HMS GANGES WA Division Hoist May 2018

G’day all,

This hoist will be a bit later than usual as I returned from the UK to find a lightning strike during a storm fried my modem and I am only just back on line, are well, thems the breaks!

Brian Thompson and I had a great trip, besides the Ganges Reunion we also managed to visit Shotley and Plymouth. We are booked in as the lamp swingers at our meeting of the 24th May so I will just include a couple of photos so as not to pre-empt the talk. However, the reunion itself was very well run and a credit to the Association, BZ to all involved.



Brian and I visited the Ganges site. This was taken by the security guard who should have kicked us out after we wandered in but took a photo for us instead. If restoration work isn’t commenced soon it will all be on the deck. During our chat he did tell us the Nelson Hall is also to be refurbished.


As stokers, whilst in Plymouth we got the opportunity to visit HMS Raleigh, although she was closed for Easter the gatekeeper allowed us in for a photo after checking with his superior. No idea what’s under the canvas covers either side of the figurehead.





Sausage Sizzle at Tony Smiths 15/03/18:


A great time was had at Tony Smiths whilst checking out his mast. The photo says it all. For other than members Tony Smith is 3rd from left in back row with camera.



Social Sausage Sizzle 22/04/18:

I was in the air when this was taking place but the reports are it was another successful outing.



Division Gatherings for 2018

Committee Meetings

3rd Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200

Fremantle Navy Club

Division Meetings

4th Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200

Fremantle Navy Club

Social Sausage Sizzles

4th Sunday of even month

Commencing 1200

Rockingham Navy Club

17th May 24th May 24th June RRNA
19th July 26th July 26th August Ganges
20st September 27th September 28th October RRNA
15th November 22nd November (AGM)
Annual Black Tot Day Lunch

1200 Wednesday 1st August

at Fremantle Navy Club

Christmas Lunch

1200 Wednesday 12th December

at Fremantle Navy Club


Ever wondered why ‘Tattoos’?

The word tattoo, or tattow in the 18th century, is a loanword from the Samoan word tatau, meaning “to strike”. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of tattoo as “In 18th c. tattaow, tattow. From Polynesian (Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, etc.) tatau. In Marquesan, tatu.” Before the importation of the Polynesian word, the practice of tattooing had been described in the West as painting, scarring, or staining.

This is not to be confused with the origins of the word for the military drumbeat or performance In this case, the English word tattoo is derived from the Dutch word taptoe.

The first written reference to the word tattoo (or tatau) appears in the journal of Joseph Banks (24 February 1743 – 19 June 1820), the naturalist aboard explorer Captain Cook’s ship the HMS Endeavour: “I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humour or disposition”. The word tattoo was brought to Europe by Cook, when he returned in 1769 from his first voyage to Tahiti and New Zealand. In his narrative of the voyage, he refers to an operation called “tattaw”.

tattoo is a military performance of music or display of armed forces in general. The term comes from the early 17th century Dutch phrase doe den tap toe (“turn off the tap”), a signal sounded by drummers or trumpeters to instruct innkeepers near military garrisons to stop serving beer and for soldiers to return to their barracks, and is unrelated to the Tahitian origins of an ink tattoo.

The tattoo was originally a form of military music, but the practice has evolved into more elaborate shows involving theatrics and musical performances.

RN Snippits:

The Royal Navy’s growth:

Technically the RN is growing, just not any larger than it was four years ago. Statements made by the government explicitly claim that the Royal Navy is growing, but are those claims accurate? Ministers often spoke in Parliament last year of “a growing Royal Navy” but official figures appear to disagree with those claims. According to the UK Armed Forces Equipment and Formations document released by the Government detailing statistics on vessels, land equipment and aircraft of the armed forces. It states:
“At 1 April 2017 there were 73 vessels in the UK Armed Forces: 64 vessels in the Royal Navy and nine in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). This is a reduction of three vessels since 2016 following the withdrawal of three RFA vessels: two Small Fleet Tankers and one Forward Repair Ship (RFA Diligence).”
It gets a little muddier though as Guto Bebb, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, recently responded to a written question in Parliament, outlining the fleet size. “Based on the records held, the number of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary surface vessels in each of the last five years was:

Year Number of Vessels
2013 78
2014 77
2015 75
2016 73
2017 72

This would appear to show a sharp decrease in hulls since 2013 and in the period when claims of “a
growing Royal Navy” were shouted from the rooftops however Bebb added that current planning will see the number of hulls in the fleet increase: “On current planning assumptions the number of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary surface vessels in the next five years is:

Year Number of Vessels
2018 & 2019 76
2020 to 2022 77


All this does however is highlight that the fleet size is only playing catch-up with where it was five years ago and even then, isn’t going to surpass the 2013 figure. Mark Lancaster, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, said: “For the first time in a generation, the Royal Navy is actually growing. It grew in manpower last year and will continue to grow over the next couple of years, and not just in manpower—the size of its surface fleet is also growing. The latest of the offshore patrol vessels arrived in Portsmouth only this weekend.”
According to the Defence Select Committee, the UK has a “woefully low” number of vessels. Chair of the committee Dr Julian Lewis advised earlier in the year that the Government risked leaving the country with fewer than 19 frigates and destroyers. “The United Kingdom will then lack the maritime strength to deal with the threats we face right now, let alone in the future. We are putting the MoD on notice that it must not let this happen.”
Additionally, Sir John Parker the author of an independent report on the National Shipbuilding Strategy, has indicated that the frigate fleet will fall below 13 frigates unless the Type 31 Frigate build starts soon,
something that appears unlikely for a project described by a minister as still in “early pre-concept phase”
with no design having yet been chosen.
Julian Lewis asked during a Defence Select Committee session on the National Shipbuilding Strategy: “So what you are saying—and this is a critical point—is that unless we start building the Type 31e frigates in parallel with the Type 26s, there is little chance of not reducing below our existing figure of 13 frigates all told. That, I must say, fits in with the projections I have seen and it follows from that, therefore, that we have to consider the best way of building two classes of frigates in parallel, rather than in succession.” Sir John Parker responded with one word: “Correct.”
In conclusion, the Royal Navy technically is growing if you can only remember as far back as a couple of years ago but this ignores that the numbers are playing catch up to where they were five years ago and aren’t going to exceed the 2013 fleet size. All the figures show is that the Royal Navy, overall, has shrunk in the last five years. (Source: SA’s Maritime News via UK Defence Journal)


BAE Systems Showcasing Type 31e Frigate Design for the 1st Time
At DIMDEX 2018, the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference currently held in Doha, Qatar, BAE Systems is show-casing for the very first time the proposed design for the Type 31e frigate competition in the UK. BAE Systems has brought together its warship design and engineering capability and combat systems expertise with Cammell Laird, the commercial shipbuilder, in a Teaming Agreement to bid for the contract to deliver Type 31e, the UK’s adaptable general purpose frigate.


A key part of the Type 31e programme is configuring the new frigate and its Combat Management System to be attractive to potential international customers. BAE Systems’ design of this highly capable multi-mission warship demonstrates the flexibility of the ship to meet all warfare roles. Using a flexible mission bay that can be reconfigured at short notice it can perform constabulary, disaster relief, maritime interdiction, counter-piracy and joint taskforce operations.


With a proposed top speed in excess of 25 knots and a range of more than 7,500 miles, BAE Systems’
design is equipped with some of the most modern and effective weapons systems available, and has been designed to operate in international waters, including the Gulf. It is capable of operating both independently for significant periods and as part of a task group, offering enormous value in bringing together allied maritime nations.
The Type 31e design being proposed for the UK Royal Navy will also feature an enhanced BAE Systems
combat system. Building on the pedigree of the systems installed across the UK Royal Navy’s fleet this
combat system will add enhanced features through its open, secure, flexible and extensive architecture,
ensuring it can be upgraded as new technology develops, adapting to ever-evolving threats.
Angus Holt, BAE Systems’ Type 31e Programme Director, said: “We are proud to be displaying our Type 31e design at DIMDEX, the first opportunity for international audiences to see this highly capable ship. Our Type 31e design builds on the proven design and quality of our ships, including Type 45, Offshore Patrol Vessels and the Khareef vessels delivered to the Royal Navy of Oman. It also draws upon the invaluable experience of our Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme, giving us the confidence that we are able to offer a highly advanced ship that can be deployed for a variety of purposes around the world”.
According to BAE Systems, the Type 31e will be a highly capable multi-mission warship, designed to deliver the full range of warfare from complex combat operations to maritime security and humanitarian assistance. The flexible mission bay means these ships can be adapted to support different missions within a short space of time. The ship will be equipped with some of the most modern and effective weapons systems available and will take full advantage of open systems architecture so it can easily be upgraded as new technology develops, ensuring it is adaptable to the evolving threats of tomorrow. It will be capable of operating independently for significant periods or as part of a task group. With the potential to accommodate sub-systems to meet individual country needs, the design offers enormous value in bringing together allied maritime nations. (source SA’s Marine News via Navy Recognition)


Type 31e


Point to ponder!

That’s all folks;

Cheers aye – Ian 







HMS GANGES Association AGM Minutes


Established 1982
Page 1 of 9
held at Mill Rythe, Hayling Island
14 April 2018


Colin Gent Chairman
Cliff Snelling Secretary
Phil Bridge Treasurer
Ken Bushnell Membership Secretary
Des Kerrigan Events & Standards
Charles (Florrie) Ford Certificate Secretary
Tony Willders Reunion Secretary
Shep Woolley Life Vice President
George Barnham

The Chairman, Colin Gent, opened the meeting at 10:00.
The National Standard (Tony Cooke), together with Standards from West London (Paddy
Minns), Dorset (Ray Fraser), Fulham & Chelsea (Glenn (Jacko) Jack), Shotley (John Yougman),
Solent (Alan Hudspeth), Devonport (Les Raspisson) and Mercantile Marine (John Clarke) were
paraded under Standards Marshall Des Kerrigan, and inspected by Eddie Seaborne and John
1. To remember those who Crossed the Bar
Mac Brodie, Life Vice President, stated that the Association had been notified of 134 members
who had crossed the bar since the last AGM. Standards were dipped as he read out the names
of the 27 Members who had crossed the bar since the last issue of the Gazette. A silence was
observed in remembrance.
Established 1982
Page 2 of 9
2. Chairman’s opening address
The Chairman, Colin Gent, welcomed everyone to the 35th Annual Reunion and AGM, and
acknowledged the presence of founding members and Life Vice Presidents Peter Taylor, Mac
Brodie, and Shep Woolley.
Colin thanked everyone for making the effort to travel the length and breadth of the country to
be here, and in particular those members who had travelled from abroad. He invited the
overseas members to come up and announce themselves.
Ian Critchley – Western Australia; Brian Thompson – Western Australia; Michael Kerr – USA;
Ken Marjoram – Canada; David Pegg – France; Colin Pearce – Jersey.
They were warmly applauded by all those present.
Colin said he was pleased to report to members on a very positive note. We, as an
Association, are now in an enviable position amongst the family of Naval Associations. We are
stable financially for now and in the future; we are still recruiting new members; we have a
first class website; we have attendance at many events, promoting the Association. Colin
thanked everyone for the terrific attendance at this Reunion, long may it continue.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the dedication and hard work, all given in
their own time, of the people sat at the table as your elected committee. Colin said members
would hear today, and hoped everyone would agree, of positive reports from each committee
member, and said he was very proud to commend them to the members. Colin said it
continued to astound him the personal time members of the committee give up to make sure
this Association thrives and he gave his personal thanks to each and every one of them, and
hoped members would too.
During the year Committee Meetings have been held in Shotley and Tamworth, both well
attended, with in the main positive comments afterwards, and Colin thanked all those who
made it happen. He said however, that the overriding decision as to the location of meetings
must be governed by the personal time, availability, cost and distance travelled by committee
members as, other than mileage, all other costs are borne by the individual.
Colin said that it is a fact that we continue to lose members as they “cross the bar”, sadly in
far too many numbers; unfortunately, with the gates of our “Alma mater” closing in 1976 it is
inevitable, as age takes it toll.
Tony Cooke, our National Standard Bearer, is a testament to that as he travels the length and
breadth of the country attending funerals at the request of members family’s and on behalf of
the Association. Colin said, let me add again, in his own time, continually supported by his
wife Pauline, sometimes spending a week away going from one funeral service to another.
Tony is of course supported by the divisional standard bearers and many of the members
whenever they can, and it brings great comfort and appreciation to the bereaved families. We
should all be proud of that.
Some members may be aware that on 25 May 2018 the new General Data Protection Act
(GDPA) comes into force. This legislates how organisations deal with the data they collect and
is a tightening up of the present controls, but mainly aimed at large businesses and charities.
We, as an Association, have a task to look at it, assess it, and see how the new legislation
affects us. We are already working on this, but let me assure you that HMSGA, in the way it
already conducts itself, is 98% of the way there. We may need to amend membership forms,
and send forms to members but when the Committee meets in May we will have formulated
what we, as an Association, need to do to conform to the new Act, and we will then notify all
Established 1982
Page 3 of 9
Colin said that towards the end of this AGM we would, he hoped, be welcoming a new
committee member to the team in Phillip (Topsy) Turner. Of course this means we would be
losing one of the most influential driving forces of the Committee and the Association in John
(Shep) Woolley who, he says, still has so many diverse things he wants to do and achieve.
No-one can deny the dogged determination, time and hard work that Shep has put into
making this Association, not only survive, but move on and go from strength to strength, both
in his tenure as Chairman and subsequently as a committee member, particularly in the
organisation of the Reunions and many other Association events. He will be sorely missed, but
as a Life Vice President Colin said no doubt Shep would be offering wise counsel where and
whenever needed. Colin said he would personally like to thank Shep for all the help, support
and guidance Shep had given him during his term as Chairman. A gift of a Bosun’s Call
mounted on a carved block of wood was presented to Shep.
Finally, Colin said he hoped everyone had a terrific weekend, renewing the comeradery of old
shipmates, and making some new ones along the way.
3. Minutes of 2017 AGM
The Secretary, Cliff Snelling, asked for a vote to approve the Minutes of the 2017 AGM. The
proposal was carried. There were no matters arising.
4. Association Accounts
The Secretary asked for a vote to approve the Association Accounts for the period 1st April
2016 to 31st March 2017. The proposal was carried.
5. Secretary Report
Secretary, Cliff Snelling, said that no correspondence has been received since the last AGM.
He went on to say that, whilst vacationing in the southern hemisphere at the end of last year,
he was fortunate enough to meet up with members from some of our Australian Divisions.
In Western Australia Jim Sharkey invited Cliff and his wife Christine to their meeting at the
Perth & Fremantle Navy Club. They were made very welcome by everybody, the meeting was
entertaining, and followed by a great lunch.
In Victoria David Lines and his wife collected Cliff and Christine from their hotel in Melbourne
and drove them to Langwarrin, where they had been invited to join the RNA for Trafalgar
Lunch. There was a special table for the Ganges boys, and they enjoyed good food, good
company, and a generous supply of rum. David then returned them to our hotel which was
very much appreciated as it was over an hour’s drive each way.
In South Australia Derek Ernst invited Cliff and Christine to join them for their meeting and
lunch at the Eagles Bistro in Adelaide. Once again they were made extremely welcome and
had a very enjoyable time.
At all of the meetings Cliff said he was asked to give a short overview of the state of the
Association and answer the many questions that were asked; this was generally well received
by all of the members.
Cliff said that he found that the members of the divisions he met were full of good cheer, and
still very enthusiastic and pro-active in their get-togethers, considering their advancing age
and the distances that many of them travel to attend meetings.
Cliff said that he and Christine were extremely well looked after and were made very welcome
at all the meetings they attended. It was a pleasure to meet some of our Australian members,
and finally be able to put faces to names.
Established 1982
Page 4 of 9
Cliff said that he had been asked by the HMS Ganges Association Museum to remind members
that the Museum AGM will be held next Saturday, 21st April, at 10.30am, at the Shotley
Sailing Club.
Don’t forget, the Museum would benefit from having more members – it’s only £5 per year!
Contact the Secretary, June Lawford-Randall, if you would like to join. Details on the Museum
6. Treasurer Report
The Treasurer, Phil Bridge, said that it gave him great pleasure to say to you that the
Association Funds are 10 times better than when he took over 7/8 years ago.
The Association has assets of £68,613.72, made up as follows:
Community Account £8,199.89
Reunion Account £44.63
Tracker Account £60,039.43
Petty Cash Box £55.93
Fixed Assets £342.30 (Laptop x 2 and Voice Recorder)
All figures correct as of 31 March 2018.
Major Income
Subscriptions & Donations £37,540.11 (£38,261.07)
Grand Draw £5,332.00 (£5,845.00)
Major Outgoings (above £500.00)
Gazette x 3 £13,267.76 (£13,792.46)
N.S.B Expenses £4,442.51 (£3,068.58)
Committee Travel £2,467.99 (£1,401.30)
GA Promotion Team £743.91 (£1,129.30)
Stationery/Postage £1,813.04 (£1,192.86)
Xmas Draw £900.00 (£900.00)
Membership Cards £1,139.09
Mylor Refurbishment £2,717.09 (£182.95)
Raleigh Medals £1,353.60
Charities/Donations £3,000.89 (£1,728.00)
Total Income £42,872.11 (£44,106.07)
Total Expenditure £40,963.46 (£31,748.20)
Figures in brackets are last year’s amounts
Thus, this year our profit over loss is £1,908.65
Phil thanked members for their support and trust, and also Liz Macleod and Dave & Ann Fagg
for their time in examining his books.
Established 1982
Page 5 of 9
7. Membership Secretary Report
The Membership Secretary, Ken Bushnell, stated that total membership is 2,423 and consists
of a number of facets.
Active Members 1250
Life Members 733
Associate Members 77
Lapsed Members 363
We have two categories of Lapsed Members:
1. Where Gazettes and correspondence has been returned to MemSec ‘Address not Known’
– 231 – mainly Life Members.
2. Where a member continues to pay the incorrect subs although they have been contacted
on at least three occasions, all to no avail – 132.
Lapsed Members do not receive the Gazette.
95 members CTB during the period April 2017 to March 2018. During the same period 46 new
members have joined the Association.
Ken stated that this was the 5th MemSec report he had made at AGM, which he said was an
honour and a pleasure. We continue to attract new members, and long may that last.
Ken said that, as at all reunions, joining us this weekend we have a number of ‘guests’ – family
and friends of Ganges Boys, and possibly some Ganges Boys who are not members of the GA.
He said he would like to extend the warm hand of friendship to those guests, and especially
the ex-Ganges Boys. ‘Come and join this fine Association, you are more than welcome’
A courteous reminder to members – when moving house of if you have any change of
circumstances, please inform the MemSec.
Ken said that MemSec Station would be in operation all day to receive subs, donations and
membership enquiries; come and say hello and maybe join the Association if you are not
already a member.
Finally, on behalf of MemSec and Co, Ken said he would like to thank his wife Annette who
contributes a great deal of work in assisting him, and further he wished everyone a fantastic
Reunion 2018 and hoped to see everyone again in 2019.
8. Certificate Secretary Report
Certificate Secretary, Florrie Ford, said that all who expected certificates in the evening could
they please check with him beforehand to make sure they were on the list. Also, photographs
would only be taken by the official photographer.
Florrie said that last September he was asked to instigate a Junior Award for young people who
get involved with the HMSGA. He said details had been published in the last Gazette. Florrie
asked that if any member knew of a young person who they felt was deserving of the award,
for example by helping a group of members or an individual, could they please let him know
and he would send them a certificate which they could present to that young person on behalf
Florrie said that ‘My Bessie Mate’ had visited the USA, South Africa, and Australia over the last
12 months, and this year it was his intention to visit all the local UK divisions.
Florrie also said that he was selling raffle tickets for a Rum Maiden which would be drawn on
Sunday evening. All the money raised would be going to Scarborough, for the Sea Cadet fund.
Established 1982
Page 6 of 9
9. Events & Standards Report
Des said that the bulk of this AGM 2018 Report was fully covered in the Spring Edition of the
Ganges Gazette, which he was sure that members had all digested.
He said he could only repeat his ongoing sentiment and say how grateful we are to all the
Standard Bearers that make the effort and turn out. Please remember these Boys that give up
their own time, both at Reunion and locally.
Attendance at Funerals throughout the UK by our National Standard Bearer, Tony Cooke,
supporting the Ganges Families in their time of grief, remains paramount. Paddy Minns, Alan
Hudspeth, Martin Wiltshire with other Local Divisions’ Standards and Des support where they
can which is all part of our Association’s being. Please remember that Des now holds a stock
of HMS Ganges wreaths, if a family specially request one for a member’s funeral.
Des said that Paddy is back up and running on all cylinders now and it is good to see him out
and about with the West London Standard. On a personal note, in spite of his recent Gazette
notification and due to unforeseen circumstances, Des said he will remain custodian of the
Mercantile Marine Division Standard until a willing volunteer steps up.
Obviously, Armistice Day and our Remembrance Sunday featured most recently for all of us,
with both local Parades and the Cenotaph at Whitehall being attended. The turn-out in London
was well supported, as always, with Shep and Topsy managing to keep control. The
Association was acknowledged by the BBC as being on Parade, but no mug shots this year!!
Des said that he was sure that no matter where in the world you were, your Ganges blazer
was worn with pride. Des and Susan went to Shotley this year to be with the Shotley Division,
remembering where it all started for us. He said it was an honour to join them and to carry
the Mercantile Marine Division Standard along with Tony Cooke, our NSB, John Youngman from
Shotley and others.
More recently, last month, 20 plus members, wives and partners travelled down to Falmouth
to once again take part in the anniversary parade of the St. Nazaire raid of March 1942. The
parade, and our Association’s participation in it, has now become an annual highlight for both
Falmouth Borough Council and the St. Nazaire Association, with our Association’s attendance
warmly welcomed. Our members were honoured with a Civic Reception on the Saturday and
full Parade participation on the Sunday morning, with the parading of the Solent Division’s
HMSGA Standard by Martin Wiltshire and the laying of our wreath by Shep. The Sunday
afternoon took us to out to Mylor to the Ganges Memorial and a very moving service in the
Mylor Church, with local dignitaries in attendance. John Clarke laid the wreath. Our thanks
must go to all who continue to keep our Mylor Memorial in such a fitting condition. We must
never forget our Boys who are remembered at Mylor. David Rye (Mousey) has submitted a
more comprehensive article covering the weekend for the Summer Gazette. Des thanked all
who supported the weekend; a great time was had by all, with the snow on Sunday doing its
best to cocoon everyone in Cornwall. Des thought that they were not too keen on us
The Site is still in the process of being cleaned up to commence development. Work has
started by McNicholas, the contractors, with the laying of pipework for drainage. Positive news
is that Full Consent has been granted by Babergh Council and it appears it is the Developers
that are dragging their feet. As previously indicated, once building starts and something like
130 properties completed, the developers are under obligation to commence some form of
Mast work. To that end, the indications are that TS Rigging Ltd of Maldon in Essex have been
appointed for the ‘Visual Restoration of the Mast’ and will shortly commence the three-phase
project. To date, they await official instructions from the developers. We are assuming that
the bulk of the work will take place on site at Shotley. Phase 1 will be to ‘Make Safe and
Document’; Phase 2 will be the ‘Restoration’; and Phase 3 the ‘Installation’. So it looks as
Established 1982
Page 7 of 9
though our Mast is going nowhere!! Joy to our Hearts. The Committee will monitor progress,
you have our assurance.
Des said that if members have any questions to please channel them though the Committee.
We would not want to antagonise the contractors with questions from all directions.
If there are ever any issues which you, as a Member, wish to discuss please feel free to call or
email Des, or indeed any of the Committee Members.
10. PR Team Report
Martin Wiltshire said that PR Team costs for 2017 were as follows:
Market Traders Insurance 50.00
Suffolk County Show
• Mileage 237.60
• Accommodation – provided by George & Carol Barnham
• Entry fee – paid by MoD as we are in the military set up
Weymouth Armed Forces Weekend
• Mileage 94.95
• Accommodation (2 nights) 276.96
RAF Northolt Open Day – mileage only 77.40
Total £736.91
Estimated costs for 2018 are:
Market Traders Insurance 57.00
Suffolk County Show
• Mileage 237.60
• Accommodation – provided by George & Carol Barnham
• Entry fee – paid by MoD as we are in the military set up
Weymouth Armed Forces Weekend
• Mileage 94.95
• Accommodation (approximately) 280.00
Martin said that at this stage they had not booked any other events as both he and Dave Cross
have other commitments. They felt that there was no point travelling to areas which have no
RN or HMS Ganges connections. Normal costs for County Shows are extremely high, plus the
further they travel the greater the mileage costs and the need for accommodation.
Martin asked if members could please let him or Dave know if they could suggest a place for
them to visit which would promote the Ganges message and of course, encourage ex-Ganges
personnel to sign up.
Martin said, as he had mentioned before, both Suffolk and Weymouth have proved to be by far
the most successful venues, attracting large crowds. The mini-mast and the albums are very
popular as many visitors have past family connections. One lady was thrilled to find her
uncle’s photograph of when he was a Divisional Officer as she had no other photographs of
him. The team have also managed to press gang new members into the Association. As
always Martin said they appreciate help from Association members. The Suffolk Show and
Weymouth are always well supported, and he thanked them for their help.
Established 1982
Page 8 of 9
11. Reunion Secretary Report
Tony Willders, Reunion Secretary, thanked everyone for attending, and said we had 410
attendees this year. He also thanked IOW Tours for their invaluable assistance in organising
our Reunion.
Tony said he would also like to thank the wives of the Committee Members who were running
the Table Top and Win your Weekend Raffles. He said that members may not be aware that
the money raised from these raffles provide a valuable contribution to the weekend’s finances,
providing extras which are financed outside of the main association accounts.
Tony reminded everyone that the weekend programme of events was as per their Daily
Orders. Members visiting Portsmouth Dockyard would enjoy a reduced entry fee on production
of their HMS Ganges membership card. For those members remaining on site various
activities were available, provided by Mill Rythe, and Dave Poyser would be organising the
Uckers competition during Saturday afternoon. This year special Ganges Association boards
had been commissioned for the event.
Tony announced that Reunion and AGM 2019 will be taking place at Gunton Hall on 12-15th
April. In order to undertake the various Reunion activities during the weekend we need to
ensure that we have sole exclusivity of a site. Several venues have been considered, and as all
came in at a similar cost, Gunton Hall was selected. Unfortunately, as Warners have not
increased their price to us over the last five years, 2019 would see the cost of the weekend
rise to £255 per person. Tony said he hoped members would appreciate the reason for the
increase. IOW Tours will once again be handling the bookings and arrangements on our behalf
as this negates the risk entirely should we not meet the minimum number of guests required
to break even, and would not, therefore, impact association funds. IOW tours will accept
Direct Debits or part payments throughout to year to spread the cost of the Reunion.
12. Address by Chief Scrutineer, Basil Downing-Waite
Basil Downing-Waite said that he had only received two voting forms from members unable to
attend AGM.
Basil read out each proposal, and asked members to raise their hands, For or Against.
3. To elect Phil Turner to the Committee for the electoral period as of 2018
This was carried unanimously.
4. To make an addition to the current Rule 11(b):
Anyone submitting a proposal for voting at AGM must attend or be represented at AGM,
and all proposals must be supported by a Statement of Rationale, explaining the reason
This was carried unanimously.
13. Mylor
Shep said that HMSGA donated some money to assist with the restoration of the church at
Mylor as they have been very accommodating to the Association with regard to the Mylor
Memorial. He encouraged members when visiting the Memorial to also go inside the church
where they can see the results of the restoration work carried out.
14. ‘Perky’ Mellow Award (Smartest Standard Bearer)
The Chairman said that this year the award was not only for smartness, but also for due
diligence during the last 12 months, and therefore was awarded to our NSB Tony Cooke. He
asked Shep Woolley to present the Perky Mellow Award.
Established 1982
Page 9 of 9
15. Chairman’s Closing Remarks
The Chairman said that the Committee believed that we should recognise those members who
give a great deal of their time and commitment to the Association, and who are not always
members of the committee. This year the Committee chose two members who they thought
deserved a special thank you, recognised with a small gift that acknowledges our appreciation
of their services to the HMSGA. Gifts were presented to Dick Lloyd, and to Basil DowningWaite.
Colin said he was nominating Florrie Ford for the Bone of Contention this year, because he
failed to keep track of our gnome, ‘My Bessie Mate’, who was AWOL for three months during
his round the world trip.
The meeting closed at 11:25 and ‘Up Spirits’ was piped.
Cliff Snelling
Hon Sec

Revised HMSGA Constitution and Rules

Established 1982
Revision 2018-19 Page 1 of 4
Constitution and Rules of HMS Ganges Association

1. Name
The name shall be HMS GANGES ASSOCIATION (“the Association”).
2. Aims
The Aims of the Association (in no particular order) shall be to:-
Hold a reunion for all members of the Association annually, and to promote links and maintain
Comradeship between all Members and to keep the “Ganges Spirit” alive.
3. Reunion Venue
The Committee shall decide upon the venue for each Reunion after taking into account the views
of the membership generally, particularly those regularly attending Reunion. Notice will be
promulgated in the edition of the Gazette and on the Association’s website immediately following
a decision being made as to date and venue.
4. Membership
(a) The membership shall comprise the following:
(i) Full Members – Uniformed personnel of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Women’s
Royal Naval Service and their reserve organisations borne on the books of HMS GANGES,
including those who served in HMS St George and HMS Bruce. New Members shall also be
required to pay a one off Joining Fee.
(ii) Life Members – As from January 2012 all members excepting existing Life members will
be required to pay an annual subscription as set by AGM on the anniversary of the date the
member joined the Association. Members who have acquired Life membership prior to the
above date will retain the privilege of not being required to pay an annual subscription,
unless they wish to do so.
(iii) Associate Members – Shall be permitted within the HMS GANGES Association.
Associate members shall not be entitled to vote on any issues within the HMS GANGES
Association. New Associate Members shall also be required to pay a one off Joining Fee.
(iv) Honorary Members – Such civilian members of the staff of HMS GANGES or other
persons whose services to the Association, deserve such recognition at the discretion of the
Committee. Honorary members shall not be entitled to vote in the elections of the
(v) Subscriptions – Association Members are required to pay an annual subscription for the
year, from date of joining. To be determined from time to time by General Meeting.
(b) Certificates
Certificates of 50, 60, and 70 years having expired since their date of joining HMS GANGES may
be awarded to members who formally request the same and have been members of the
Association for a continuous period of 5 years.
Established 1982
Revision 2018-19 Page 2 of 4
(c) Discipline
Any member considered to be guilty of conduct, which brings the name of the Association into
disrepute may, after enquiry by the Committee, be suspended from membership of the
Association. The matter shall then to be decided by Ballot of the Membership. Should any
Member have reason to have complaint against any fellow Member, a letter of such complaint is
to be forwarded to the Secretary for action.
(d) Termination of membership
(i) Resignation by a Member in writing to the Membership Secretary.
(ii) Any subscription remaining unpaid for a period in excess of 1 year.
(iii) Where the Committee passes a resolution of Suspension under Rule 4(c) and the
Membership so decides in favour of Termination of Membership.
5. Presidents and Vice-Presidents
The President and Vice-Presidents of the Association may be elected for life by the members at
the AGM. Nominees must conform to Rule 4(a)(i).
6. Management of the Association
The Association shall be managed by a Committee comprising of 4 Officers and 5 Members. The
Officers shall comprise of the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary.
(a) A vice-Chairman shall be nominated and appointed from within the Committee.
(b) A quorum shall consist of 5 Members of the Committee, one of whom must be an
(c) The Officers shall serve for a 3 year term commencing from the date of their election to
(d) The Committee Members shall serve for a term of two years commencing from the date
of their election.
(e) Officers and Members shall be eligible for re-election unless otherwise disqualified.
(f) Members of the Association, or such other persons as the Committee, may decide may
be co-opted onto the Committee for special purposes, but shall not have any right to vote,
unless specified otherwise at time of vote by a majority of the Committee.
(g) The Committee may appoint any Association Member to the Committee to fill a casual
vacancy as a Committee Member until the next AGM.
(h) Decisions at Committee meetings shall be taken by the vote of a simple majority. Every
full member of the Committee in attendance, excluding the Chair, shall have one vote. In the
event of equality of voting the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
(i) The venue for Committee meetings shall be held at locations as determined by
7. Duties of the Chairman of the Association
The Chairman shall Chair all meetings of the Association and Committee. He shall sign all
relevant documentation as and where necessary.
Established 1982
Revision 2018-19 Page 3 of 4
8. Duties of the Secretary
The Secretary shall:
• Be responsible for the general administration of the Association.
• Record the minutes of the meetings of the Association Committee and General Meetings.
• Any complaint about any aspect of the management of the Association’s affairs shall be made,
in writing, to the Secretary.
9. Duties of the Treasurer
The Treasurer shall:
• Be responsible for all funds of the Association, including the maintenance of Bank Accounts
authorised by the Committee, ensure, in conjunction with the Membership Secretary, that all
joining fees, subscriptions, and other payments due to the Association are deposited.
• Make payments as duly authorised by the Committee.
• Provide a full financial report, supported by Bank Statements at each Committee Meeting.
• Pay any amount liable to the Association up to £100.00 without Committee approval.
• Pay Travelling Expenses to Committee and any other member duly authorised where acting
on behalf of the Association at a mileage/rate agreed from time to time by the Committee.
• A minimum of 2 Association Members are to carry out a control check of the Treasurer’s books
before a full financial report is presented to Members at AGM for the immediately preceding
financial year ending 31st March.
10. The Duties of the Membership Secretary
The Membership Secretary shall:
• Report to the Committee with membership numbers and other related matters.
• Receive and bank annual subscriptions and joining fees providing full details to the Treasurer.
• Maintain a Master Database comprising full details of members, their service at HMS
GANGES and such other details necessary for the effective functioning of the Association.
11. Annual General Meeting “AGM”
(a) The AGM shall be held each year during the weekend of the Annual Reunion.
(b) Nominations or Proposals affecting these Rules or the management of the Association shall
be submitted to the Association Secretary no later than 31st December in any year. Anyone
submitting a proposal for voting at AGM must attend or be represented at AGM, and all
proposals must be supported by a Statement of Rationale, explaining the reason.
(c) A member shall be entitled to vote at any General Meeting provided that their name appears
on the Membership List maintained by the Membership Secretary on the immediately
preceding 31st January.
(d) The Treasurer shall present an audited financial report to the members at the AGM.
12. Voting Procedures
a) All proposals and nominations requiring a vote will be conducted at the AGM by those
members present by a show of hands.
b) Only Full and Life Members are entitled to vote.
c) Any member who is unable to attend an AGM can register to vote with the official scrutineer.
He or she will then be sent the relevant voting form by post or email. All returned forms must
include member’s name or membership number, and is the responsibility of the sender.
Established 1982
Revision 2018-19 Page 4 of 4
d) Where a member has been proposed and seconded, but stands unopposed for a position as
an Officer or Member of the Committee, NO vote is required and the said member is
therefore elected.
13. Local Divisions
The formation of Local Divisions in any particular area to promote and encourage comradeship
will be welcomed and reports of the activities of Local Divisions to the Committee or the Editor of
the Gazette will also be welcomed.
Local Divisions shall not be authorised to act in the name of the Association without the consent
of the Committee having been previously obtained. The Association shall not be responsible for
any financial obligation of any Local Division or any project supported by it unless this prior
consent has been obtained.
14. Ganges “Gazette”
The Association shall provide funds for the publication of a magazine at such times as the
Committee and the Editor consider appropriate. The Editor shall be nominated by the Committee
and approved by the Members. He shall hold office until resignation or the Membership shall
otherwise decide.
15. Extraordinary General Meetings “EGM”
An EGM may be called:
(a) By the Committee.
(b) By written notice to the Association Secretary to that effect signed by no less than 5% of the
membership entitled to vote.
Upon receipt of a Notice under (b) above the Secretary shall, within 14 days, notify the
membership of the Association of the date, time and place of the EGM being not less than 21
days thereafter. An EGM to be called only to deal with matters of an urgent nature which requires
action prior to the next scheduled AGM.
16. HMS Ganges Association Museum
The HMS Ganges Association Museum is an independent registered Charity managed by its own
Trustees. The Chairman of Trustees or his nominee shall be invited to attend all Committee
meetings of the Association.
17. Dissolution of the Association
In the event of the passing of a resolution to wind-up the Association any funds remaining after
the payment of all outstanding liabilities shall be donated to a naval charity decided upon by the
members in General Meeting.

HMS GANGES Victorian Division Masthead No 233

Victoria Australia

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

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



Chairman David Lines Opened the meeting and welcomed all. A warm welcome to Bill Agnew, Owen and Carmel Dingle


Apologies John and Maureen Hannant, Charles Jenkinson, Mary Stephens, Flo Livingston, Ada Barnard

CTB Ann Hillman informs us that Lizzie Evans wife of Geoff Evans Crossed The Bar. We have no details as there has been no communications with Lizzie or family of late.  Lizzie died in Townesville around July last year. Geoff and Lizzie were a popular couple at reunions and at divisional and RNA meetings. Vale Lizzie Evans.

Sick List.  Charles Jenkinson requires a hernia operation. John Hannant not feeling well. Our very best wishes to Charles and John

Treasurers Report.  Total monies in Bendigo Bank account $3,783.73.

Correspondence Bank Statement, Shotley Buzz 56.WA.Hoist. A letter and newspaper clippings from Jock Gardiner. Thanks Jock. All correspondence was tabled in hard copy.

UK Association. The reunion in the UK will be held next month. The present committee is standing for reelection with the exception of Shep Woolley. Phillip “Topsy’ Turner is standing for the vacancy.

The division wishes Shep all the best in his new ventures and BZ for a job well done. The Gazette has arrived and as always some very interesting articles. The division congratulates our chairman David Lines for the excellent article in the Gazette. BZ David

General Business:-

1) The Divisional Get Together: –  The first decision was do we hold a get together this year? The answer was in the affirmative.

2)  Where :- to hold the get together? There was discussion around the pros and cons of the various locations. The secretary moved that an elimination vote be held Carried

The locations Phillip Island, Lakes Entrance, Bright, Warrnambool, Mildura, Yarrawonga/ Mulwala, Moama  Cadell on the Murray.  Phillip Island attracted 3 vote 2; Warrnambool was awarded 2 votes. Lakes Entrance 2 votes awarded for John and Maureen Hannant as they live close by, Yarrawonga 0, Moama 7 votes. Phillip Island, Warrnabool, Bright, Yarrawonga, Mildura was considered too long drive, were all eliminated. It was considered that the excellent facilities at Cadell on the Murray and the fact it is the easiest drive from Melbourne, the meeting came to the decision that the get together will be at Cadell on the Murray at Moama.

Dates were discussed Chairman will contact Cadell and check availability from the Monday 8th. To Friday 12th of October. Stop press: – only dates available in this time frame are Monday 1st. -5th October. Chairman David has reserved 16 rooms with an option of extra rooms at the motel over the road. Anyone interested in attending please contact either Chairman David on tyabbhookman@gmail.com or HarryH on this address ASAP. We have already had interest from members interstate and NZ. Thank you

2) Chairman David Thanked Rick Clark for the excellent job of photographer at the kick off meeting. Ricks will inform us of the web page address. BZ Rick

3) As the FNMC will be closed on the 25th April which is our normal meeting day the next meeting will be held on Wednesday 2nd May 2018 and the May meeting on Wednesday 30th May. Secretary will email and call those without computers nearer the date.

AOB Harry Kime Harry informed the meeting there will be no ANZAC day activities at the club this year due to the majority of members were planning to march in the city as it is the centennial of Galllipoli. He advised members who do not wish to go to the city join up with the Frankston RSL.

2) Mike Bennett The RNA lunch for UK saints day was well attended and enjoyed by all.  Next lunch is second week in April 8th.  This lunch will be a Pussers brunch with bacon and eggs, Lancashire black pudding, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes “annigoni’s”

The May meeting will as usual will be on the third Sunday of the month 21st of May due to Mothers Day on the 14th. The June birthday celebrations are well in hand.

Chairman Thanked Joan Kime for an excellent lunch and Harry Kime for tending the bar.

There being no further business Chairman declared the meeting closed.

The next meeting is at Seven Bells *(1130hrs) Wednesday 2nd May. 2018*. At FNMC

Regards – Harry Harrison

Thought for the month:  Albert Einstein warned of the danger that technology would preclude personal communication in regards to this on a notice board outside a café in Mooroolbark “No we do not have wi-fi, talk to each

HMS GANGES Victorian Division Meeting Jan 2018

.          KICK OFF 2018

Kick Off meeting Sunday 21st January 2018, at the Frankston Naval Memorial Club.

We decided to have our catered Lunch out on the lawns, under the tree’s, like last year, as it had been a resounding success,  with  33/34/35 members and partners attending.   It was all one long table, enabling people to move freely.  We were fortunate that we can use either the lawns or the Clubhouse itself, dependant on weather, which toward the latter part of the meeting, we decided to have sweet inside, as the Humidity was extremely high, and it was becoming uncomfortable.  The comments from members regarding the catering were very rewarding, and who does not like Sticky date pudding, Pavlova’s and Fruit Salads with complimentary Creams and Custards.

A Happy Birthday to John Horner Drake 54

A toast was carried out, with the obligatory Pussers Rum for :Up Spirits” with the able Rum Bosun Harry Thacker, including wishing one and all a Happy New Year, and for attending thus helping  our Association stay alive.We do very well  in general, and I can only thank those that contributed to the raffle in donating prizes,  especially Ann and John Horner, who work in a Charity shop in Gisborne, bringing  down some of the most unusual prizes, Binoculars, watches, plates with ropes and anchors printed on them, Ann and John travelled 118kms(73.5 miles) to get here and then return, likewise one of our very senior members John Hannant and family travelled 125kms(77.5 miles) then return. A true commitment by one and all.

So we now move on to normal meetings, and the thoughts of our getaway, again in Sept/Oct, and to all our members please put your thinking caps on, Moama, Yarrawonga, Melbourne, Warrnambool, Lakes Entrance or anywhere else, as long as we have a  general consensus when deciding. Maybe the interstaters would like to have a say, considering the response last year to Yarrawonga, so please get those brain cells functioning.

Our thanks go to the FNMC for accommodating our Association. To Mark Kinder our associate member for tending the bar, and helping in other aspects, Gordon Canty for once again conducting a very successful raffle, of which the proceeds paid for the Entrée, to keep the cost of a catered lunch at a very reasonable price and Mike Bennett, Chairman of the  R.N.A. Branch,  for the Cheese platter, and our resident photographer Rick Clarke, our youngest member who also travelled 100kms(60 miles by public transport and return, B.Z. Rick

Other Items.

Wyn Agnew Apology.     Bill Agnew has been in Hospital and had approximately 25% of one lung removed, still awaiting results.

Charles Jenkinson in Peninsula Hospital, problem with the Heart Valve


What is a Matelot?

What is a Matelot? A matelot is someone who joins the forces for many reasons be it financial, emotional or following family tradition.
Once a matelot takes the Queen’s shilling; he or she becomes a member of an elite group of people.
A matelot will suffer hardship both physically and mentally so their fellow countrymen don’t have to. Make a matelot your friend and they will be a friend forever, make them your enemy and they will never forget.
To the general public, many believe a matelot is a cold-hearted, loud-mouthed thug in a uniform, but a matelot is actually, quite intelligent and has feelings and emotions like everybody else.
A matelot lives life to the full because at any time they could be touched by death.
A matelot will take the mickey and make jokes about any other armed forces they come into contact with but if these same forces require their help they will give it an 110%.
So to sum it up, matelots are loud-mouthed, arrogant, mickey taking, beer swilling, party-loving fools but they are also a friend, mate, mucker, comrade and brother and … I AM PROUD TO BE A MATELOT AND FRIEND AND BROTHER TO COUNTLESS MATELOTS …. ONCE A SAILOR ALWAYS A SAILOR……

“What’s it like in the Navy?”

To all those who ask “What’s it like in the Navy?
I left home before I was legally able to drive, I left my friends and family behind. I was greeted by screaming drill instructors at Ganges. I wrote my own will before I was legally able to drink. I learnt how to run, march, shoot, take another mans life, save another mans life and run some more! I stood in the canteen at meal times eating food as fast as it was out on my plate cause we had very little time to eat. Too tired even to think how bad the food was. I kept going, every day waking at 0600 hrs for the hard day ahead. I did PT everyday and ached in places I never knew I had.
I watched videos of people with shrapnel wounds and body parts missing! I made friends like you wouldn’t believe. I have laughed, cried and been in scrapes with these people. I have lost friends in conflicts in places that I didn’t even know existed. We didn’t get much sleep and even less pay.
We fight! We fight not only for our friends and family but for our comrade next to us!
So if you want to burn this nations great flag try putting yourselves in our shoes. Try defending it before you disgrace the men and women who defend not only the flag, but you and everyone else in this country. When I deployed I didn’t know if I would be coming back. What I did know is that I was proud to wear the uniform of this great country, and I, if given the chance, know that along with thousands of others, we would stand tall and shoulder to shoulder to defend this great country.
Question is,would I do it again if given the chance?, Absolutely yes, yes I bloody would, not for the medals or the pay, but for having stood next to heroes and called them brother.

HMS GANGES AGM dated 10 Jan 2018



Minutes of Meeting held at


Victoria Road, Tamworth B79 7HL



10 January 2018
Colin Gent Chairman
Phil Bridge Treasurer/Webmaster
Ken Bushnell Membership Secretary
Florrie Ford Certificate Secretary
Des Kerrigan Events & Standards
Tony Willders

George Barnham

Reunion Organiser
Shep Woolley Life Vice President


Observers: Carol Barnham, Ron Carr, Rita Carr, Len Green, David Cross, Stuart Turner,  Bob Mason, David Evans, Grassy Meadows, Dick Binch, Stan Moody, Shelly Punshon


Meeting opened: 1100


1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks

The Chairman thanked Bob Mason and RNA Tamworth for hosting the meeting.  He explained that after holding our last meeting at Shotley so people from that area could attend, it was felt that as Tamworth was in the heart of the Midlands as many people from the surrounding areas would be able to attend.  He thanked those who had attended from Colchester, Colwyn Bay, Tamworth and other parts of Staffordshire and the Midlands.


Colin said this was a working Committee meeting and he requested that observers not interrupt during a Committee Member’s Report. but that he would welcome their input after each Report. Colin said he also wished to thank all the Committee members for turning up and giving up their time to attend at their own personal cost.


2. Apologies

Cliff Snelling (Secretary) who had been due back on Sunday but was stuck in America due to the bad weather;  Phil (Topsy) Turner.


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 September 2017 at The Shipwreck, Shotley Gate, Ipswich had been posted on the Ganges website and sent out to Divisional Representatives; no comments had been received.  The minutes were approved as a true record and accepted.


Proposed: Phil Bridge (Treasurer)        Seconded: Ken Bushnell (Membership)


4. Matters Arising

  • Flags: Tony asked about ensigns for reunions. Shep will bring an ensign and Ken has a battle ensign and coffin cover; these will be available for Reunion.

Action: Shep Woolley/Ken Bushnell

  • Lectern: Currently in the Museum, Ron Carr will arrange to bring to Reunion.


5. Secretary’s Report

Colin stated that he would be giving the Secretary’s Report in Cliff’s absence.


  • Colin reported that the Secretary had received no further proposals for AGM. The only proposal on the table was the addition to Rule 11(b): ‘Anyone submitting a proposal for voting at AGM must attend or be represented at AGM, and all proposals must be supported by a Statement of Rationale, explaining the reason for the change’.

Proposed by Colin Gent (Chairman)      Seconded by Cliff Snelling (Secretary)

  • Phil (Topsy) Turner has volunteered to join the Committee. It was agreed that, subject to a favourable vote by the members at the AGM, he would join the committee then.

Proposed: Des Kerrigan           Seconded:  Cliff Snelling

  • Shep indicated that he will stand down at the AGM. There was nobody up for re-election this year so there would be no other changes to come at AGM.


Colin reported that in the last 3 or 4 days he and other members of the committee had received a number of emails from the Secretary of the Midland Division about the meeting being held in Tamworth and not at the Midlands Division venue in Birmingham. He accepted that he had previously indicated that a meeting would take place there, but said he would always be governed by the democratic decision of the committee, their commitments, travel restraints and availability. On this occasion, that had been to hold the meeting in Tamworth RNA.


He was very disappointed that he and the committee had been accused of sitting in an Ivory Tower and pontificating and hoped he was not pontificating now. To the contrary he felt that he and the committee had continued to work very hard to communicate, promote, and maintain a stable platform for the Association.


He was very pleased to see members attending from as far as Colchester, Colwyn Bay and other parts of Staffordshire, but was disappointed, that despite a Midlands division meeting the previous day, only one member was present.


He stated this committee has always acted without derision, but with a common theme of putting the association and members first. He went on to say, all the jobs on the Committee are open if anyone wants to take over a position on the Committee including his, the current members would be happy to stand down.


Colin accepted that notwithstanding the date, time and location of the meeting being put on the website there were more avenues where it could and should be promulgated.  On the Secretary’s return from his world tour he would ensure communication of committee meetings would be better advertised.


Shep said when DD ran the Association, committee meetings were held in GH house in Birmingham, but never went around the country. He had spoken at length to him since he had been reinstated as a member.


6. Treasurers Report

Phil Bridge said that, as normal, the Committee members all had copies of bank accounts and his Profit/Loss spreadsheet in front of them – please look at them!  He went onto to say that he would like to remind members that the Committee did not claim accommodation expenses for their visit to Tamworth; their stay at the Travelodge was self-funded by committee members and only fuel would be claimed for.

He advised that the Association were financially very sound and his responsibilities are for a total of:  £69,135.46 made up as follows:

Community  Account:     £8,696.26        Reunion Account:              £100.08           Tracker Account:            £60,009.51

Petty Cash:                            £55.77

Fixed Assets of:                    £273.84


All figures were correct as of 9 January 2018.

So far this year our income amounts to: £34,714.61, our Running Costs amount to £32,339.67, thus indicating a year profit of £2,374.94.  You will note that we are now getting SOME interest on our saving account! Phil’s predictions are that at AGM 2018, he will be reporting another Profit over Loss of some £5,000 approximately.

Since the last Committee Meeting the Association had received two donations from CTB’s amounting to £281.10.

He advised that the Grand Draw was struggling a little compared to this time last year, so far income has been £3,527.00. Taking account of costs involved, profit to the Association is £1,208.60.

There have been no extra outgoings other than those reported at the last Committee Meeting.

Phil advised that we had spent a lot of money this year:

  • The work at Mylor – which had looked very good on Remembrance Sunday
  • The medals for HMS Raleigh – 3000 had been purchased at a cost of £1,200 and 4 would be given away each week to the two class leaders and their deputies of the Ganges Division. Sir James  Burnell-Nugent, our Chairman, will take the salute at some point next year and Chairman and Treasurer will also be invited.  
  • Florrie asked if a leaflet could be devised to be given out with the medals detailing the history of HMS Ganges. Dave Cross from the Promotional Team advised that they already had a leaflet giving this information. Dave will send a copy to Florrie to see if it needs updating and then look at how to take this forward.  To bring back to next meeting. Action: Dave Cross/Florrie Ford
  • New membership cards – new cards were 38p each. There will be a notice in the next Gazette asking those who want a card to send a SAE to either the Treasurer or Membership Secretary.
  • In answer to a question from the floor it was explained that the card could be used to gain entry to the Portsmouth Dockyard for £10, also to get a discount when making a booking at the Home Club. There was also a possibility of it being used for other discounts.

The Treasurer received a vote of thanks from the Observers.

7. Membership Secretary’s Report As at 8 January 2018


Active Members 1262
Life Members   753
Associate Members               78
Lapsed   355 (202 Life Members)


Crossed the Bar   36
New Members   17


Membership Secretary, Ken Bushnell advised that all the above stats were since the last Committee Meeting at Shotley in September 2017.  However, whilst looking at 2017 as a whole we have lost 99 members CTB but encouragingly we welcomed 61 new members to the Association.  This at a time when other Associations are folding due to lack of membership.  He thanked the Promotions Team and also said that the website and just word of mouth contributed to new members joining the Association.


Once again Ken paid tribute to our Life Members who continue to contribute by way of donations which he assured makes a huge difference to our finances.


8. Events and Standard Report

Des Kerrigan said as always we are deeply grateful to all the Standard Bearers that make the effort and turn out.  Please remember these Boys that give up their own time, both at Reunion and locally.  Attendance at Funerals throughout the UK by our National Standard Bearer, Tony Cooke, supporting the

Ganges Families in their time of grief, remains paramount.   Paddy Minns, other Local Divisions’ Standards and Des himself support where they can which is all part of our Association’s being.  Please remember that Des now holds a stock of HMS Ganges Wreaths, if a family specially request one for a Member’s funeral, just shout.  Des advised Paddy was back up and running on all cylinders now and it is good to see him out and about with the West London Standard.

Obviously, Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday featured most recently for all of us, with both local Parades and the Cenotaph at Whitehall being attended.  The turn-out in London was well supported, as always, with Shep and Topsy managing to keep control.  The Association was acknowledged by the BBC as being on Parade, but no mug shots this year!!   Des said he was sure that no matter where in the world you were, your Ganges blazer was worn with pride.  He took himself and Susan up to Shotley this year to be with the Shotley Division, remembering where it all started for us.  It was an honour to join them and to carry the Mercantile Marine Division Standard along with Tony Cooke, our NSB, John Youngman from Shotley and others.

The Shotley Site – As previously reported the Site is in the process of being cleaned up to commence development.  Work has started by McNicholas, the contractors, with the laying of pipework for drainage.  Good news has just reached us; the Mast is on the move!!…………Well to assume the horizontal in Nelson Hall, at least.  As previously indicated, once building starts and something like 130 properties are completed, the Developers are under obligation to commence some form of Mast work.  To that end, TS Rigging Ltd of Maldon in Essex have been appointed for the ‘Visual Restoration of the Mast’ and will shortly commence the three-phase project.  We are assuming that the bulk of the work will take place on site at Shotley.  Phase 1 will be to ‘Make Safe and Document’, Phase 2 will be the ‘Restoration’ and Phase 3, the ‘Installation’.  So it looks as though our Mast is going nowhere!!  Joy to our Hearts.  Your Committee will monitor progress, you have our assurance. We ask that if there are any questions you have to please channel them though your committee. We would not want to antagonise the contractors with questions from all directions.


If there are ever any issues which you, as a Member, wish to discuss, please feel free to call or email Des or indeed any of YOUR Committee Members.


The news regarding the mast was very welcome and is a credit to Des and Shep who have liaised with the developers at all times.


Shep pointed out, on Des’s behalf, that the Association needed somebody to take over the Mercantile Marine Standard.  Another Standard Bearer is needed!  Des has attended funerals all over the country and was applauded for his commitment.


Florrie felt that the Committee needs to make everyone aware who is in charge and what their responsibility is when on parade.


9. Certificate Secretary’s Report

Florrie Ford, Certificate Secretary, reported that 2017 had been a very busy year for Certificates, he has presented one 80th in Sunderland and 43 at the AGM.  Also, Certificates have been presented outside of the AGM – Solent, Essex Peninsular, Shotley Committee Meeting, West London, Scarborough Reunion and to some members’ homes. Florrie had also been asked by some members if they could have a replacement, which he had provided at a small cost.  So far for the AGM this year 28 Certificates are to be presented and this will increase by the time of the AGM.  The Certificate presentation at the AGM will be at the Saturday evening quarters by the Admiral only.


Florrie commented that photos at the AGM have been a bit of a problem as many recipients wanted photos with the Admiral. Ron Dorry will take individual photos as the Certificates are presented and Florrie would like a group photo on completion of the presentation, ie a Class Photo.


He advised that if a member would like a certificate presented at the AGM he would require all requests by the 31 March and said could all those members who have requested a Certificate at the AGM check with him to ensure they are on the list.


Junior Elephant Award – Florrie explained how the award had come about.  He had been asked if he could sort out a certificate for a young lady, Hollie, granddaughter of Crash Evans.  Hollie had helped Crash look after the Victorious Bench and more recently the Murray Dunlop Bench.  The Victorious Association had presented her with the Victorious Powder Monkey award.  So Florrie had come up with the Junior Elephant Award to make Hollie feel a bit special and for something different to take to school.  He had also been told of another young lady who was doing a kindness to another Ganges member and this award was presented at the Scarborough Weekend.  He thanked Barbara Heyward and family for their support.  The story of Hollie was in the Navy News in December and highlighted the Association’s gratitude to youngsters who show the ‘Ganges Spirit’.


Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity – Florrie and his lady Shelley attended a presentation to the RN/RM Charity at Trinity House, London in the presence of Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.  A short speech was given by HRH in which she praised the charity’s supporters and emphasised the importance of the Naval Service.  The Chief Executive, Robert Robson OBE said the supporters were the lifeblood of the charity and without the help of the fantastic volunteers the charity would cease to exist.


The Ganges Association was the only Association to attend.  In conversation with Princess Anne it appeared she was fully aware of HMS Ganges – the present and past First Sea Lords commented it was the largest single Naval Association under one cap tally!


My Bezzie Mate – Florrie informed the Committee this went from AGM to America, it went AWOL on the way to South Africa but was then sent to Australia and was now in Western Australia.  He was hoping for it to be returned for the AGM.


10. Webmaster’s Report

Webmaster, Phil Bridge, said we are now close to 850 members online! The website has been running for some 5 years and the domain hmsgangesassoc.org is due for renewal. Having our own domain is best and this one was set up a few years before we made the new website, so Phil intends to continue ownership of this domain. It is an American company and the renewal cost is $300.00 (£220.00) for a 5 year period, a good deal in Phil’s opinion.


There are some problems on the website at present, these involved uploading photos from various systems, iMac/Windows 10, and storage space on our server.


Phil has renewed our domain and paid with his own credit card and has been reimbursed by the Association.  He is also getting our tech boys to carry out an update check on the website, this will involve about an hour’s work (£80-£100).  In general the website still plays a major role in communication amongst members.  The website is supported by HMSGA funds and donations from new members.


Phil said that if Members saw the names Barbara and Theresa on the website these are Barbara Hayward (Ivan’s wife) and Theresa is Rockie Rockets daughter, and her son is a serving member of the Royal Navy and an Association member also.


There was a vote of thanks from the Committee to Phil for fantastic work on the website.


11. Museum Report from the Secretary, June Lawford-Randall

Museum volunteers were pleased to receive a visit recently from the High Sheriff of Suffolk who enjoyed looking around the museum and talking to volunteers to find out more about the museum’s origins and collection.  We were all delighted to see our Treasurer, Mrs Sheila Wilson, receive a certificate of commendation for her dedicated service of more than 10 years.  During that time Sheila has been invaluable to all-comers with her knowledge, advice and support to new volunteers and she has contributed immensely to the special annual displays, not to mention her skills as treasurer, keeping the accounts in good order and demonstrating her commitment by travelling for 2 hours each way by bus!


The visit by the High Sheriff of Suffolk, Geoffrey Probert, was a very timely one as we were also joined by the committee of the Stowmarket Royal Naval Association who had held a fundraising event in favour of the museum.  A cheque for £357 was presented to, and gratefully received by, museum chairman, Derek Davis.


Repeating some of the items in our recent Newsletter to members, we can at last report good news regarding the iconic HMS Ganges mast after planning permission was granted to the developers of the site to remove the mast for it to be repaired and restored to its former glory.  The bottom part of the mast will stay in situ, while the main body will be taken down and stored in Nelson Hall during repairs.  Much of the spar work and the rigging will be carried out at Chatham dockyard by specialists based in Burnham.  The news has been welcomed not only by residents, who recognise the significance of the mast, but also by former trainees and civilians who worked at the site in Shotley Gate, Suffolk.


The infamous, Faith, Hope and Charity steps is another feature remembered by every former Ganges Boy.  The steps were uncovered recently by builders working on the 12 apartments being built next to the steps by the marina road.


With our 2017 special display having been dedicated to the WRENS the served at HMS Ganges from the World War Two days, when Ganges was a hostilities-only base, the year also marked the centenary of women being allowed to serve in the armed forces and the Women’s Royal Navy Service (WRNS) was formed.  The forthcoming special display will be the U-Boat surrender and 2018 Commemorations.  The museum would be pleased to receive any photographs, memories, or relevant old papers to enhance the display.


Once more the items being donated to the museum are proving interesting, as are the stories behind them.  The museum took delivery of an ensign, originally from the Royal Yacht Britannia, therefore unique in its size.  Also, found in a box of miscellaneous donated items was a real gem – a Christmas tin gift pack sent to all troops in 1914 which for some included cake, cigarettes or chocolate which was a royal treat from Her Majesty Queen Mary and King George V including a Christmas card and message.  The items in the tin now in our collection included one sealed and one opened packet of cigarettes, so a very personal link to the time, and these items are already on display.  The most recent donation was a plaque, originally donated to Babergh District Council to mark the base closing in 1976.  The plaque was handed to museum chairman Derek Davis and is now due to be displayed.


Are you thinking of planning a visit to the Museum? If so, please ensure that we will be open when you visit as we are closed during the colder months.  The museum is open on weekends and Bank Holidays at 11am, closing at 5pm, between Good Friday and the end of October.  Contact the Secretary on 01473 788723 to arrange a visit at any other time.


Without volunteers to man the museum between Easter and the end of October each year we would simply have to close.  Huge thanks go to all the volunteers who give up their time, whether for a day, a weekend or longer and we hope you can spare us more of your valuable time again.  For new volunteers wanting to join the team, training is given and you would be paired with more experienced openers.  If you have any younger family members who are interested to attend with you, they would be most welcome but kindly check with us first. The Shipwreck can now provide accommodation above the museum at very reasonable costs for those travelling long distances. Please contact either the museum chairman or secretary for more details.


Should you wish to become a member of the HMS Ganges Museum contact us for more details about the

£5 annual membership.  Forms can be sent to you direct by email or by post if you prefer.  Contact the

Secretary, June Lawford-Randall, on 01473 788723, by email at juneelawford1@hotmail.co.uk or write to Mrs Sheila Wilson, The Treasurer, HMS Ganges Association Museum, Shotley Marina, Shotley Gate, Suffolk IP9 1QJ.


Dates for 2018

Volunteers’ Training Day:                    Saturday 10 March

Seasons Opens:                                 Good Friday 30 March

Annual General Meeting:                     Saturday 21 April

Season Closes:                                  Sunday 28 October


Des commented that he will continue to provide a report on the Shotley site even though the museum may have different information.  He said how the Association and the Museum work together and interaction is working well.


12. Promotion Team Report

Dave Cross from the Team reported that they would be attending the Suffolk Show on 30/31 May and

Armed Forces Day in Llandudno on 31 June.  Martin Wilshire is intending to resign at the end of the year.  Florrie asked if there were any plans to bring the Team to the North.  Dave said they would consider any venues put forward.


13. Reunion 2018 Update

Reunion Organiser Tony Willders advised that we had 415 confirmed bookings and this may rise before April.  He advised that:


  • The Ganges Membership card will get you entry into the Dockyard for £10. Tony to contact Dockyard to clarify what attractions in the Dockyard are included.
  • The Admiral has been invited and will be presenting the Certificates following Saturday evening quarters
  • He will update Daily Orders and correspond with Shirley from IOW
  • There was no need for a pre-meet before reunion. He would be meeting with Shirley at the end of March if anyone else from the Committee would like to come along
  • Reunion will start from Friday lunchtime, the Committee to meet at Mill Rythe at 9.30 am to put up final touches.
  • Those Committee Members who have far to travel to come on Thursday night. and IOW will advise what accommodation is available. Committee members to advise Tony if accommodation required and any cost will be at their own expense.   Action: Tony Willders
  • Shep advised that he had a Pipe and Drum band available for evening quarters and the Committee agreed that they would pay £250 for the band. Action: Shep Woolley
  • It was also agreed that longevity awards would be presented to Dick Lloyd and Baz Downing-

Waite (with a bouquet for Val) at the AGM. Action: Tony Willders

  • Bishop Bomber Mills, who is officiating at the Church Service would receive £100 for this service.
  • Cadets have received £200 in the past – Tony Crisp and his cadets to be invited; if unavailable (Tony has been having health problems) Shep has another bugler and cadet unit who would stand in. Bugler would be paid £50.  Action: Shep Woolley
  • Shep to email order of service. Action: Shep Woolley


Shep also advised that the bell which had been presented to Lisabeth, our Chaplain, will now be resited by George Barnham next week and fixed by Alan Hudspeth.


14. Grand Draw Update

George Barnham said that the sale of tickets was going well although he wished people didn’t put ‘ditto’ on their tickets as it meant he and Carol and to fill them in!!!!  It was expected that more tickets would be sold at the Reunion.


15. Any Other Business

  • The Chairman thanked Annette Bushnell for stepping in and taking the Minutes in the Secretary’s absence.
  • Mylor Church – Shep said we could not have done what was done at the Mylor Memorial Garden without the help of the vicar. There is an appeal ongoing for the repair of the church, and would the Association consider a donation?  After further discussion it was agreed that an initial donation of £500 would be made, to be presented at the St. Nazaire commemoration in March.

The fund will be monitored and a further donation may be made if needed.

  • Field Gun Training School – Dave Worrell had set up training with 25 schools in Devon using field-gun to help and encourage children’s wellbeing. It was agreed that Dave should send his proposal plan and then the Association will see what support we may give.  It was felt that we should see what support other organisations were giving before committing ourselves.

            Action: Shep Woolley

  • Nazaire Commemoration Falmouth – Des was aware that some members of the Solent Division were attending and he would put names forward of anyone else who would be attending.
  • Florrie informed the meeting that he was getting married on 26 May and all were invited.
  • Phil had received an email from John Youngman that Jim Gitsham had resigned as Chairman of the Shotley Division due to ill health. The new Chairman is John Adams who has taken over immediately.  Jim has also had to give up organising the scattering of the ashes on Remembrance Sunday and this has now been taken up by John Youngman of the Shotley Division – Contact: 01206 298873 email: johnyoungman@tysours.plus.com.
  • Ivan Haywards Bench – Following Ivan’s passing money had been raised at the Scarborough weekend for a memorial bench made by Stan Moody. Stan passed round a photograph of the finished bench.  This will presented to Ivan’s wife.


16. Chairman’s Closing Remarks

Colin said he was glad we had come to Tamworth, hospitality had been great and he hoped observers had enjoyed themselves and thanked them for their attendance.


A tot had been presented by RNA Tamworth and the Chairman asked everyone to ‘Up Spirits’ and observe a minutes silence for absent friends.


  1. Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held at RNA Uxbridge on 9 May 2018 commencing at 11:15am.



Meeting closed:  1410

Vale Jean Rees

I regret to say that I have just received a phone call from Jean Rees’s, son-in-law that Jean Crost The Bar last Saturday. The funeral details is for Friday 5th. January at 10:00hrs. at St Thomas’s RC church 313 Canadien Bay Road Mount Eliza.
                                       Vale Jean
                    Regards HarryH
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