Sussex Association of Naval Officers (SANO)
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HMS Queen Elizabeth passes dry dock inspection - to leave Rosyth

HMS Queen Elizabeth has passed dry dock inspection with flying colours and is leaving Rosyth once again. 

During her time out of the water, 284 hull valves were changed, both rudder blades removed and cleaned, sea inlet pipes inspected, all sacrificial anodes replaced, and renewed anti-foul paint applied to the ship’s bottom.  The huge port and starboard anchors and cables were also laid out along the length of dock to allow inspection. 

The docking period successful completion means the ship should not need to dock down again for another six years. 

HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves the basin in Rosyth Peter Devlin/DevlinPhoto     HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves the basin in Rosyth Peter Devlin/DevlinPhoto 

Crown Copyright 2019 

Head of Marine Engineering onboard, Cdr Mark Hamilton, said: “It’s the first time that such a short docking period has taken place with a Royal Navy ship of this size.  It’s real testament to the great working relationship forged between the MOD and industry to make this such a success.  We’ll now carry the concept forwards to future docking periods, as well as to those of our sister ship HMS Prince of Wales”.  

The maintenance was completed on time after the ship entered dry dock ahead of schedule, despite an initial delay to entering the basin because of bad weather.  

After a phased exit from Rosyth, the ship will conduct sea trials and training in preparation for deployment to east coast USA later this year.  ‘WESTLANT 19’ will include ‘operational testing’ with UK F-35B Lightning II fighter jets, following on from last’s year’s ‘developmental tests’ with US trials jets.


Next SANO event: Lecture/Curry Lunch, Saturday 8 June

Our speaker will be Lt Cdr Peter Ashley, researcher and author, giving a talk on Captain Matthew Flinders RN.

Peter served as a weapons engineer in HM Ships Sheffield, Lowestoft and Liverpool, and at Tamar.  He has studied the life and career of Captain Matthew Flinders, the English navigator and cartographer who led the second circumnavigation of "New Holland" that he would subsequently call "Australia" or "Terra Australis", and identified it as a continent.  

Coffee served on arrival.  A choice of chicken curry (mild) or goulash, with rice and sides, will be available - to assist with catering, please make your choice known at booking - to be followed by fruit salad; drinks can be purchased from the bar.  Raffle in aid of service charities.  Guests welcome.  Charge £23.

Full details and booking form in May newsletter as sent to members, or from SANO Secretary Ray Wright: Contact SANOBooking deadline Monday 3 June.

See also Activities page for links to a Flinders news item from earlier this year, and to a memorial website.

SANO Mess Guest Night, Saturday 11 May

SANO held its annual Mess Guest Night on Saturday 11 May.  This year's was a joint event with the Association of Royal Navy Officers.  The principal guest was Surgeon Commodore Jim Sykes OStJ RN, ARNO Chairman.

Jim gave an illuminating account of his naval career, which included spells in submarines and as Director of Health (Navy) and Medical Officer in Charge of the Institute of Naval Medicine.  He spoke also on the benefits of joining ARNO.

The event was mentioned in dispatches, via Monday's Telegraph.


L to R: SANO Chairman Richard Stanton, ARNO Chairman Jim Sykes, Dr Elizabeth Sykes; SANO Secretary Ray Wright, SANO President Vice Admiral Sir Peter Woodhead, Jean Wright; Jim Sykes, Mid Chris Stocker (Sussex URNU), Surg Lt Brian Baker

D-Day 75 

4,000+ armed forces personnel will salute Normandy veterans at D-Day events taking place in Normandy and Portsmouth.  They will lead the nation in marking the 75th anniversary, to include a major national commemorative event on Southsea Common on 5 June. 

Up to 300 veterans will leave Portsmouth on board a Royal British Legion-commissioned ship to attend events in Normandy.  Up to 11 Royal Navy ships, including Type 23 frigate HMS "The Saint" St Albans, pictured below, will accompany the veterans as they depart.  Service personnel will join veterans at Bayeux Cathedral and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery for the Legion’s annual commemorative ceremonies. 

Portsmouth City Council will host a series of events up to 9 June.  Other events across the UK will include a service at the National Memorial Arboretum and displays at IWM Duxford. 

                                           Royal Navy ship HMS St Albans out at sea    

HMS St Albans, which will accompany the veterans as they depart Portsmouth; her CO, Commander John Cromie,

greets veteran Leonard Williams on board for the D-Day 75 announcement.  Crown Copyright 2019. 

More at:

See also re service of commemoration for those lost in the D-Day landing exercise at Slapton, Devon: