Sussex Association of Naval Officers
CASD 50 service, Friday 3 May 2019
The Royal Navy will host a National Service of Thanksgiving to mark 50 years of the Continuous at Sea Deterrent (CASD). The event is open to retired Royal Navy personnel who have worked in support of CASD, more recently designated Op Relentless.
The Service will take place at Westminster Abbey on Friday 3 May, and will recognise individuals who have made a significant contribution to defending the nation as part of this vital mission. Following the Service there will a Reception in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, opposite the Abbey.
More details and application to attend further below*. Closing date 31 March.
HMS Argyll back home after rescuing crew from blazing merchant ship
The crew of HMS Argyll are back in base port after a few days earlier spending eight hours saving every soul aboard the MV Grande America in the Bay of Biscay after her cargo of containers and cars caught fire.
Around 900 family and friends cheered HMS Argyll home earlier this month after her nine-month mission to the Pacific. The frigate and her 210 sailors and Royal Marines arrived back in Plymouth just days after rescuing all the crew of the blazing container ship. In that incident, our longest-serving type 23 frigate responded to a mayday during the night from the 28,000-tonne merchant ship about 150 miles south west of Brest: the crew were fighting a losing battle against the flames and were abandoning ship.
All 27 crew members crammed aboard the lifeboat, which smashed into the heavy seas as it launched, damaging the craft and preventing it making headway.
Despite very difficult sea conditions, Argyll succeeded in launching her sea boat, which nudged the lifeboat against the frigate’s side so the Grande America’s crew could be brought aboard. In the heavy seas, the lifeboat " was bobbing around like a cork in a bathtub", said Lieutenant Commander Dave Tetchner, HMS Argyll’s WEO. "The conditions were horrendous – the vessels were rolling at 30 degrees, which made it extremely hairy getting the sailors safely on board. Royal Marines were on the ropes hauling people up, the sea boat was pushing the lifeboat against Argyll." Lt Cdr Tetchner said none of the 27 suffered life-threatening injuries, but some would require hospital treatment and all were stunned by their ordeal. “It was pretty awful for them – they’d had to fight a fire in dreadful seas. Every one of them suffered smoke inhalation. Then they faced the prospect of abandoning ship and then their lifeboat failed. It was pretty awful all round and they were shocked.”
HMS Argyll's sea boat pushing the lifeboat to safety MV Grande America on fire
(Crown copyright 2019)
MV Grande America was still aflame when Argyll left the merchant ship. Lt Cdr Tetchner said the manner in which the 200 sailors and Royal Marines aboard HMS Argyll – due home on Friday – responded to the incident had been exemplary. "These are the things people join the Navy for – a real life, really worthwhile job, especially when the result is a good one like this."
The Commanding Officer of HMS Argyll, Commander Toby Shaughnessy – a former CO of HMS SHOREHAM - said “I am incredibly proud of my Ship’s Company and the way they performed in this rescue effort in the most challenging of conditions. Without doubt this was a near run thing. The conditions were on the limit for recovery, and this could just as easily have been a different result. It was an exceptional team effort and there’s a great feeling on board after a successful result – everyone was saved.”
Funeral of Lt Cdr J R Woods RD* RNR
The funeral of John Woods, a long-standing member of SANO and its committee, took place on Monday 11 March at Surrey & Sussex Crematorium, Crawley. His daughter Kate gave a moving tribute and life story. Around a dozen members attended, later meeting John's family and other friends at Goffs Manor, Crawley.
Pictures: Christina and Richard Stanton; Order of Service
New Fleet Commander
The Royal Navy has a new Fleet Commander, following a ceremony in Portsmouth.
Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd takes over the role from Vice Admiral Ben Key. The ceremony took place on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers, which VAdm Kyd recently commanded.
The formal handover of command (Crown copyright 2019)
VAdm Kyd said: “It is a great honour to take command of the fleet on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, having been privileged enough to lead her through her first sea and flight trials." His other previous commands included Monmouth, Ark Royal, Illustrious, Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth and the UK Carrier Strike Group.
Warwick Child memorabilia
Naval memorabilia belonging to Commander Warwick Child MBE VRD** RNR have become available. (He has not died.) The items are:
Members interested please contact the Secretary, Ray Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org / 01403 741986.
National Archives Cold War events season
April sees the launch of a Cold War season at the National Archives, including a new exhibition looking into life in Britain during that turbulent era. The season will include talks, panel discussions, films and family activities exploring life in Britain under the threat of nuclear attack. More here.
*CASD 50 service, Friday 3 May 2019 (continued from above)
The Royal Navy will host a National Service of Thanksgiving in recognition of the Submarine Service to mark 50 years of the Continuous at Sea Deterrent (CASD), the longest unbroken operation ever delivered by the United Kingdom. The event is open to retired Royal Navy personnel who have worked in support of the Continuous at Sea Deterrent, more recently designated Op Relentless.
The Service will take place at Westminster Abbey on Friday 3rd May at noon, and will recognise all those individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to defending the nation as part of this vital mission. Following the Service there will a Reception in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, opposite the Abbey. The closest National Rail station is Charing Cross, Underground stations Westminster and St James’s Park. The Abbey is easily accessible by all forms of public transport.
Tickets will be limited, and allocation cannot be guaranteed, but as many as possible will be allocated to the retired community in recognition of their service. Applications should be made via the Application Form below and returned to the CASD50 Organising team (address on form) by 31 March. Attendees may bring one guest, whose name will also need to be forwarded with the applicant’s details.
Dress code Lounge Suit or Blazer, Medals and Decorations. While the Service and Reception are free to attend, there will be a collection during the Service for related charities (RNRMC, Erskine Hospital, Military v Cancer and Helensburgh Sea Cadets) that are being prioritised during CASD50 year.
Royal Navy CASD50 Service of Thanksgiving – Application Form – Retired and Veterans
Applications are strictly limited to one additional guest.
Please complete all sections and return by 31 March, either by post to: Command Warrant Officer (SM), Command Building, HMNB Clyde, Helensburgh, G84 8HL.
Or e-mail this form to: NAVYSM-CASD50MAILBOX@mod.gov.uk
Part A – Details of Applicant
Decorations/ Post Noms
Part B – Service in support of Continuous at Sea Deterrent (Op Relentless).
Service: (SM or other) Date Served Location/Submarine Additional Information
Part C – Details of Guest to be included on the invitation
Relationship to Applicant
Awards/Post Nominal e.g. CBE, OBE, MBE
Part D – Details of Disabled requirements (Delete as applicable)
Do you require wheelchair access? YES / NO
Do you have other disabled requirements? YES / NO Please provide details
Part E – Comments
Please add relevant comments to support this application