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  The Orkney Branch of the Royal Naval Association meets on the Third

  Thursday of every month. On alternate months the meetings are held
  in the Royal British Legion Clubs Kirkwall and Stromness.
  Please see the notice below for the date and venue of the next meeting.


Thursday 1st March 2018
Starting 1930 at Stromness
Legion Club

cheers mate

Hi Shipmates Let me remind you, it's 4 weeks to Christmas today. Time to get the tinsel up and make a list of the beer and spirits needed. Oh and I suppose the prezzies and the food. Can't believe it's that time again.
BZ to all the team RN who preformed Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace yesterday for the very first time in 357years. From what I saw on the video the marching and drill could match any footguard and the kit looked immaculate. More of the same please. I'll drink to that.

Memories page. Closing of the Hole in t' wall bar Gibraltar.

The Vault HMS Royal Oak story and video have been moved to the vault.

Also still there the three preserved ships HMS Cavalier, HM Submarine Ocelot and HMS Belfast.

To keep the space on the front page up to date with current information older items will be passed down into the cellar vault for archiving. Press the Vault button, but beware the steps are slippery and the floor is damp, watch out for the spiders and rats and if you stay too long the musty smell will linger on your clothing.


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Woman's Royal Naval Service on November 28th 1917. There are lots of events and commemoration surrounding this anniversary. There maybe lots of information out there but this website seems to be the one that the WRNS Associasion have set up. via the Links page


(A wee tip to avoid mixing the pic with the text: When scrolling down if there is a pic/video in the text it is better to put your mouse arrow outside the green area and use the wheel, otherwise use the right hand side bar to move the page up or down)

(I've added another website link to an organisation dealing with Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness (MAACenter) Anyone with questions or concerns can click on from our links page)

This site was last updated on Monday 27th November 2017

The November meeting was held in the Kirkwall Legion on Thursday 16th.
Important changes were made at this meeting.

Firstly: It has been decided that due to most members being in their senior years and staying in outlying/country residences weather conditions and darkness make it potentially hazardous to travel into the towns for the meetings over the winter months. The meetings in December, January and February are cancelled.

Secondly: Meetings will revert to the first Thursday of the month. Therefore please note the date of the next meeting is 1st March 2018.

Thirdly: The AGM will be held at the April meeting.

The proposed Christmas dinner will NOT go ahead. Although there was some interest in our annual get together is has been decided that having had our 10th anniversary dinner in October we would give it a miss this year.

Also (As discussed at a previous meeting) up for consideration, because the Christmas period is busy for most and the aforementioned winter conditions have put folk off attending a suggestion that we have an annual dinner to comemorate the founding of the branch would be a suitable time.

Members attended the annual Remembrance Parades and services in Both Kirkwall and Stromness where wreaths were laid at both war memorials and the branch standard was paraded in the Counties main Parade in Kirkwall.

NOTE Are you aware that as from the 26th November the Royal Navy Sailors are carring out duties as the Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James Palace and The Tower of London for the first time ever? This is the first time Matlots have carried out this 357 year old duty including the famous ceremony of Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace. (The Royal Marines I believe did it as part of their commemorations for their 350 anniversary in 2014).

There are several videos available on Facebook (especially the Royal Navy page).
Apparently the ceremony yesterday drew the biggest crowd of spectators seen for many years.


The 2nd August 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the first landing of an aircraft on a ships deck whilst underway. Edwin Dunning landed a Sopwith Pup on the deck of HMS Furious in Scapa Flow on 2nd August 1917 thus paving the way for the aircraft carrier age. Unfortunately he never lived to see it as on his second attempt a few days later his aircraft lost power over the deck and landed heavily, it was then was swept overboard by strong winds killing him in the process. A plaque erected on the 75th anniversary at Swanbister the closest point of land to the event has been eroded by the weather, with 100 years past since the landing a new weather resistant plaque will be unveiled today at Scapa memorial garden by RN personnel, HMS Queen Elizabeth will be present in the Flow this morning and a flypast is due at around 1140.

HMS Vanguard 1917. 7th-9th July A busy weekend of commemoration has just concluded with events taking place over the wreck site, Lyness Cemetery and culminating in a service at St Magnus Cathedral to coinside with the exact moment in time at 2320 100 years on from when an explosions onboard the ship anchored in Scapa Flow set off a series of explosions destroying the ship in seconds, 840 sailors were lost in the single most disastrous non enemy accident in Royal Naval history. Officers and members of the Royal Navy (Including some current HMS Vanguard's ships company) and Royal Marine bandsmen were in Orkney to take part along with dignitaries, officials from the Government, Orkney Islands Council and over 40 descendants and family members of those lost.



On Saturday 16th September a memorial stone was unveiled at RNAS HMS Tern also known as Twatt Airfield. The unveiling ceremony was performed by two ex serving members of the Royal Navy at the airfield during World War two. Mr Walter Crosbie a photographer and Mrs Celia Green WRNS engineer.

The memorial like several others of the same design around the country was erected by the 'Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust' to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of all those that served on these airfileds both Naval and RAF during the world wars.

A similar memorial was unveiled on the same day along the road at RAF Skeabrea by the son of a serving Norwegian pilot during WWII.

L to R. Mr Walter Crosbie, Mrs Celia Green and Mr Ken Bannerman Chairman, Trustee and Founder of the charity 'Airfields Of Britain Conservation Trust'.

As part of the Orkney Aviation Festival weekend HMS Tern was open to the public on Sunday 17th September. The Airfield has several of it's original buildings standing, notably The Fire Station, Control Tower which unusually also incorporated the operations room, the brick front part of the cinema and many other important buildings. Unfortunately the accommodation blocks, dinning hall and recreational buildings ie NAAFI, Gym and Sports halls were all dismantled. But there is still a lot to see. (Search HMS Tern for a lot more info). The Birsay Heritage Trust are in the process of conserving and reinstating as much as they can. A long term project??

Shipmate Ian MacDonald played the Lament while wreaths were laid during the ceremony of remembrance at the Vanguard memorial Lyness War Graves Cemetery.

Vanguard memorial.

A rare photo of a PO and CPO smiling

PO and Chief smiling

This little skit by Bird and Fortune is brilliant, a must watch to the end. OK it's a couple of years old now but still very funny and dare I say still relevant.

Gas Gas Gas
Officers Compass

A couple of lighthearted pictures to make you smile from The Real Navy Facebook page. I hope any ex or serving officers will not be offended.

Here is a short advert to encourage people to learn English

Even if you have seen it before it always raises a laugh and as an ex Coastguard myself those very words can send a shiver up your spine.

Any Ex Glamorganites out there? do you see yourself? 1967 when this film was made all this was high tech? Seems positively archaic now.

And for the submariners a flim made in 1943 about a sub patrol. But I suspect a little bit of a setup rather than a real partol??

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