Sussex Association of Naval Officers (SANO)
"Maintaining naval contacts and interest in Sussex and beyond"

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What we do

SANO: Maintaining naval contacts and interest in Sussex and beyond

The association provides a lively focal point for serving and retired naval officers and others in Sussex and beyond. We offer a varied and interesting social programme in a wardroom environment, encouraging and maintaining the spirit of the Royal Navy and preserving contact with it and naval affairs. We also maintain links with kindred organisations and support naval charities.

As the nearest equivalent to a traditional wardroom mess remaining in Sussex, the association enables naval officers, regular or reserve, serving or retired, and others sympathetic to the traditions and values of the Royal Navy, to keep in touch and meet together regularly in friendly company. However, attendance at events, residence or service in Sussex and naval or military service are not conditions of membership.

Our wide membership, at present about 125, includes many throughout southern England but some as far afield as Argyll, Cornwall and Australia, in addition to wherever those still serving might be. Joining them may be of interest and benefit to officers leaving the service, especially but not exclusively those intending to work or live in the south-east. Officers from the other services and Merchant Navy are welcome.


We hold around 8 events per year. Our wide and varied social programme includes visiting speakers, visits, (both usually with a naval, military or maritime theme), lunches, social gatherings, cocktail parties and formal dinners, including a Trafalgar Night dinner.


We hold most of our events at the Hove Club, Fourth Avenue Hove. Its comfortable surroundings, with spacious function rooms, a relaxing bar and charming garden, are an ideal setting. We have also held events further afield, at venues such as Bosham Sailing Club, Chichester; the East Sussex National Hotel, Uckfield and the English Wine Centre, Berwick. We have other venues under consideration, and our visits are by no means limited to Sussex.

Links and affiliations                                    

We are an active affiliate of HMS SHOREHAM and Sussex University Royal Naval Unit, the only RN establishment left in the county. We also maintain links with HMS Sussex Shipmates' Association, the Association of Royal Navy Officers and our sister organisations nationwide.

Support for naval charities

We support  naval and other service and maritime charities, often in thanks for their providing a visiting speaker or hosting a visit. We have donated to, among others, the RN Officers' Charity, local Sea Cadet units, Blesma The Limbless Veterans and the Royal British Legion.


The association was formed in 1948 as the RNVR Club (Sussex), aiming to keep ex-RNVR officers in touch. Since then the name and membership have moved on in line with changes to the size and structure of the Navy. From an original close association with Sussex Division Royal Naval Reserve until it closed in 1994, our members now include many serving and retired regular Royal Navy officers. In 2014 we extended the opportunity of full membership to officers of the Army and RAF (who were previously limited to associate membership), and to other individuals sympathetic to the traditions and values of the RN.


SANO is run by a team of, currently, 8 elected or co-opted members:

  • Chairman (also Events Co-ordinator): Lieutenant Commander Richard Stanton RN

  • Membership Secretary: Commander Neville Dutton RNR 

  • Newsletter Editor: Lieutenant Commander Bob James RNR

  • Venues Liaison: Peter Jukes OBE

  • Treasurer: Joe Kirk

  • Minutes Secretary: Mrs Christina Stanton

  • Trophy Custodian: Commander Ian Wright RNR

  • Secretary: Lieutenant Commander Ray Wright RN (also Social Secretary)

In addition to these committee members, other association members act as webmaster and auditor.

Our President is Vice Admiral Sir Peter Woodhead KCB, a former Flag Officer 1st Flotilla, Flag Officer 2nd Flotilla and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic.

Our aims and rules are set out in our constitution, which we periodically update to keep in line with the needs of members and applicable service practice.

There are usually vacancies on the committee, and offers to serve or assist are welcome.


Eligible for membership are:

  • Men and women who hold or have held a commission in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, Royal Air Force, their reserves or associated formations

  • Officers from Commonwealth navies, allied navies and the Merchant Marine

  • Wives, husbands, partners and widows of the above

  • Any other individual, with or without an armed forces background, who is sympathetic to the traditions and values of the Royal Navy

Although many of our members have served in the Royal Navy or live in Sussex or the surrounding counties, there is no requirement to have served in the forces or have any connection, past or present, with the county.

A modest annual subscription, currently 15 annually for new members (due 1 January), covers running costs, including a newsletter and this website.
Concessions apply for those joining in September onwards.

Contacting us or joining

Potential members wanting more information on membership are invited to contact the Membership Secretary, Neville Dutton, / 01403 753074. An application form is on the Joining SANO page of this site.


Other enquiries can be made through our Secretary, Ray Wright, 01403 741986

JK 15.9.2016/amended 6.10.2017