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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.

cheers mate


Thursday 7th November 2019
Starting 1930 at Stromness Legion

I had to put this on big so you can read the words. Most important?

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This site was updated on Monday 21st October 2019

Commemorations and services were held in Orkney on Oct 13th and 14th to mark the 80 anniversary of the Sinking of HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow. Hit by 4 Torpedoes from U47 in the early hours of the the 14th. It is now known that 835 men were killed either directly of later from their wounds. A service was held in St Magnus Catherdal on Sun 13th followed at 2pm by the planting of wooden poppies by members of the Royal Navy, Royal Oak Association and the public in the Scapa Memorial Garden. One poppy for each 1,239 members of the crew onboard that night. During the Sunday evening a capacity audiance fill the King's St Hall for an informative talk and photos from the team who have been investigating ang mapping the wreck since 2018. On Mon 14th 0930 a service was held at the HMS Royal Oak memorial at Scapa. Then at sea a service over the wreck site. a wreath on behalf of the Queen and the RN was jointly laid by the Lord Lieutenant Captain Bill Spence and Captain Chris Smith for the navy followed the scattering of carnations onto the sea. The commemorations ended with a soup and sandwitch lunch, speeches and the presentation of the White ensign from the wreck which had flown in the tide since Oct 2018 to Mr Allan Myer who's father was a Royal Marine who died in the incident.

The October meeting took place in the Kirkwall Legion on Thursday 3rd Oct. Up for discussion was the ongoing enquiries into who is responsible for the (Private) War memorials Those of specific events ie The Arctic Convoys, HMS Opal and Narborough, HMS Royal Oak. With ongoing enquires we will report back on conclusion. Also arragments were put in place for the up coming HMS Royal Oak 80th anniversary. Information regarding the Annual dinner was discussed and SM Catriona will keep us aware of the ongoing plans.


Other News
The Branch AGM was held in the Kirkwall Legion on Thursday 11th April. There was a good turn out of members. The Branch Standard was on parade in the room. The Chairman called for a moment of silence to remember absent friends followed by a reading of the Orkney RNA Branch prayer. The meeting followed the usual agenda items with the Secretary reading out the minutes of last years AGM. This was followed by the treasure's report including the annual audited statement. Chairman's report concluded that part in the meeting. The office bearers election saw all current office bearers continuing in their posts. Each year the branch donates to RNA HQ, both Orkney Legion branches and selects a number of Charities (Usually 4) to donate to, these are suggested by the members and voted on to give a little variety so the same charities do not get every year. (Names to follow once confirmed). Any other business. A statement regarding the final decision on wreath was briefly discussed. The branch anniversary dinner will take place in October at the Royal Hotel Stromness as voted for by the meeting. A BBQ will be held on Sat 15th June (weather dependant) kindly arranged and co-ordinated by shipmate Reg. There was no other business the meeting concluded with a round of applause for the good works carried out by the office bearers.

There followed a good supper of sandwiches, cakes and other goodies. A small raffle of prizes provided by members saw a good spread of winners and losers. There was, of course, the opportunity to have a beer and a glass or two of rum.

14th October 2019. 80th Anniversary of the sinking of HMS Royal Oak. Service at 1000 at Scapa Garden of Remembrance followed by a short service over the wreck site.

Annual dinner Royal Hotel Stromness October (date to be arranged)


Thought you would like to see this photo which according to the caption shows the following ships of Force H in line ahead. HMS Duke of York, HMS Nelson, HMS Renown, HMS Formidable and HMS Argonaut. Didn't they have great names back then? Such as FORMIDABLE, RENOWN

Nelson well.1


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sailor ad

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'.

On Saturday 16th September 2017 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.


As part of the Orkney Aviation Festival weekend HMS Tern was open to the public on Sunday 17th September 2017. 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.
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.

Well, Well how I remember those Friday afternoon divisions and faces and places from the past. The married quarters, the back lane, the Golden Lion and Red Lion (The Beast). I had the chance on several occasions to show a few visitors around Southwick House.

Anyway my concern is did the officer at 30sec every find the person who was absent and unaccounted for??? Naughty to skiving off divisions, Oh hang on a minute??

As an added bonus to the above I can remember (Although I can't remember his name) The Captian, who was a keen horseman wanted to do a divisions on horseback. This work out well whilst doing the inspections but as he took up post by the saluting dias for the march past the Royal Marine Band struck up with Hearts of Oak, the horse reared up on it's hind legs and legged it down the road with the skipper and out of sight. Well you can imagine the reaction from the parade ground. Even the band had to stop playing (Or found it impossible). Step forward the
1st Lt who brought us all to order and the march passed took place with him taking the salute. I think everyone including the captain found it funny. And you know what he never tried it again.

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.

About this site: This site essentially contains information for members of the branch but is also an informative but informal look at the world according to the Royal Navy both past and present.

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