as a prelude to Trevor's
fine speech dealing not only with Trafalgar's significance
but also Horatio Nelson's unique character. Hailing from
Northern Ireland Trevor, pictured left, was able to bring
some unusual and humorous highlights to his presentation
which finished by him proposing the toast to The Immortal
Sir Edward du Cann was presented with a copy of 'A Life One
up on the Ocean Wave' by Charles Saxby from Shipmate Raymond
Naqvi on behalf of the author. Charles has dedicated his
book to Sir Edward 'with respect' knowing that he is our
Raymond describes the work as a wonderful mixture of East
End London 1950's nostalgia with colourful descriptions of
the far flung outposts of the Commonwealth. This is a result
of Charles's service on HMY Britannia sailing with Her
Majesty in the early years of her reign. Thereafter he was a
very valued member of The Royal Green Jackets Cadet Force in
the East End. Now retired he and his wife Pat live in Essex
where he is restoring a former jolly boat ex. Britannia.
Authoress Faith Mortimer
pictured here with Sir Edward, our Chairman and Mike Hasney
(with pipe) also presented Sir Edward with a copy of her
novel 'The Crossing'. This work is 'a powerfully emotive
tale based on a true incident and having an approach which
is normally the preserve of male authors'. Faith has
dedicated the book to the WW11 Royal Navy Coastal Forces.
Sir Edward addressed our company in his inimitable stirring
fashion and kindly passed around a fascinating Nelsonian
artefact for our inspection.
Full attention from shipmates and guests
2009 Sovereign Base Area Fete was held on Saturday the
19th September. We set up our stall before 0900 and were set
to go in time for the opening at 1100.
Ready for anything!
The sale of books, DVDs, other sundries plus the popular
bottle bran tub raised 440 euros for our charities. This was
achieved despite a steadily rising wind (Force 8?) across
the Happy Valley site which necessitated tougher guys and
the possibility of taking in a reef on our gazebo! Fortunately
we escaped the tornado weather which caused severe damage in
Nicosia the previous day.
Bravo Zulu to all the workers and sincere thanks to all
Seen right: Ian Gould patiently stringing the bottles
A KNIGHT TO
Shipmates and guests attended our 2nd September meeting in
the Episkopi Officers Mess. After our opening prayer led by
S/M Reverend Eric Freeman our Chairman Andrew Noyes welcomed
back S/M our Honorary Life Vice President Fred Cooper and
his wife Norma. Fred had been unable to attend due to ill
health for many months and it was wonderful to see him back
in action. We took great pleasure in greeting many guests
including Mr. Tony Hart of Pissouri and members of the RLC
Association: Drew Elgeti, Colin Garland, Joe and Ingrid
Johnston and Dave Neville. There was a special welcome for
Sir Edward DuCann who was our speaker for the evening.
Andrew gave a resume of the Branch committee meeting on the
5th August and explained that the Branch now had some 75
members and a programme of events and social gatherings
which shipmates appear to enjoy. He explained the rational
behind the reduction of minutes; reminding shipmates that
minutes copies for the AGM and Committee meetings are always
available from the Secretary. A summary of each event is
included on the Branch website. As our RN shipmate was
absent our Chairman also updated our knowledge of current
Fleet activities. Other committee members addressed the
meeting; in particular regarding the forthcoming Episkopi
Fete on the 19 Sep. and Trafalgar Night on the 21st.Oct.
After a second 'wet' and sandwiches we settled down to hear
Sir Edward give us a fascinating account of his outstanding
memories of 31years as a Member of Parliament for Taunton.
He gave us an insight into aspects of Westminster which we
do not hear much in the press; how many MPs really do work
extremely hard to improve our country. In recalling the
people in The House he mentioned in particular Sir Anthony
Eden and Sir Alec Douglas Home. He described his closeness
to Sir Edward Heath, Sir Harold Wilson and of course
Baroness Margaret Thatcher whom he still sees.
Sir Edward went on to describe how he treated his role as
Chairman of the Back Bench Committee. He explained that
these MPs do have 'clout' and that Parliament has duty to
hold the Executive to account. Bills raised do get passed.
For example Gerald Nabarro managed to introduce personalised
There were many other points that our President raised; from
the magnificent oratory of Michael Foot to debates on Suez
and the Falklands War when Parliament argued for the urgent
need to succour our own people in danger. In conclusion he
reminded us of Drake's Prayer that our Country's Heritage
must be upheld and cherished also quoting Cobbett in that it
is everyone's duty to leave the World a better place than
they found it.
After answering questions Sir Edward sat down to a great
round of applause.
A LOVE FOR CYPRUS
The 8th July meeting at Episkopi mess was graced
by a talk from our guest Chrissie Flint who was a British
forces Broadcasting service presenter having long standing
connections with Cyprus. Her love affair with this island
began many years ago, when, as a military wife she came here
nine times in two years.
Chrissie started off her career as an assistant in Marks and
Spencer but soon realised that her natural bent was towards
journalism. Once living in Cyprus she wrote several articles
for the Cyprus Lion and Cyprus Airways Magazine. Soon her
name became known in radio circles when she was approached
by the BFBS. In that organisation she was responsible for
four or five interviews a week over ten years in 'A Taste
for Cyprus' and other programmes.
Chrissie has also written a book on the Cyprus villages and
countryside. She recommends many good visits and walks.
Now in the process of remarrying into a Cypriot family
Chrissie is busy polishing up her Greek language. However
she still finds time to work part time at Santa Marina
Retreat as well as being active in the Rainbow Guides and
It was altogether very interesting presentation from a
thoroughly nice lady.
In the course of the evening our shipmates welcomed two new
shipmates. Ex-Royal Ron Jones (who, it is rumoured, had a
hand in sorting out aspects of training a certain young RM
Officer named Noyes) and Allan Hodgson who has a history of
Merchant Marine and Army service.
As the gentle Cyprus summer
evenings have arrived we thought it time to have a social
Summer Supper. So on Wednesday 10th June we gathered in
'banyan rig' at the K.B. (Kyrenia Beach) taverna near
Mike Hasney pictured left
kept a thoughtful eye on diners and Bill Hellier on the
right sported a worryingly bright Thai silk shirt; it was a
beauty he bought in Torquay. Definitely not from his slops
If you are a shipmate visiting Cyprus or a resident with an
RN/RM background do get in touch with us. Come along and
join our fun.
We know the good places to
relax and eat. You will always be welcome.
The May meeting, held at the Base Officer's Mess, Episkopi
was a mixture of greeting old and new shipmates, updating
items of interest and presentations. Branch shipmates were
delighted to welcome back two lovely ladies. One was our
senior Associate Shipmate, Sylvia Tooes, due to celebrate
her 97th.Birthday on Friday 15th. May. She looks great. The
other was Helen Hall, returned from the Caribbean
for a summer visit. It was wonderful to see her in good
Notable guests Norma (pictured) and John Hudson visited the
Branch. They live between Harrogate, Yorkshire and Arsos
Village in Cyprus. Norma has written 'SOLE SURVIVOR', an
account of her father
'Geordie' Walton experiences after the
sinking of HMS Neptune from Force K in 1941. Norman's diaries
and letters were found by Norma in his 'ditty box' after he
died in 2005. The evidence contained in those papers was so
moving and graphic that Norma felt compelled to publish them
in book form. The story is well worth reading and copies may
be obtained from 'The Memoir Club' T: 00 44 1913735660 or
After S/M Jonathan Birley whisked us into aspects of the
modern RN using a 20 minute 26TV video film (designed to
attract young people to the Service) we had a second 'wet'
and sandwiches. Then the Reverend Canon Marvin Bamforth
outlined the work on 'The Seafarers' Mission which he heads
up from Limassol, Cyprus's main port. Marvin mentioned that
some say 'the bigger the Canon the bigger the bore' but that
was just not true on this occasion. The work of the mission
began in Bristol in 1856 helping and comforting lonely
merchant seamen. It is an Anglican Church outreach. 95% of
global trade (from apples to Zyvania) is carried by sea so
there is plenty to do.
Marvin oversees such tasks as helping mariners with contract
problems plus welfare and justice matters; up to United
Nations level! In all of this he has valued support from the
shipping lines, both international and Cyprus based. In
December he was called to attend onboard a tanker lying off
Limassol. Unfortunately it was the day of one of the worst
storms to hit Cyprus in recent years. Sadly the incident
involved a death but the ship's officers and crew were very
appreciative of The Seafarers Mission help.
The Mission can now provide merchant seamen with full
electronic communication such as Skype from the Limassol
Centre. A visit is paid to all ships in harbour at Christmas
and gifts are distributed. Canon Bamforth is 'watch on stop
on' while in Cyprus but has charitable work to do in Kinkesi,
Uganda. While he is absent from the Island our own S/M Rev.
Eric Freeman 'does a sub'.
S/M Sylvia with Andrew and Rev. Canon Marvin Bamforth.
A Pair of Padres? A Brace of
Bishes or Bosuns (sin)?
Marvin and Eric - too good a picture to omit.
The Caribbean Beat!
Well it's been a couple of months since my last update and a
lot has happened since then. After our spree of blaggings it
all went quiet on the crime front for a short while, but
regrettably it has got pretty ugly again over the last few
days with a series of aggravated burglaries, sexual assaults
and the murder of a 16 year old Haitian boy who was shot
dead. Whereas before the crime did not really effect the
more affluent residents, the ex-pats and tourists, the
current upsurge most definitely has, with expensive
residences in areas formerly untouched now becoming the
targets. This has led to a massive outcry from enraged local
worthies with calls for everything from the resignation of
the Governor, the sacking of the Senior Management of the
Royal Turks & Caicos Islands Police Force (RT&CIPF),
bringing in a Company of Royal Marines, setting up a
volunteer militia, having Scotland Yard send out a full
force of British Police Officers and many other weird and
wonderful suggestions besides. My Blackberry has been
glowing with the amount of phone calls, e-mails and texts I
have received in the last few days and it doesn't look
likely to settle down any time soon as we still haven't
captured the thugs responsible. I am now doing my best to
reassure people that the RT&CIPF is indeed doing it's upmost
to get the situation under control, but I'm not sure anyone
is listening to me. Rumour has it that this is now an issue
under discussion in Whitehall, meanwhile I sleep with my
trusty Glock 19 less than an arms length away!
The good news is that the flow of illegal migrants has
slowed down. After a recent joint operation with our
colleagues in the US Coast Guard where we intercepted a
"sloop" with 181 illegal's onboard we haven't seen anymore
sail vessels for a while. However they have now changed
tactics on us and appear to be using a small fast boat,
which doesn’t bring so many people but is harder to detect
and intercept. So having just managed to squeeze some money
out of our cash strapped budget to get a brand new state of
the art radar fitted to one of the Police launches to
improve our ability to detect "sloops", one of my Boat
Captains then went and struck a reef and destroyed the port
propeller on the same launch. My other launch is currently
in the shipyard under repair after a similar incident a
couple of months ago. It should have been repaired and back
in the water within days, but all goodwill with regard to
anything the Treasury is supposed to pay for is a thing of
the past and it’s definitely cash not credit now. I have
since produced a local form for investigation into maritime
incidents based on the Royal Navy's Form S232 Report on
Collisions and Groundings, what worries me is how often I
may need it. The state of training here has always been one
of my main concerns and fortunately the FCO has just
appointed a Caribbean Overseas Territories (COT) Marine
Training Co-ordinator to sort out the training problems of
all the COT Marine Police Units, a long overdue need. I
happen to know the man appointed, a former Royal Navy
Officer, but the bad news is instead of coming straight out
here to get a grip on the situation he is to conduct a 90
day study from the UK, talk about distance learning, but it
probably saves the FCO a couple of dollars!
The USA has recently announced that it intends to deport a
large number of illegal Haitians migrants and Haitians who
have been convicted of criminal offences. The Haitian Gangs
in the USA are a big problem, they are very well organized
and very, very violent, they make MS 13, 18th Street, Cripps
and Bloods look like Community Aid groups. These Gangs have
already got a hold in the Bahamas and no prizes for guessing
where they might come next. So on my way back to the TCI
from the UK, see below, I'm stopping off in Miami to get
some briefings and an up close and personal look at these
Gangs with a couple of the local Law Enforcement Agencies.
Should be fascinating and ties in nicely with my growing
area of interest in illegal migration and its consequences.
Incidentally I have been invited to give a presentation from
a first hand practitioners perspective at a conference about
Illegal Migration and Organised Crime at the International
Police College in Germany later this year. I am also doing
some very interesting work with the US Drugs Enforcement
Administration (DEA) and have become very friendly with one
of their Special Agents who, like me, enjoys the occasional
On the political front we are still in a state of limbo here
while we await the final report from Sir Robin Auld's
Commission of Inquiry. Almost certainly the Constitution
will be suspended and direct rule imposed from UK. What that
means in reality is the Governor and a select group of
advisors will run the country. The report should also
indicate who/what should be subject to further investigation
and possible criminal charges. A lot of people support these
measures, but a few, notably the MP's who created this mess,
do not and there are lots of cries of "Colonialism",
"enslavement" and "loss of liberty", but in the end I think
it will make little difference and hopefully all will pass
off peacefully. However just to be safe I have brushed up on
my Public Order training. !
So that's about it for the time being. One thing is for sure
it's never dull here and I'm certainly never bored.
Regardless of the problems which you really have to keep in
perspective, it is after all a small place with a village
mentality, it is still a beautiful place and a great holiday
destination and I hope some of you will eventually make the
trip out. My fondest regards to you all.
Policing the last, (latest?), outpost of Empire,
The Colonial Copper !
SHIPMATES HONOUR THE
FALLEN OF THE CYPRUS EMERGENCY
Shipmate The Reverend Eric
Freeman leads the
Standards and wreath laying party to the Memorial.
On the 20th April the
Chairman, Andrew Noyes and Vice Chairman Ian Gould, laid
wreaths at Wayne's Keep British Military Cemetery in
Nicosia. The ceremony commemorated the 50th Anniversary of
the cessation of the Cyprus Emergency (1955-1959) leading to
the Independence of Cyprus and honoured those of the Armed
Forces who sacrificed their lives for the Crown in that
conflict. This Cemetery lies on the 'Green Line'; the peace
line border between Turkish Cypriot North Cyprus and Greek
Cypriot South Cyprus. It is overlooked by a guard post in
the north. It is a pity that although the cemetery is well
maintained by the British War Graves Commission it is rarely
visited as it is in 'no man's land'; a zone controlled by
the United Nations.
Shipmate the Rev. Eric Freeman conducted the wreath laying
Andrew is also President of the Royal British Legion, Cyprus
and so laid his tribute at the Memorial on behalf of that
Wreaths were also laid by the Deputy High Commissioner for
Cyprus and representatives from Army regiments and the RAF.
Shipmate Richard Hughes bore the RNA Standard. Andrew led
the Act of Remembrance and it is telling to note that
afterwards he remarked on the particular poignancy of that
day when every act of remembrance was watched by the Turkish
Army Observation Post. That is in an abandoned Secondary
School unused as a place of learning since the Turkish
invasion of 1974.
Ian placed his for the
Royal Naval Association.
SSAFA, SEA SCOUTS AND SOCIAL
Our April meeting held on the 8th, as usual at
the Base Officer's Mess, Episkopi was a great success. We
were very heartened to hear that our good Shipmate and
Honorary Vice President Fred Cooper has made a spectacular
recovery from severe illness and we hope to see him at our
meetings very soon. The resignation of our 100th
Shipmate Alison Kennedy from the post of Social Secretary
was received with much appreciation of her tremendous
contribution to the Branch over the last six years. We all
hope that we will continue to see Alison and husband Brendan
with their lovely daughters at meetings as often as they can
come along. New shipmates Jack and Julie Philips from Peyia
were welcomed into the Branch. Jack is an ex Royal and
formerly belonged to the Eastney Branch of the RM
this time of year it is our custom to make a contribution to
the Episkopi Sea Scout Group. So two Beaver Cub Scouts,
Daniel Roberts (6) on the left and Logan Roberts (7) brought
along their Group leader Brian Nicholle and assistant deputy
leader Nicola Jones to receive our cheque from Chairman
Andrew Noyes. Vice Chairman Ian Gould (right) told how he
was impressed with the lads dedication and enthusiasm when
he visited the Group hut a few weeks ago.
Wing Commander Nicholle described how the boys gained
confidence in the Group. When a six year old goes to camp it
may well be his first night away from his parents.
Daniel told us how he loved the games they play and Logan's
favourite time was singing round the camp fire. Some of the
boys regard a camping expedition to Dhekelia (100Km away) as
a foreign trip! Our donation goes toward the purchase of new
flags, flagpoles and training gear. Brian's overview of the
Group's activities was comprehensive and impressive.
Particularly so when we learned that two of the Cub Scouts
had been given the Movement's Silver Award. That is a rare
speaker for the evening was Mr. Rory O'Connor, the General
Manager of SSAFA Forces Help in Cyprus. For those of us who
remember those much respected and loved SSAFA Sisters in
their grey uniforms his description of the modern services
provided by SSAFA Forces Help was breathtaking. The
organisation has come a very long way since the days when
weighing and registering the Gibraltar Rock apes was part of
the remit (do they still do that?).
SSAFA was founded in 1885 with a donation from a senior Army
officer it being recognised that families often suffered if
a serving husband was removed for duty elsewhere. A sea
change occurred in recent years when The Ministry of Defence
commenced the formation of Contracts with SSAFA to provide
support services to the Armed Forces abroad. Resulting
profits by the organisation are ploughed back into the
Charity so that all parties benefit. This visionary approach
has now been extended to the UK with SSAFA Forces Help now
operating in Luton and Leicestershire. Selly Oak Hospital
has also benefitted with accommodation for families of
service personnel being provided.
Rory described the scope of the operation in Cyprus and
Worldwide. SSAFA is present from Nepal to Canada and from
Northern Ireland to Belize. Help is present for all who have
given 1 day of service to the Crown. The areas of work are
too numerous to list here but cover family support,
midwifery, marriage counselling, family escort work,
fostering and adoption, health visiting and more. These
tasks are undertaken by both professional workers and
The conclusion was that SSAFA Forces Help, like most
charitable organisations is a major business, but in its own
case specialises in doing a wonderful and essential job for
our Servicemen, Servicewomen and their families.
Shipmates attention is drawn to the monthly Headquarters
Circulars found by following the 'Links' button at the
bottom of this website page (or
No.583 for March mentions this again in further detail
and also includes a somewhat graphic and startling
letter from our Honoray Vice President Nobby Hall in the
Turks and Caicos Islands. This copy also gives an
obituary for Jenny BEM ; known to thousands of us for
her great service to the fleet in Hong Kong.
The March meeting of 2009 was held as usual in the Base
Officer’s Mess at the Episkopi Sovereign Base Area on the
Our Chairman touched on his recent visit to Headquarters. He
mentioned how the move to Semaphore Tower in the Portsmouth
Base will put the Association closer to the working fleet
thereby encouraging more modern RN/RM involvement and
serving personnel recruitment.
Our Secretary described the visit of Paul Van Hees from the
Belgium Branch. There is full coverage of that event below.
Happy news was received in that one of our Honorary Life
Vice Presidents, Shipmate Fred Cooper, was reported as
making good recovery after a great deal of ill health in the
Our paid up membership so far this year is reported at 64.
Our Royal Navy representative Shipmate Jonathan Birley gave
us an amusing and uplifting report on current events in the
Service. He made us aware of the large Exercise 'Cyprus
Wader' in our waters. Jonathan also mentioned local areas
where relaxing Royals and Sailors might be encountered!
The gallantry rewards made to the Air/Sea Rescue unit at HMS
GANNET gave us real pride. Shipmate Richard Hughes (RM) was
even moved to show us, as near as possible in the meeting
room, a brief demo. on the finer points of 'fast roping' and
'abseiling' from helicopters. Then our Chairman remembered
how important it was not to land on one’s rifle! However
after hearing that more than 13 Admirals were all at sea
with FOST on one occasion we were thankful that we are now
The speaker for the evening was Mr. St. John Coombes BA Hons.
PFS. FAIQ, (pictured right) an Independent Financial
Adviser. His subject was on how recent money and stock
market moves have affected life in Cyprus. This was
particularly close to our hearts as expatriates here have
suffered a double whammy in both the Cyprus Pound conversion
to the Euro at a disadvantageous rate last year and the loss
of UK source income in the poor exchange rate. The result is
a real loss in income of about 30% since last year.
However, St. John put over the facts in a humorous and clear
fashion and so entertained us when we might have been
depressed. In particular he underlined our good fortune in
having an Armed Forces Pension and the low income tax rates
in Cyprus (5% for pensioners). Also of great importance was
the need for sound Wills in Cyprus and the UK. It is worth
noting that although much Cyprus law is derived from
England; that obtaining to Property is essentially based on
old Ottoman law.
We were pleased to welcome to Cyprus last week Shipmate Paul
Van Hees, the Liaison Officer from the RNA Belgium Branch. This
overseas branch, like us, has some 80 members, the majority
of whom are retired RN together with retired international
naval and military personnel with backgrounds in the many
international institutions in Brussels. It is ably run by
their Chairman, Commander Gavin Short Royal Navy, a serving
officer with the European Union Military Staff in Belgium,
and by the rest of their committee, meeting at the Brussels
Royal Yacht Club once a month excepting July and August.
They have four social lunches / dinners a year, with venues
and menus organised by the Branch ladies. Their
highlight is the Trafalgar Lunch and at the last meeting
they were honoured by a Spanish Admiral as their guest
speaker and proposer of The Immortal Memory.
As Paul was unable to stay for our meeting on 11th March, a
small welcoming committee consisting of Vice-Chairman Ian
Gould, Honorary Secretary Janet Gould and Associate.
Members Representative Raymond Naqvi, who is the Resident
Judge, met with him on Thursday 5th and transported him to
Episkopi Base, where he was given a guided tour of the Court
This was of particular interest as Paul works for the
Justice Department in Belgium.
Ian, Raymond and Paul in Court
had also asked if he could meet the local Sea Scouts as his
Branch is particularly interested in motivating the
youngsters and wished to make a donation towards their
support. As the Scouts were holding their meeting that same
afternoon, we went along to meet them all and to make a
small presentation. This was most gratefully received by the
boys who were totally in awe at their first sight of a €100
note. A formal thank you was given by the Sea Scout Group
Chairman, Wing Cdr. Brian Nicolle and two representative
Scouts, James Lloyd and Taylor Pope. This photo shows
the boys holding a certificate brought from Belgium.
Paul Van Hees with the Sea Scouts and helming EUROPA in the
2006 Tall Ships Race ------------->
On the 11th of February the Cyprus Branch meeting was, as
customary, held at the Officer's Mess, Episkopi Sovereign
Base Area. The meeting began in a sombre mood with the
announcement of the death of Shipmate Freddie Humphreys two
days earlier. Freddie was one of the first shipmates to join
the branch within six months of its formation. Her funeral
was held at St.Paul's Church RAF AKROTIRI on the morning of
Friday 13th February.
After updates from the committee members and a stop for
refreshments the meeting
was presented with an overview of the history, structure and
role in Cyprus since 2006, of the 2nd.Lancs.Battalion of the
Duke of Lancaster's Regiment; the current incumbents at the
Warrant Officer1, the RSM, Jon Wilson started by
outlining the history of the Battalion which was
most complex; as is the case with many modern
British Army formations. To the uninformed (and
un-uniformed) these formation numbers, dates and
strengths are a mystery. Jon, however, ran through
the subject clarifying the development of this
modern force. For his part Jon had served previously
in Cyprus, the Balkans, Northern Ireland, Iraq and
The regiment's antecedents can be traced from 1680.
Battle Honours are very varied. They range from the
Peninsular War through both World Wars and in almost
all conflicts to the present day. During the
American War of Independence one of their commanders
burned down The White House!
Captain Nick Arrandale, the Operations Officer,
followed with a description of the battalion
structure and tasks such as the security of the
Troodos area, Mt. Olympus, the salt lakes and the
Base Area. He covered the success of his men in
sport on the Island, particularly in football and
boxing. It was interesting to note that 212 families
accompany the Battalion at the moment.
RSM Jon Wilson with Captain
The shipmates were then invited to cross the car park and
visit the Battalion officer's mess where they were shown a
regimental memorabilia and silver which Captain Arrandale
described in detail and with some humour. Like sailors;
soldiers regard some things with a healthy irreverence. For
example the superb oil painting of a previous 'cross
Everyone was very impressed by the history and traditions so
obviously treasured by the battalion. We felt that, despite
the difficulties faced by our military, we saw a facet of
the British Army getting on with the job enthusiastically
and efficiently. It was much appreciated.
Incidentally these mess buildings were the ones where scenes
from the television series 'Soldier Soldier' were filmed.
- Our happy Shipmates 2009 -
Corner of a Foreign Field, in Cyprus"
by Lt Col Andrew Noyes (Retd)
During the 1950s both 40 and 45
Commando Royal Marines were involved in operations during the
Cyprus Emergency, which ran from 1955 to 1959. At the end of the
Emergency, Cyprus was granted independence from the United
Kingdom (but not as the terrorist organisation, EOKA, had fought
for, union with Greece or "Enosis"). Cyprus today
remains an independent country, albeit divided between the Greek
Cypriot south and Turkish Republic north. Sadly, a total of 371
British Servicemen died on active service during the 1950s’
Cyprus Emergency, 28 of whom were members of the Royal Navy and
The 50th Anniversary
of the end of the Cyprus Emergency on 20th April 2009
saw some 110 representatives of the UK Armed Forces gather at
the British Military Cemetery at Wayne's Keep, where those who
died during the Emergency are buried. The cemetery is now
situated on the Peace Line between the Turkish North and Greek
Cypriot South in Nicosia. The cemetery is well maintained by the
Commonwealth War Graves Commission but is sadly rarely visited
because of its location in the Peace Line, a "no man's land"
zone controlled by the United Nations.
Former Royal Marines were
prominent in the commemoration of the end of the Emergency.
Along with the Deputy High Commissioner for Cyprus, I as
President of the Royal British Legion for Cyprus, was privileged
to lead the Act of Remembrance at the service and laid a wreath
at Wayne's Keep Cemetery, ably assisted by the RNA Standard
Bearer, former Marine Richard Hughes, who served for 9 years in
the Corps before joining the Metropolitan Police. Needless to
say, it was a moving service as we remembered those young men 50
plus years ago who died whilst serving during the Emergency, and
the atmosphere was especially poignant as our acts of
commemoration were observed by a Turkish Army Observation Post
overlooking the Peace Line from the roof of an old Secondary
School, unused as a place of learning since the Turkish invasion
of Cyprus in 1974.
For those readers of the Globe
and Laurel who served in the Cyprus during the 1950s Emergency,
or who are related to those who died there, I can assure you
that your fallen comrades or relations are still remembered
fondly and most sincerely by those of us who now live in the
island of Cyprus. And we will continue to remember them whilst
we live in the island where they made the ultimate sacrifice.
on the planned British Cyprus Memorial 2009 can be found at the
ROYAL NAVAL ASSOCIATION AGM 2009
The Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Branch of the Royal
Naval Association was held at the Officer's Mess, Episkopi
Sovereign Base Area at 1930 on Wednesday the 12th. January
Vice Chairman shipmate Andrew Noyes was elected to be
Chairman for the year 2009 and shipmate Jean Hall was
re-elected as Treasurer,
Shipmate Ian Gould was elected Vice Chairman. The election of shipmates Nobby
Hall and Fred Cooper as
Honorary Life Vice Presidents
Shipmate Bill Hellier was elected as the new 'slops' member
of the Committee in place of shipmate Nick Smith whose
efforts have been much appreciated.
Immediately following on the AGM business the regular
meeting of the Branch proceeded. Reports from the Committee
Officers were received. New shipmate Richard and associate
shipmate Wendy Mottershead were welcomed to the Branch.
Richard is a Paphos business man involved with advertising
and he generously pledged to keep the Cyprus Branch in the
public’s eye at every opportunity.
Branch also welcomed shipmate Tom Brown, Standard bearer of
the Eastbourne RNA Branch. Tom remembers RN service in the
Cyprus Patrol boardings out of Dekhelia and Famagusta in the
50's. It is always a great pleasure to meet shipmates
visiting Cyprus so please get in touch with a view to
attending our meetings.
Tom (right) with host Mike Banks.
Our retired Chairman, Nobby Hall, sent us a 'Haul Down'
report which was read to the assembled company and is
reproduced in 'Archives' on our website together with a fine
photograph of him with Helen. He wished us fair winds and
following seas. Nobby and Helen were founders of the Cyprus
Branch and with their departure to the Royal Turks and Caicos
Islands Police Force the last tie with the inception of the
Branch is broken.
After our 'the other half' round of drinks and a table of
delicious sandwiches shipmate Vivvy gave us a brief resume
of the Branch's connections with the Sri Lankan Navy. She
reminded us of their appreciation of our donations toward
Tsunami relief and Tamil Tiger damage.
We look forward to a satisfying and fun filled 2009. Despite
the poor performance of the pound sterling against the euro
we are resolved to gather even more funds for our Charities.
RNA December Meeting 11/12/08
The Christmas meeting of the Cyprus Branch of Royal Naval
Association was held on the 11th December at the
Sovereign Base Officer's Mess, Episkopi. After an update
from committee members the shipmates chose from a table
laden with all kinds of finger food including delicious
mince pies and cakes at no cost other than to their
Following the half time break Janet and Ian Gould showed a
video tape on the Royal Navy of Yesteryear and so completed
a very enjoyable evening's get together.
The next meeting on the 14th of January will
again be at the Mess at 1900 and will be the Annual General
Meeting. Nominations for committee posts should be sent to
the Secretary as soon as possible.
That evening will also include an update by shipmate Vivvy
Simmonds on naval links with Sri Lanka.
The November meeting of the Royal Naval Association was held
in the Sovereign Base Area Officer's Mess, Episkopi on the
evening of Thursday 13th. Shipmates had
shifted into winter rig for the first meeting of the cool
season and appeared very smart!
Shipmate The Reverend Eric Freeman opened with a prayer for
departed shipmates and a special remembrance for our two
Royal Marines killed in Afghanistan the previous day.
Chairman Andrew Noyes led us into the business of the
evening with a welcome to visitor Mark Telford and new
joining members Gordon and Norma Redpath. This was followed
by reports from the main officers.
After second 'wets' and sandwiches our guest for the evening
Mr Mike Woods addressed us on the 'Black Box' recorders now
being introduced into modern shipping. They are really red
and are known as VDRs, voice data recorders.
He gave us a fascinating and sometimes hilarious account of
the use and misuse of these devices which were introduced in
the wake of the loss of the DERBYSHIRE with all hands. They
are now a legal requirement for all vessels of at least
3000Tons. Maritime Law dictates that they be used as
evidence in litigation. Sadly some nations, although signing
up to the international standards, fail to initiate the
Mike left the Royal Navy in 1990 after 23 years as a
Control Engineer having served in all three areas of
the submarine fleet. He then qualified as a pilot
and has spent the last 14 years developing and
running his own Company with a Contract to the
Ministry of Defence. He now lives in Cyprus but has
business centres in several major ports in the West.
The meeting closed with our customary raffle which
resulted in one of our most fund boosting evenings
in recent months.
REMEMBRANCE DAY 2008
Richard and Andrew
The Remembrance Day church service was held on
Sunday the 9th. of November at the sports
ground, Happy Valley, in the Sovereign Base area.
The Cyprus Branch of the RNA was represented by 26
shipmates and our Standard was paraded by shipmate
Richard Hughes. Shipmate Alison Kennedy laid a
wreath for the Cyprus Branch of the Royal Naval
Association and shipmate Andrew Noyes led the Act of
Afterwards the shipmates met for a social lunch at
the Kyrenia Taverna on the beach at Evdimou.
This is our local tradition and is always enjoyed
after the poignancy of the morning.
Lunch by the blue Mediterranean
TRAFALGAR NIGHT 2008
The RNA Trafalgar night dinner was held at the Club
Aphrodite, Erimi, on the 23rd of October. 57 Shipmates
The Club Aphrodite
The Guests of Honour were our retiring Chairman Nobby Hall
and his wife Helen. The other Guests of Honour were Mr. and
Mrs Viney. Peter Viney retired from the manager's post in
the Episkopi Garrison officer's Mess recently. All his help
and hospitality to the Association was underlined by Nobby
and recognised as deeply appreciated by everyone present. He
oversaw the use of mess facilities by the RNA from the year
of its inception. His provision of a meeting room and fine
meals on special occasions like Trafalgar Night will always
have the gratitude of the Cyprus Branch of the RNA.
Nobby went on to outline the formation of the Branch and
gave a potted history of its growth before commenting on
Nelson's life and then proposing the Immortal Memory.
All shipmates are aware of the tremendous drive which Nobby
and Helen, as the Secretary in the early years, put into
making the Cyprus Branch the success it is. As parting gifts
Shipmate Andrew Noyes, our Chairman, presented Nobby with an
engraved Armada Dish and Helen accepted a fine silver pill
box. This produced the expected RN/RM quip from the
Sir Edward du Cann addresses the Shipmates
(click on photo to enlarge)
In his inspiring style our President Sir Edward du Cann
addressed the company reinforcing Nobby's thanks to Mr Viney
and expressing the Shipmates debt to the Halls. He related
how during a recent visit to England met young people
belonging to the sea Cadets and how he was very impressed
with their keenness and sense of patriotism.
The evening was a success despite the Branch not being able
to hold the event in the Garrison officer's mess as in
previous years due to rising costs.
RNA CYPRUS BRANCH
ANNUAL REPORT 2008
2008 has been a
year of consolidation and change for the RNA Cyprus Branch. The
membership has consolidated from its original number of over 150
five years ago to around 55 members of the Branch by the end of
the year. Our monthly meetings draw an average of around 40
members and, whilst therefore the Cyprus branch has reduced in
size, this is as much a consolidation of core supporters who
regularly attend Branch functions against a wider membership,
many of whom were infrequent attenders.
Considerable effort and investment has
been placed into advertising in local magazines and newspapers
during the past year. The Publicity Officer has also established
an excellent website detailing the Branch's history, an archive
of past events, a photograph gallery, a useful contact list and
a "scribe's caboosh" updating members on recent events. The
website can be seen at
Change in the
Branch has occurred in two ways. During the year we sadly bade
farewell to the founder and Branch Chairman for the past 6
years, Shipmate Nobby Hall, and to his wife Helen, who was the
first Secretary to the Branch when it began. Nobby Hall is now
the Assistant Commissioner of Police in the Turks and Caicos
Islands. As a result of our Chairman's departure Shipmate
Andrew Noyes, the Vice Chairman, took over as acting Chairman of
the Branch in August. A Royal Marines' officer of some 40 years
standing, Andrew has recently been elected Chairman of the
The other change
has been the format of our monthly meetings. We have the
privilege of being allowed to meet once a month in the Episcopi
Officers' Mess where a bar is provided for members. In addition
to committee members' reports and a brief on the Navy Today by a
serving Lt Cdr on the HQ BFC staff, we have this year introduced
a guest speaker at our meetings. This has gone down well with
members and topics have included an address by the Assistant
Chief Constable of the SBA Police, a talk on Victim Support by
SSAFA, a talk by a local Chairman of a Residents' Association
and one on the Black Box found in Ships by a retired CPO Nuclear
In September the
Branch successfully ran a stall at the Episcopi Garrison annual
fete and raised over 700 Euros for the Branch accounts, the main
attraction at the stall being a "pay and dip" competition for a
bottle of wine or other donated beverage. Meanwhile October saw
the Branch celebrating Trafalgar Night at a formal dinner in a
local sports and social Club where, in addition to toasting the
"Immortal Memory", we also took the opportunity to dine out our
past Chairman and his wife. It was also a privilege to be
joined by our President, Sir Edward Du Cann, on this occasion,
along with some 60 others who thoroughly enjoyed both the dinner
and after dinner speeches.
Overall 2008 has
been a success for RNA Branch Cyprus, despite the apparent fall
in membership, which all service associations in Cyprus are
currently experiencing. We enter 2009 with less members than
before but, with a well designed publicity campaign planned, we
intend to continue our current momentum into the following
year. The Committee is mindful, when planning events, that the
majority of our members rely on UK pensions paid in £s Sterling
whilst living a country which recently adopted the Euro, thereby
effectively reducing our members’ purchasing power by some 30%
due to the current poor exchange rate. Our future social events
will reflect this new financial stringency but it is unlikely to
affect the comradeship, unity and humour we see frequently
displayed when a group of Matelots, Marines, WRENs and other
Naval Service supporters are gathered together, and this remains
the very essence of RNA Branch Cyprus.
RNA Cyprus Branch
Haul Down Report - 15th January
After six and a half years as
your Chairman of the Cyprus Branch Royal Naval Association,
albeit the last six months in absentia, the time has come for me
to finally stand down. It is with mixed feelings that I do so.
Sad because the Cyprus Branch RNA was my idea and as a Founder
Member my inception, and I will miss all the Shipmates both past
and present. Happy because I know the Branch is in good hands
and will continue to thrive.
Over those six and half yrs there
have been so many high points I cannot begin to touch on them
all. Perhaps the best was becoming the second largest Overseas
Branch, a position we held for a good while. Or was it the
support we offered to those Serving Naval Personnel, both
British and American during those busy days of the Second Gulf
War. The wonderful Trafalgar Nights we have had, and other
superb socials (in particular the ones hosted by Shipmates in
their homes), the effort put into the Epi' Fete each year, the
annual donation to the Sea Scouts and the turn out for the Happy
Valley Service of Remembrance, all of these are things you can
be justly proud of. My personal favorite moment must be the
Trafalgar Night in 2003 when Captain, (now Commodore), Alistair
Halliday entertained us all with his accordion, a most unusual
and superb rendering of the Immortal Memory.
At this the AGM I wish all of
those standing for office the best of luck. The Committee is
truly the backbone of the Branch and it could never operate
without it. All Committee Members are volunteers and willingly
give of their time for the benefit of all the Shipmates, Bravo
Zulu to all Committee Members past and present. Incidentally as
Helen and I are the last two Founder Members and first Committee
Members, with our departure there is no longer a link to the
beginning of the Branch, a true historical moment. I would also
take this opportunity to personally thank our President Shipmate
Sir Edward for all that he has done for the Cyprus Branch,
including personally telling the Second Sea Lord to provide us
with a guest speaker for Trafalgar 200, which of course he did,
would he dare to have done otherwise? Without you Sir Edward the
Cyprus Branch would have no link to the wartime Royal Navy, so
thank you and long may you continue to Preside.
(I can hear the sighs of relief from here), let me ask you all
to take a moment and remember the motto of the RNA Unity,
Loyalty, Patriotism, Comradeship if you can uphold those
values in this ever changing world of ours you will not go far
wrong. Whatever happens in the future you can be proud to have
been a Member of the Royal Naval Association and in particular
the Cyprus Branch!
So farewell then Cyprus Branch
Royal Naval Association, on behalf of both Helen and I, may we
wish you all Fair Winds and Following Seas. God Bless you all,
have one for me and remember, keep your hands on your Euros if
there are any Royal Marines around!
Shipmate N J Hall
ACTIVE DAYS FOR THE RNA CYPRUS BRANCH
17th of September the Cyprus Branch of the Royal
Naval Association launched its new website at
. The pages on this site will give any one arriving on the
island an instant overview and information about the RNA in
the Limassol and western Cyprus area. A list of shipmates to
contact is included. Relevant contributions to the site are
invited. Send material to
noted 'For the RNA Website'.
The following evening the Branch held its regular September
meeting at the Episkopi Garrison Officer's Mess. Stella
Pearson of Victim Support presented a surprising and
encouraging account of the development of Victim Support in
the Cyprus military sectors. Her organisation is based on
the British Forces Germany model. Anyone who wishes to learn
more about Victim Support and how support is provided for
those affected by crime can contact Stella on 25962175 or
99316683. Shipmates living in Cyprus as expatriates
reflected that there may well be a need for Victim Support
in their areas. Everyone present was grateful to Stella for
highlighting aspects of a service that we hope we never have
The Branch welcomed visiting Shipmates John Hamer and his
partner from the Haven Branch of the RNA Haverfordwest. It
is always good to have Shipmates visiting Cyprus drop in to
Shipmate Helen Hall read the 'flash message' following this
article from her husband our Chairman in absentia Nobby, now
Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Turks and Caicos
Islands, describing how Hurricane Ike made his first weeks
in the Post somewhat busy. Helen amused us with a delivery
worthy of Pam Ayres. She will be missed when she leaves next
On Saturday 20th September our Shipmates ran a
stall at the Episkopi Fete in Happy Valley. 728 Euros were
raised by selling books, DVDs and running a bottle lucky
dip. Very well done all involved. Bravo Zulu.
The RNA stall ready to go.
The Adventures of Hurricane Hall or
nearly ran home to Mum!
there Shipmate and Hashers
After enjoying the delights of
an upgrade to BA Club Class on the 747, I arrived in the
Turks and Caicos Islands to find talk of impending doom. In
my first week I was hit by Hurricane Hannah (a mere Category
1) not once, but twice. Two days to clear up - then
Hurricane Ike (Category 4) arrived (Category 5 is the
strongest). Ike hit us with a vengeance, making Hannah look
like a mere puff of wind.
The damage to Prov Island
(although bad) was nothing like that to Grand Turk, South
Caicos and Salt Cay which have been decimated. The last
hurricane to wreak such havoc was 48 years ago. During the
night of Hurricane Ike, I was safely installed inside the
Royal West Indies Hotel where we held a Hurricane Party with
other like-minded Brits. I phoned Helen on the eve of the
hurricane and told her not to worry as I was drinking fine
whiskys and smoking fine cigars - whilst waiting for Ike to
From a personal perspective,
some good did come of it. I was quickly co-opted onto the
TCI Emergency Planning Committee and met many of the senior
people in the islands. I was soon advising both the Governor
and Prime Minister.
We got the Royal Navy involved
who dispatched HMS IRON DUKE and RFA Wave Ruler to assist.
I became Liaison Officer for the US
Coast Guard who sent a
flight of helicopters to aid us, thus providing me with my
own air taxi.
I was then summoned to the
Police Station and told I was the nominal Senior Officer for
a murder enquiry. The good news is - we caught the suspect,
charged him and put him in custody (but not in the
prison - as that had had its roof blown off).
This week I have tried to get
some personal admin sorted out and have now moved into a
waterfront condo in the Yacht Club (just yards away from the
local pub and a couple of top class restaurants). I bought
a car and am wading through the local bureaucracy which is
every bit as good as Cyprus!
I was driving along quite
happily negotiating a roundabout (which the locals don't
understand) when I was hit by a van sized taxi which
promptly sped away! I nicked her and she couldn’t believe
her bad misfortune that she had hit a police officer!
Anyway, sorry if I have bored
you but I am thoroughly enjoying life here. I return in a
few weeks to March Out the MQ and collect my wife Helen.
Until then, all the best to
you all and have a KEO or two for me!
The Cyprus Branch of the Royal
Naval Association met on Thursday evening the 10th of
July at the Officer's
Mess Episkopi Garrison. Deputy Chief Constable David Turner of
the Sovereign Base Areas Police presented a very interesting
account of his Force's structure, responsibilities and
activities in Cyprus. His talk was peppered with humour. Then a
lively question and discussion session ensued covering subjects
such as domestic issues and local law on dog control. The
protection of nesting turtles, a subject about which not much is
known, was highlighted.
Sadly the Branch has had to say
farewell to founder members shipmates Nobby and Helen Hall.
Nobby will be taking up a new appointment in September as
Assistant Commissioner of Police in the Turks and Caicos
Islands. All members of the Branch wish them fair winds and
following seas. Until the AGM in January 2009 the Vice Chairman,
shipmate Andrew Noyes, will helm the Branch.
The next meeting will be
at the same venue at 1930 on the 11th of September. A
Trafalgar night dinner is planned for the 28th of
The Cyprus Branch of the Royal
Naval Association held a monthly meeting on Thursday the 12th
June at the Officer's
Mess Episkopi Garrison. Shipmates were addressed by Mr.Tony Hart
who is the Chairman of the Pissouri Residents Association.
- Nobby chairs his last Committee Meeting on the 10th
Before retiring to Cyprus Tony
was the Headmaster of Cranleigh School in Surrey. In his
university days he was President of the Oxford University Union.
Thereafter he pursued a career in the Civil Service where he
became a Principal in the Ministry of Transport. Later he was
the Transport Adviser to the Malawi Government and then ran HM
Government's Voluntary Services Unit. In 1978 he was an
Assistant Secretary in the Civil Service Department for
controlling annual expenditure on public service pensions. On
moving to the Treasury he was offered promotion to Under
Secretary to the Cabinet Office.
With such a varied experience of
government and administration Tony's address on how his
Residents' Association liaise with the Pissouri Mukhtar and the
Pissouri council was of great interest. He told Shipmates how
the Association was set up, how they found Club premises and how
cross cultural issues were handled. Bingo seems to be a good
vehicle for meeting on common ground!
After his presentation a question
time led to a good discussion of issues common to all ex-pats
and hopefully an increased understanding of our host country.
The next RNA meeting will again
be at the Episkopi Garrison Officer's Mess on the 10th.July
at 1900. All who support the aims of the RNA are welcome.
Contact Mike Hasney on 25934793 for details.
- Click on photo to enlarge -
A TIE FOR ‘OLD SHIPS’
Chairman of the
Cyprus Branch of the Royal Naval Association, Nobby
Hall, presents the last of the original pattern RNA
ties to is guest David 'Hooky' Walker on the 17th.April
meeting of the Branch at Episkopi Garrison Officer’s
They first met in
1975 when Nobby joined HMS SUSSEX; the RNR division
at Brighton and Hove. Between '75 and '77 they
served in HMS FITTLETON and HMS KELLINGTON. Nobby
praised Hooky as his inspiration to join up. The old
friends last met in 1991 at the decommissioning of
HMS SUSSEX and the presentation of that Branch’s
scrolls to Brighton and Hove.
PRESENTATION OF CHEQUE TO SEA
At their meeting on 17th April
the Cyprus Branch of the Royal Naval Association presented a
cheque for 200 euros to the 57th Troop of the Episkopi Sea Scouts. Scouts Daniel Marley and Ryan Murray
accompanied by Scout Leader Jay O'Leary and Chairman Brian Nicholle are seen here receiving their gift from RNA Chairman
Shipmate Nobby Hall.
Daniel and Ryan expressed their
thanks. They gave the Branch shipmates a description of their
activities throughout last year and their plans for the coming
year; these are to include including an attempt to master Dragon
The Scouts get a lot of fun out
of leadership training and Nobby pointed out that they are a
great example of well behaved modern youth.
ARCTIC AWARDS FOR SHIPMATE
On the 8th of
February 2007 the Arctic Emblem was presented to Shipmate John
Hale by Sir Edward Du Cann at the United Kingdom Citizens Club
in Paphos. In addition John was awarded the 60th
Aniversary Commemoration Medal on behalf of the Russian
Mr Peter Millett, British High
Commission was present as were Mr Savvas Vergas, Mayor of Paphos
and representatives from the Paphos Police, the Cyprus Veterans
Association, the Bishop of Cyprus, SSAFA and ex-service
organisations. That so many dignitaries wished to attend is a
measure of the high regard in which service such as John’s is
1943 John was a communications operator on the starboard 4inch
guns of HMS Jamaica when she engaged the German battleship
Scharnhorst in the Battle of North Cape. He remained in touch
with old comrades through the Russian Convoy Club and the German
survivors of the Scharnhorst until 2000 by which time both
groups had disbanded. The HMS Jamaica Association still enables
him to keep in touch with old shipmates.
John receives his awards.
a long break the Association gets back into the western Cyprus
You don't have to have first hand experience to have sympathy
with the armed forces, all of Her Majesty's services are working
for our protection and The Royal Navy is no exception.
It is believed that The British Royal Navy was formally created
after the Union between England and Scotland in 1707 when the
English Navy merged with the Royal Scots Navy, though the two
began operating together from the time of the Union of the
The English Navy had no defined moment of formation; it started
out as a motley assortment of 'King's ships' during the Middle
Ages and was only assembled when needed then dispersed as
quickly as it was formed. It began to take shape as a standing
Navy during the 16th century, and became a regular establishment
during the wars of the 17th century.
The Navy grew considerably during the global struggle with
France in 1690 and grew in force during the Napoleonic Wars, a
time when the practice of fighting under sail was reaching its
zenith. The next century of general peace saw considerable
technological development, with sail giving way to steam and
large shell-firing guns replacing the cannon. All this fuelled
the race to construct bigger and better battleships. That race
was prematurely ended as aircraft carriers and submarines came
to the fore, and after the successes of World War Two.
The Royal Navy is the oldest of the British armed services (and
is therefore known as the Senior Service). From the early 18th
century to the middle of the 20th century, it was the largest
and most powerful navy in the world, playing a key part in
establishing the British Empire as the dominant power of the
19th and early 20th centuries. In World War II the Royal Navy
operated almost 900 ships. During the Cold War it was
transformed into a primarily anti-submarine force, hunting for
Soviet submarines. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, its
role for the 21st century has returned to focus on global
The Royal Navy is the second-largest navy of the NATO alliance,
in terms of the combined displacement of its fleet, the U.S.
Navy being the first. There are currently 90 commissioned ships
in the Royal Navy, including aircraft carriers, nuclear
submarines, mine counter-measures and patrol vessels. There is
also the support of 17 vessels of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The
Royal Navy's ability to project power globally is considered
second only to the United States Navy. The Royal Navy also has
the second largest carrier fleet in the world, with two carriers
of the Invincible class in service (HMS Ark Royal and HMS
The Royal Navy is a constituent component of the Naval Service,
which also comprises the Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary,
Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Marines Reserve. The Royal Navy
numbers 37,500 people of whom approximately 6,000 are in the
The Royal Naval Association, which is a registered charity with
full recognition by the Royal Navy, was founded to help
ex-service members and their families to provide relief from
conditions of need, hardship or distress. (There are many who
have been severely traumatised or killed while defending the
democracy of the country so we can live in freedom.)
Founded in 1954, membership is open to all serving and ex
service men and their families. In addition, anyone who is in
sympathy with the objectives of the association may join as an
associate member. There are over 400 branches world wide with a
membership exceeding 28,000.
Cyprus is no exception, with a steady military presence on the
Island the RNA was founded in August 2002, having their first
meeting in the Sergeants mess in Akrotiri. Now the meetings are
held in the Garrison Officer's Mess, Episkopi and they are
looking for new 'Shipmates' (there is no rank in the
association.). With the emphasis being on FUN, they are looking
for new ways to raise funds and all ideas are greatly welcomed.
The charity is based on the ethics Unity, Loyalty, Patriotism &
Comradeship, where ALL profits go directly to the people in need
and is self funded. The money raised at the moment is finding
its way to our troops coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.
One function is the prestigious 'Trafalgar Night' Gala Dinner,
while many other less formal functions or get-togethers can
still raise plenty of funds. ''This is why we need new members
with new ideas to keep the fund raising fresh'', says David May
of the association, now retired and living in Kamares. 'We meet
every 2nd Thursday in the month, with an annual subscription of
only 17euros for the whole year, so we are looking for
ex-service members or anyone with time to spend, who has
sympathy with the cause, to come along to the meetings. We have
interesting guest speakers, a bar, refreshments and a raffle
every month. Members receive up-to-date reports on the
association and functions. Currently there are over 130 members
who meet in Episkopi. Since June 2003, Sir Edward DuCann KBE has
been our Branch President, he also resides in Paphos.'
Take some time out to think about our men and women who put
themselves on the front line in the face of danger, in the fight
for our freedom. Without them, it would be a very different
world in which we live.
Please contact, David May 26653323, Mike Hasney (Membership
Sec.) 25934793 or Janet Brown-Gould (Hon Sec) 25314506.
Writer: Karen Roe. Published in Cyprus Living magazine