Ted Lavender

This is the second message this morning regarding an ill member, Ted rang me to say that he has been diagnosed with a large  aneurysmin his head, he is waiting to be told when to travel to Adelaide for the delicate surgery. I will keep members informed and of course all of our wishes are with Ted for a successful operation.
Yours aye

HMS GANGES Victorian Division Newsletter – (Masthead 229)

Victoria Australia

Chairman: David Lines.   Secretary: Harry Harrison 54, Tamworth Road, KilsythVic 3137

Telephone Harry 03-9728-3200 Mob. 0418809712 Email:rodneyharrison831@gmail.com



Chairman David Lines Opened the meeting, and welcomed all to the meeting.

Birthdays    Birthday Wishes to Jean Rees

Apologies  Owen and Carmel Dingle, John Hillman, Flo Livingston, Mary Stephens, Sally Briscoe, John and Maureen Hannant, Jean Rees, Charles Jenkinson, Harry Thacker.

Sick Parade John Hillman is undergoing medical procedures for skin problems. Albie Cunliffe is now staying at his son Brian’s recuperating after a stay in Knox hospital, to alleviate congestion of the lungs. Albie looked well at the meeting. We wish John and Albie good health and to all those with health problems. This is the worse year for colds and flu since 2009 and the swine flu that year.

Treasurers Report   Monies available $3,552:73

Correspondence Bank Statement. WA minutes. A thank you card from the Cunliffe family.

UK Association   All appears well.

 General Business 1) “2017 Get together at Club Mulwala” Chairman reported that there are 23 attending the get together. From Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand. Accommodation is booked and deposits paid to the club resort. Any member who has not paid their deposit please pay David. David has forwarded to all attending a room allocation list, menus for the Club dining rooms, a club membership form. For the price of $5 the membership benefits are discounts on accommodation, food and beverages in the club. If members fill in the form return to David he block send them on and members will pay five dollars and pick up card on arrival. There is a Chinese restaurant which provides a seafood and Chinese smorgasbord on a Thursday night David has canvassed attendees and the majority favour this for the Thursday night group meal. Secretary reported on the Wednesday bus trip this is under way a 25 seater coach is booked  and will consist of leaving Club Mulwala at 0900 with a visit to the Corowa Whisky and Chocolate Factory for coffee!! Then visits to Cambells and Bullers wineries Lunch at members choice and expense in Rutherglen (there are many and varied eateries and shops) along the main street. Returning via the Bundalong Tavern and be back at the club by 1600.  Wednesday night will be a BBQ and trivia with a small raffle. A full schedule will be forwarded before the next meeting. Members asked what the breakfast arrangements are. Chairman to check with management but it is understood breakfast is included in the tariff, but does not start until 0830 which many thought was on the late side. A number preferred the arrangement that bacon and egg sandwiches be provided as at other Vicdiv get togethers. If you have a preference please contact either Chairman David or the secretary.


AOB.  The secretary apologized to Barbara Canty for failing to acknowledge that Barbara not Flo contributed last month’s desserts Thank you Barbara

The Chairman then thanked Harry Kime and Flo for a tasty lunch and dessert. Joan Kime for organising and serving lunch and dessert. Harry Kime for attending the bar. There being no further business the meeting closed12:45hrs

Next Meeting     September 27th. 2017 at seven bells (11:30hrs.) at FNMC

Thought for the month: – when Fortune knocks open the door. 16th century.

Visit by Cliff & Christine Snelling – 25-27 Oct 2017

Morning all,
Have received an email from Cliff Snelling regarding his upcoming visit, is anyone able to host? I will be in Hervey Bay at this time so cannot.
Hi Scotty,
Christine and I are on a tour of Australia and NZ and will be Brisbane at the end of October.  I was wondering if there would be any chance of meeting up with some of the Ganges Queensland Division whilst we are there.  We have 25th, 26th and 27th as available days.
Cliff Snelling

HMS GANGES Victorian Division Newsletter – (Masthead 228)


Chairman: David Lines.   Secretary: Harry Harrison 54, Tamworth Road, KilsythVic 3137

Telephone Harry 03-9728-3200 Mob. 0418809712 Email:rodneyharrison831@gmail.com



Chairman David Lines Opened the meeting, and welcomed all to the meeting.

Birthdays    July Carmel Dingle with whom the Americans share a birthday Best Wishes Carmel

Apologies  Owen and Carmel Dingle, Rick Clark, Mary Stephens, Sally Briscoe, John and Maureen Hannant, Jean Rees, Charles Jenkinson.

Sick Parade Owen is still recovering from eye procedures. Judy Ernst in South Australia has been quite ill in hospital we wish both well and positive outcomes.

Treasurers Report   $3, 489:73

Correspondence Bank Statement. Shotley Buzz 53, Guzz armed forces parade Plymouth.

UK Association   Reading the latest minutes all appears to be going well. Secretary Cliff Snelling and his wife Christine are embarking on a grand world tour which includes Australia visiting most capital cities. They will be in Melbourne with a free day on the Sunday of the RNA Trafalgar lunch and have accepted our invitation to join is in celebrating Trafalgar day. With the train travel they have planned we may see a travel doco Great Railway Journey’s of Australia.

 General Business 1) The October get together. Chairman David asked that those attending pay the deposit of one days’ tariff $156 per room. David will email those concerned with bank details. 11 rooms have been booked with 21 attendees. The bus trip is on the Wednesday to Rutherglen calling at a couple of wineries lunch at Rutherglen at own expense.

2)  The ACT Division  The ACT division have decided to decommission with only Ivor Rothwell and Jeremy Harden it is no longer viable. Ivor asked if they can join the Victorian Division this is agreeable with Chairman David and secretary HarryH. The Chairman and committee in the UK have been contacted and the proposal meets their approval. To this end are there any objections from members. There being no objections secretary to email joining forms to Ivor and Jeremy. Ivor no longer wishes to have his name listed as a representative in the Gazette Dick Lord was contacted and future Gazettes will not list Ivor. Secretary of the Victorian division will circulate all UK items to Ivor and Jeremy along with the Victorian division.

AOB Harry Kime invited Members to the FNMC Annual dinner Saturday 28th. August 2017 19:00hrs Cost $30 including non spirit drinks. Dress No1’s jacket tie miniature medals. The speaker will be the former president of the Naval Association of Australia.. For bookings contact Harry Kime.

2) Mike Bennett explained the August 13th. lunch “It Ain’t Christmas what the Heck Lunch” at the princely sum of $10pp with Carvery  Yorkshire pudding roast potatoes and vegetables  Desserts of Rhubarb and Apple crumble and cheesecake. For bookings  contact Mike.

The Chairman then Thanked Joan and Flo for a tasty lunch and dessert. Harry Kime for attending the bar. There being no further business the meeting closed12:45hrs

Next Meeting     August 23rd. 2017 at seven bells (11:30hrs.) at FNMC

Thought for the month: No- one is ever too old to know better   Margaret Preston

Program for Vicdiv Get Together 16th. -20th October 2017

Sunday 15th. October 2017 Early Birds  GET Together

Monday 16th. October Arrival Meet and Greet RSL Club Mulwala.

Tuesday 17th. As you please Evening Meal RSL Club Mulwala

Wednesday 18th 0930 Bus Tour to Rutherglen:-  Morning tea at Corrowa Chocolate Factory visiting wineries TBA Lunch at own expense in rutherglen return with visit to bundalong tavern. Cost $25 not including lunch

Evening? BBQ and trivia.

Thursday 19th Stand Easy. formal evening meal at Club Mulwala

Friday 20th Departure.


Can you help?

Can you help identify this Wren being cared for aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia 25 years ago this August?



Bosses of Britannia – now a floating museum in Leith – would like to treat her to a family day out, champagne lunch and behind-the-scenes tour of the famous ship after learning of the nasty accident she suffered and how those aboard the yacht, from Her Majesty down to musicians and sickbay staff, cared for her.

Back in 1992, Britannia was on her annual summer cruise around the Western Isles accompanied by frigate HMS Brilliant when she picked up a call for help from the Type 22.

A female sailor slipped on deck and a hatch had fallen on her finger tips. Dealing with the extensive damage was beyond what Brilliant could offer.

The patient was transferred to Britannia as its sickbay team readied the operating theatre, where an anaesthetic block was applied to her upper arm, freezing her left arm and fingers.

After an hour and a half Surg Lt Commander Robin Mc Neil-Love RN and sickbay manager Eric Birbeck removed the damaged tissue and saved the terminal ends her fingers.

The hand was stitched and cleaned and placed into a ball to allow the fist to be bandaged. She was then changed and placed in the sickbay bunk where she was cared for during a three-day passage to Aberdeen, where she was landed for further treatment ashore.

This was the first time a female patient had been admitted to the sickbay – this was the early days of women going to sea with the Navy.

The Queen was informed and asked her lady in waiting to visit the patient, even presenting a small woven basket of toiletries and informing her that a bath was at her disposal in the Royal household apartments.

The royal intervention didn’t end there; the Queen directed the RM Band to entertain her one morning.

“Never was a wren treated so royally,” Eric – on the left of the first photograph – recalls.

Before sailing he and his shipmates had been sent the latest rules and regulations for wrens at sea and providing them with medical care – something they’d dismissed as there were none on board.

“The patient arrived in Number 8 working dress, trousers and shirt but such was the need to deal with her quickly that we left her clothes on,” Eric remembers.

“When we had completed surgery she had her Left arm in a ball bandage and her right hand at a drip with antibiotics connected to an I/V bottle.

“We had to transfer her to a bed and make her comfortable but she was still dressed. We looked at each other and before we could think she said: ‘Crying out loud. You guys are married. Have you never undressed a lady?’”

Being gents, they asked one of the Queen’s female household to act as chaperone…

Sadly Eric cannot remember the young sailor’s name – and there’s nothing in the documents in Leith, or in contemporary editions of Navy News, to give a clue to her identity.

Which is why the Britannia team are appealing to our readers and the wider RN community to help out.

If you are able to identify the wren – or indeed are the wren – in the pictures, and would like to be royally hosted on the former royal yacht, contact Jennifer Campbell on JenniferC@tryb.co.uk or call 0131 555 8800.


HMS GANGES South Australian Division (Shotley Buzz No 53)

The Shotley Buzz No53
20 July 2017 Today we held our July meeting at our usual venue the Eagles club Seven 22 Port Rd Beverely. We commenced with Alan Ford (64) reading Charlie’s prayer Apologies from Tom Marlin picking olives and making virgin olive oil. Steve Plumb, Mary Brewer, Trevor Rundle who is off to the UK with wife Beverly he says he will spread a good word about us to Ganges boys over there, Dave Diss and my wife Judith who was put into hospital this morning with a complicated blood disorder. I introduced our guest for the meeting my daughter Karalyn who filled Judy’s place. Our newly appointed treasurer Margaret Burgess gave her first report, and reminded members our annual subs of $15.00 were now due and could also be paid by transfer on line. Welfare Officer Bob Chumley asked members to please contact him when a member is hospitalised etc so he can send a card. I presented Alan Ford with a sealed colour photograph of the manned Ganges mast Alan was not a member when all others received this photograph. We are holding our Christmas function on Saturday 2nd December 2017, before we finalise with the venue members have been asked to submit any suggestions for the Christmas goodies etc. The formal proceedings were over relatively quickly and with the arrival of the meals which had been ordered everyone tucked in. At the end of the meal I gave everyone a slip of paper with the following word on it “Zythepsary” I had seen this word when chasing a crossword clue and it corresponded with the surname of one of our members, there was a prize for anyone who was able to name this member, phoning a friend was not allowed, no one came up with the answer, I then asked Raymond Zythepsary to stand, it means “Brewer” so Raymond got the prize a picnic bar. I informed members i would give them the date of our next meeting soon, with that I handed over to Vice President Mike Crowley to continue and to close the meeting. I and my daughter left at 1300.

Yours aye Derek Ernst President

HMS GANGES WA Division Newsletter July 2017


  G’day all,

Had an interesting visit to a dermatologist recently to check out a suspicious growth on my temple. The doc informed me it was a benign barnacle, when I asked if this was something old sailors are prone to get he did not seem amused. Anyway he burnt it off. As is my wont I googled barnacle and found it was a seborrheic keratosis, I’ll stick with barnacle.


This newsletter is the inaugural ‘Hoist’, Paul Chapman informs me that the pennant when hoisted signifies a message or information to follow. I thought this rather fitting. This first Hoist could also be the penultimate Hoist if members continue to sit on their hands rather than nominate for a position on the Division Management Committee at the AGM.


Gathering for 2017

Committee Meetings

3rd Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200 @ FNC

Division Meetings

4th Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200 @ FNC

Social Sausage Sizzles

4th Sunday of even month

Commencing 1200 @ RNC

20th July 27th July 27th August
21st September 28th September 8th October *
*Changed to 2nd Sunday to avoid any Trafalgar Day clash
Annual Black Tot Day Lunch

1200 Wednesday 2nd August at FNC

Christmas Lunch

1200 Wednesday 13th December at FNC



Social Coordinator Hoists;        


Quiz Night Rockingham Navy Club Saturday 17 June 2017.


Gail and Ian plus 2 of their friends joined Brenda, Brian and Paul to form the Ganges plus 2 Quiz team. After a brilliant 10/10 in the first round and a reward of chocolates things deteriorated somewhat and after 10 rounds we took out the penultimate place, earning a few more chocolates along the way. Not so good on the raffle prizes this time, only taking out 3. Still an enjoyable evening – it’s the taking part isn’t it? – not the winning –Yeah Right!!


Social Sausage Sizzle Rockingham Navy Club Sunday 25 June 2017.


Another fine day (they keep on coming) with a few clouds later on made for another pleasant afternoon being enjoyed by those present. A smaller than usual group this time enjoyed the excellent (thanks to all contributors) offerings. With Gary and Ian absent Brian nobly stepped up to the BBQ and did the honours with distinction. The onion problem is back, this time an excess, thanks Jim, they will not go to waste and I will not have to cry when making my winter soup. Rum Bosun Alex initiated ‘Up Spirits’ and with limited numbers the rum flask was passed round a good few times. Cathy ran the raffle this time and prizes were fairly well spread amongst the two organizations thanks to Anne from RRNA asking for redraws on the many occasions her tickets were drawn. No ‘Rum’ raffle this time due to limited numbers.





Black Tot Lunch.


When            1200 Wednesday 2nd August 2017.

Where           Fremantle Navy Club.

Cost             $30

Menu            Pumpkin Soup, Roast Pork or Roast Chicken, Veggies, Gravy, Apple Crumble and Custard.

Details          The lunch will follow the previous format.

Dress            Smart casual.

Important Note: Bookings required now. The cut-off date is Wednesday 19 July to book and indicate choice of roast.  Those who wish to attend and have not already booked – names and choice of roast to me sooner rather than later by email or phone – jackrubb@optusnet.com.au or 95275857 This information is required by the FNC for catering purposes.


Visit to Charthouse Primary School. (Ref: May minutes – other business).


When                     1000 Wednesday 16 August 2017 (Previous date fell during school holidays).

Where                    43 Rand Avenue, Waikiki.

Dress                     Division shirts. (Better have something covering your nether regions as well or you may be arrested).

Details                    Knocker tells me that the school will be delighted to receive a visit from us and that a few RRNA members may join us. A lunch at a venue TBA will follow. More details TBA.

Budget Matters:

The AMA has weighed in on Scott Morrison’s proposed changes to Australia’s health services
The Allergists voted to scratch them, but the
Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.
The Gastroenterologists had a sort of a gut feeling about it, but the
Neurologists thought he had a lot of nerve.
The Obstetricians felt he was labouring under a misconception.
Ophthalmologists considered the ideas short-sighted.
Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!” while the
Paediatricians said, “Oh, Grow up!”
The Psychiatrists thought the ideas were madness, while the
Radiologists could see right through them.
The Surgeons were fed up with the cuts and decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.
The ENT specialists didn’t swallow it, and just wouldn’t hear of it.
The Pharmacists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the
Plastic Surgeons said, “This puts a whole new face on the matter….”
The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the

Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.
The Anaesthetists thought the ideas were a gas, but the
Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no.
In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the
arseholes in parliament!


Ever wondered why we ‘Toast’

The term ‘toast’, as in raising our glasses to honour or celebrate something before drinking, comes from a literal piece of spiced or charred toast that was dropped into cups or bowls of wine. The toast was either a form of hors d’oeuvre or added to make the wine taste better. (it wouldn’t have been much good in a tot of rum!). Shakespeare mentions this in The Merry Wives of Windsor, in which Falstaff calls for a quart of spiced wine, then adds; “Put a toast in it”.


By the 18th Century, the term “toast” had been transferred from the floating bread to the person honoured by the toast. Hence the particular popular person could become the “toast of the town”.




75 Years ago an attack on Sydney

On the night of 29 May 1942, five large Japanese submarines positioned themselves 56 kilometres north-east of Sydney Heads. At 0300 the next day one of the submarines launched a reconnaissance aircraft. After circling Sydney Harbour the aircraft returned to its submarine, reporting the presence of ‘battleships and cruisers’ moored in the harbour. The flotilla’s commanding officer decided to attack the harbour with midget submarines the next night. The next day the five submarines approached to within 11 kilometres of Sydney Heads, and at about 0430 they released three Ko-hyoteki class midget submarines which then began their approach to Sydney Harbour.



One of the three Japanese Ko-hyoteki class midget submarines is raised after the attack



HMAS Yandra

The third submarine was sighted by HMAS Yandra at the entrance to the harbour and was depth-charged. Some four hours later, having recovered, it entered the harbour but it was subsequently attacked with depth charges and sunk in Taylor Bay by vessels of the Royal Australian Navy. Both members of the submarine’s crew committed suicide



HMAS Yarroma

The second submarine entered the harbour at about 9.48 pm and headed west towards the Harbour Bridge, causing a general alarm to be issued by the Naval Officer in Charge, Sydney. About 200 metres from Garden Island the submarine was fired on by the heavy cruiser USS Chicago. The submarine then fired its two torpedoes at the cruiser. One torpedo ran ashore on Garden Island but failed to explode. The other passed under the Dutch submarine K9 and struck the harbour bed beneath the depot ship HMAS Kuttabul where it exploded, killing 21 sailors (19 Royal Australian Navy and 2 Royal Navy). The submarine then slipped out of the harbour, its mission complete.




The outer-Harbour defences detected the entry of the first midget submarine at about 8.00 pm, but it was not identified until it became entangled in an anti-torpedo net that was suspended between George’s Head and Green Point. Before HMAS Yarroma was able to open fire the submarine’s two crew members destroyed their vessel with demolition charges and killed themselves.

Immediately following the raid, the five Japanese fleet submarines that carried the midget submarines to Australia embarked on a campaign to disrupt merchant shipping in eastern Australian waters. Over the next month, the submarines attacked at least seven merchant vessels, sinking three ships and killing 50 sailors. During this period, between midnight and 0230 on 8 June, two of the submarines bombarded the ports of Sydney and Newcastle.



The midget submarine attacks and subsequent bombardments are among the best-known examples of Axis naval activity in Australian waters during World War II, and are the only occasion in history when either city has come under attack. The physical effects were slight, the Japanese had intended to destroy several major warships, but sank only an unarmed depot ship and failed to damage any significant targets during the bombardments. The main impact was psychological; creating popular fear of an impending Japanese invasion and forcing the Australian military to upgrade defences, including the commencement of convoy operations to protect merchant shipping.

SS Yandra was a coastal steamer converted to a minesweeper and anti-submarine vessel and commissioned HMAS Yandra. HMAS Yarroma was a channel patrol boat of the Naval Auxiliary Patrol fitted with depth charges. HMAS Kuttabul was a converted ferry.


Centenary of the formation of the WRNS:

In 2017 the Royal Naval Service is celebrating the centenary of the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS). It will also recognise the supporting role given by the WRNS to the naval service and acknowledge the transition made by women from the separate WRNS into the Royal Navy, and demonstrate the way in which the WRNS helped define the opportunities for women in today’s Royal Navy. The formation of the WRNS came at a fascinating time in our nation’s social history. Prior to the start of the First World War, the Suffragette movement had been lobbying the government for greater powers for women, but it was only as the war progressed that the role of women changed. By 1917 the Royal Navy was faced with a deteriorating manpower situation. The only option was for women to fulfil some of the shore jobs. The Admiralty decided to form a naval organisation for women, under the leadership of Dame Katherine Furse:

It became known as the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS). Previously Dame Katherine had been the Commander-in-Chief of the Voluntary Aid Detachments who had provided field nursing services on the Western Front and elsewhere. She was the ideal candidate to become the first Director of the WRNS; her leadership and example quickly set the tone of the new service.


It was not long before the members of the WRNS became known as ‘Wrens’, with ratings often affectionately referred to as ‘Jenny Wrens’. The WRNS motto was ‘Never at Sea’ as the initial intention had been to employ Wrens in domestic or clerical jobs, such as cooks, stewards, clerks, writers and telephonists. With manpower shortages continuing, the Wrens soon found themselves taking on many more unusual jobs. These included sail-making, driving, maintaining aircraft, signalling and coding. They positively flourished with their newly-found confidence and worth. Some were even lucky enough to find themselves working overseas in Malta, Gibraltar and Italy. At the war’s end in 1918 the WRNS had approximately 5,000 ratings and nearly 450 officers.

Competition to join the WRNS was very strong. Even after the National Services Act (conscription) was introduced in 1941, many women wanted to join the WRNS over the other Services. Like WWI, the aim had been to ‘Free a Man for the Fleet’ by offering the Wrens clerical or domestic jobs. But technology had moved on, and women knew they were capable of much more. New roles were offered such as Radio Operators, Meteorologists, together with sea-going Cypher Officers and Boat’s Crew Wrens. Demand continued to increase, with Wrens undertaking jobs outside the formal branch structures. Others found themselves working with the Royal Marines – a tradition that continues to the present day – while the Fleet Air Arm particularly sought Wrens out for supply or communications duties. Technical Wrens proved ideal for maintaining the Fleet Air Arm’s aircraft and the equipment carried on board.



Some made the ultimate sacrifice, with the greatest single loss of life being on 19 August 1941 when 21 Wrens, twelve of whom had served together in Scarborough, were killed while on board the SS Aguila, heading for Gibraltar. This group of cypher officers and wireless operators had been the first to volunteer to serve abroad. Sadly, the ship was torpedoed and all the Wrens plus a QARNNS nursing officer travelling with the group were killed.


In 1949, in recognition of the outstanding service provided by Wrens it was announced that the WRNS would be permanently established. Although it retained a separate disciplinary code, the WRNS became an integral part of the naval service, along with the Women’s Royal Naval Reserve (WRNR) formed in 1952. A regular force of 3,000 was retained on the understanding that women would be excluded from seagoing, flying and weapons’ training roles. Despite many of the roles undertaken during the War being placed back in the male domain of the Royal Navy, change was inevitable. In 1970 a female meteorological officer embarked in a helicopter support ship, where she provided advice to flying operations. This event was closely followed by air mechanics who went afloat to support the helicopter squadrons, with other mechanics later taking part in a ‘trial’ sea deployment.


Formal integration of women began in 1976 with female officer training moving from the RN College, Greenwich, to Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Five years later, initial ratings’ training moved from HMS Dauntless in Reading to HMS Raleigh, Cornwall, where they joined the men. By now, all women had been brought under the previously male only Naval Discipline Act. It wasn’t long before men and women trained together on their respective officers’ or ratings’ initial training courses. With everyone serving under the same Discipline Act, it paved the way for women to enter another area that had previously been the preserve of men: a major fleet establishment, HMS Mercury, welcomed its first female First Lieutenant in 1979. Eleven years later, a Chief Officer (Commander) was the first woman to take command of the Navy’s flagship shore establishment, HMS Warrior at Northwood. By now, changing employment expectations from both men and women was having an effect on naval recruitment.


The watershed moment for women serving in the naval service arrived in the early 1990s. The RN asked existing Wrens (officers and ratings) to volunteer for sea service; the first group joined HMS Brilliant in October 1990. Prior to the formal disbandment of the Women’s Royal Naval Service on 1 November 1993, women had already replaced their blue badges and stripes for the gold worn by the men. At disbandment, 4,535 women were integrated fully into the Royal Navy: their ‘supporting’ role had finally come to a proud end.





HMS Albion

The amphibious command ship HMS Albion has embarked her crew marking a major milestone in the ships multi-million-pound capability upgrade in Plymouth. Almost 350 Royal navy sailors and Royal Marines move onboard for the first time in almost six years, with the ship expecting to return to sea later this year. The 20,000 tonne ship has been undergoing a major package of work, dominated by an improved propulsion system and combat systems compared to her sister ship HMS Bulwark. The new combat computer ‘brain’ will manage the upgraded weapons and sensors, which includes a more capable surveillance radar and improved defensive weapon system



Maiden Sea trials:



On 26th June HMS Queen Elizabeth left Rosyth, where she has been under construction since 2014, with 700 sailors and 200 industry contractors on board and embarked on her maiden sea trials. Over the last couple of months, the ship’s company has been getting to know the ship which has been assembled in Rosyth as part of the £6 billion programme to deliver the two largest ever warships for the Royal Navy.


Two Royal Navy ships, Type 23 frigates HMS Sutherland and HMS Iron Duke, are escorting the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier as she conducts vital system tests off the coast of Scotland. Sutherland and Iron Duke, along with Merlin Mk2 helicopters of the Fleet Air Arm, are there to guard the seas as the trials of HMS Queen Elizabeth get under way.


Point to ponder!

Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.



That’s all folks;


Cheers aye – Ian 









HMS GANGES Victorian Division Newsletter – (Masthead 226)



Victoria Australia

Chairman: David Lines.   Secretary: Harry Harrison 54, Tamworth Road, Kilsyth, Vic 3137

Telephone Harry 03-9728-3200 mob. +61418809712 Email:rodneyharrison831@gmail.com



Chairman David Lines. Opened the meeting and Welcomed all.

Birthdays John Hannant, Flo Livingston Happy Birthday

Apologies Jean Rees, Phyllis Cunliffe, Flo Livingston, Sally Briscoe, Mary Stephens, John and Maureen Hannant.

Sick List. Phyllis Cunliffe is in hospital for tests we wish Phyllis the very best and hope all resolves in the positive.

A service to celebrate Tom’ Clarks life was held at Pakenham on May 16. There was a good attendance of Ganges members Chairman David Lines gave a good speech on behalf of the division also Mike Bennett Chairman RNA Port Phillip Bay Branch RNAwho served on HMS Kent with Tom.

Vale Tomas Bell Clark CPO Steward

04-06-1927 -09-05-2017

Ganges 1970-71

Tom was born on Tyneside the youngest in the family. In 1942 he joined the navy after three years he on again and in all served until 1972 a total of 30 years. He enjoyed his service and referred to the Queen as his boss. In the fifties he was stationed in the Solomon Islands during the Atomic tests. The ship he served on is unknown, it is known that HMS Cook was in the area during this time. Tom worked through the ranks and became Chief Petty Officer Steward. He was an instructor at Royal Arthur and also Tutor/Training leader Instructor at HMS Ganges from 1971. He was proud of the fact one of his students made it to Commander. It takes skill to impart knowledge to recruits to prepare them for service in the navy, Tom had this skill.In the 60’s Tom was stationed in Chatham at HMS Pembroke which Tom was really happy as his beloved wife Hillary and daughters Miriam and Jane where enjoyed time as a family travelling around the countryside and visiting local beaches. In 1972 Tom’s naval service ended.

In 1974 the family came to Australia. Tom came out to a job in the prison service as a warder at Pentridge Prison one of the toughest in the country, this job wasn’t to Tom’s liking so he left and became a security guard . They set up home in Pakenham where Tom’s liking for naval discipline was overruled by Hillary and the girls. Tom and Hillary enjoyed an active social life and were know for their dancing and their expertise for the “jitterbug”. Tom joined the Mason’s and was Grand Master of his lodge. They joined the Victorian Division of HMS Ganges Association and were active in the club until Hillary’s illness and then died. Without Hillary Tom was not as active socially until recently when he and his daughter Jane started attending the monthly meetings again. Tom enjoyed the meetings a Guinness and a tot and swinging the lamp on the senior’s table. Tom had a fall while putting out the rubbish ended up in hospital. Tom confided in David Lines the 20 minutes before his neighbour found him was the coldest he had ever felt. Tom was moved on from hospital to an assessment centre which Tom found acceptable. He was unfortunately assessed as  not able to return home to his unit and moved on to Yarraman an aged care facility. This was a small facility and has a happy environment and caring staff who did all they could for Tom. Tom was despondent at not being able to return to his unit and was never happy despite all efforts to make him welcome.  He died 9 May and no doubt will be jitterbugging with his beloved Hillary in the great ballroom of heaven. David Lines explained two things Tom requested for when David visited was bananas and Smiths crisps so hopefully in heaven there is a bannana plantation and a Smiths crisps franchise.

Our condolences to Tom’s daughter’s Jane and Miriam and granddaughter Emma.

Vale Tom Clark a true gentleman

Treasurers Report The Divisional general account stands at $3,483.23. An outstanding bill for the tribute to Tom Clark in the Herald Sun. Available monies $3,361.23

 Correspondence Bank Statements. Minutes from AGM and May COM meeting, Guzz newsletter. Out sympathy card to the Clark family.

UK Association  A successful reunion was held and next years is underway. Colin Gent was elected as Chairman our congratulations to Colin and the division wish him and his committee well and good counsel. The committee was also reelected How congratulations to them for the sterling job they have done and best wishes for the future.

General Business 1) The October get together. Rooms are on hold at Club Resort Mulwala. Thompsons Bus Line has responded to our email enquiry and suggest a choice of two tours to Rutherglen or Beechworth to date the favourite appears to be Beechworth. Both tours incorporate visits to wineries with Beechworth including a brewery on the itinerary. The line have a number of vehicles catering for the size of group. So to help us sort out details will all members interested inform us if they wish to attend once again the dates are 16th-20th. October. Contact details are in the letterhead. A program for activities are being formulated.

AOB  1) Mike Bennett  Chairman RNA:-A successful lunch on Sunday included a successful service to dedicate a plaque to honour and remember Jimmy Johnston from his family was held at the Remembrance Wall. It was most appreciated by his daughter Tia and family.

June 11th. birthday lunch will have a theme of a 50/60’s dance party. Those who wish may come in attire appropriate to the period. Entertainment will be provided by De JaVue and lunch catered for. For catering those wishing to attend please contact Mike.

Next Meeting Seven Bells (11:30) Wednesday July 26th. 2017

Regards – Harry Harrison

Thought for the month: – Good friends are like jewels of life. Difficult to find and impossible to replace

With the news reporting terrorist attacks in Manchester and London our hearts go out to all those who may be affected either personally or with family or friends involved, and we wish you the very best. To those victims killed may they find safe and peaceful harbours.To those injured may they be healed. To those traumatised by the events may they find peace. To all the division stands in solidarity in condemning such barbaric actions perpetrated by truly evil people. Let us all be steadfast in our condemning such actions. May we all find peace in these troubled times. Secretary Harry Harrison



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