QARNNS Memorial .
Only 22 months after our visit to the NMA for the QARNNS Association AGM we were back there in July to unveil and dedicate the magnificent new Memorial stone and benches. The day dawned bright and clear and the trees in National Memorial Arboretum fluttered gently in the cooling breeze.
Sadly, our Royal Patron HRH Princess Alexandra who was to perform the unveiling was suddenly indisposed therefore unable to be with us. Sir James Hawley, Lord- Lieutenant of Staffordshire deputised for Her Royal Highness who sent her apologies and best wishes for the day.
After being welcomed by Mrs Ellen Seward Association Chairman the 120 guests saw Sir James unveil the inscribed stone and two curved benches. Mrs Sue Pyke read a passage from Ecclesiasticus and Rev. Angela Johnson, Chaplain to the Association lead the prayers. Short readings on significant happenings in QARNNS from the 1880’s to today were given by PONN Leftly, Mrs Jean Bailey, Mrs Maggie Freer and Lt. Scott.
The Venerable John Green Chaplain of the Fleet dedicated the memorial and PONN Gilbert lead the Act of Remembrance. We were privileged to have 2 Royal Marine Buglers to sound the Last Post and Reveille.
On completion of the ceremony Captain Helen Allkins, Matron-in-Chief, introduced Mr Chris Emery the Stonemason to the official party as guests made their way through the avenues of oaks to the marquee where lunch was served. Sir James and Lady Hawley spent the afternoon meeting serving and retired QARNNS and their families.
On behalf of the Service and the Association, Captain Allkins and Mrs Seward would like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to the raising of the funds, the support of serving colleagues on the day, the stonemason for his wonderful work and the staff of the National Memorial Arboretum for enabling this event to take place.
QARNNS Cummerbunds for Sale
Ladies and gentlemans cummerbunds for sale with embroidered QARNNS crest. £25 each, proceeds going toward the QARNNS Association. Please email for further details or send name, address, cheque payable to 'qarnns association' and waist measurement to: LNN M Batten, RCDM Theatres, Raddle Barn Rd, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B92 6JD. The photo on the right is of the embroidery.
Service of Remembrance 2009
On Sunday 8th November 2009, the QARNNS Association was represented at the Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph. Once again Una Winfield had undertaken the organisation, and 20 members attended. We were most ably supported by CPONN Helena Dawson, who did a splendid job keeping us in order and in step! It is marvellous to have a serving member in uniform, and we are most grateful to Matron-in-Chief for allowing this. Although the weather was overcast, the rain held off until after the ceremony. Lorraine Scaife presented the wreath on behalf of the Association. As ever it was a moving experience and we felt privileged to be able to participate. To view photos from the cenotaph click the Link1 and Link2
WESTMINSTER ABBEY Field of Remembrance 2009
The Association was represented on the 5th of November by members Irene Cowley and Rusty Woodruff, at the Royal British Legion’s Field of Remembrance service at Westminster Abbey. H.R.H., the Duke of Edinburgh was present and stopped to talk to Irene in front of the QARNNS Plot. For more details of this click here
Oldest QARNNS Member celebrates 90th Birthday with fundraising party
Mary "Paddy" Jackson celebrated her 90th birthday on 26th September 2009 a nd took the cha nce to raise funds for the QARNNS Memorial at Alrewas. The magnificent cake was made by two friends.
The Annual General Meeting of the QARNNS Association took place on the 26th September 2009 at the China Fleet Club, Cornwall. This photo includes Mrs Ellen Seward and Capt Allkins together with three nurses who gave a presentation to the AGM on their experiences on Op Herrick 9.
To read more about the AGM and view photos, click this link
Oldest Member of the QARNNS Association attend 2008 AGM
The oldest guest at the Association’s 2008 AGM was ‘Paddy’ Jackson (nee Padbury) who joined the QARNNS in 1944 (we believe!) seen left talking to the Matron-in-Chief. Paddy recalled that in 1946 she was sent to serve in Hong Kong and had the privilege to travel from Colombo on HMS Bonaventure (a Submarine Support vessel) with 4 holders of the Victoria Cross who had been part of the attacks on the Tirpitz in the Norwegian fjords. Puzzlingly when Paddy arrived in HK, the Matron advised she was ‘not on the agenda’ (over-quota?) and Padbury was deployed onto the ‘Empire Clyde’ to collect injured and sick POWs from mainland Japan. Back in HK, she remained with her ship until she left the service in June 1947 to marry a survivor of the Japanese occupation.
QARNNS Association and Remembrance 2008
The Association was represented at national events of Remembrance in November 2008. On 6th November, Alwyn Holt and Marilyn Jones attended the Royal British Legion Field of Remembrance service at Westminster Abbey. H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh was present and stopped to speak to Marilyn at the QARNNS plot. Some photographs are included of the event.
On Sunday 9th November 21 members of the Association marched at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. As ever it was a moving occasion, and a privilege to be present. The group was ably “controlled” by CPONN Gill Murray. It is extremely good to have a serving member present, not only to assist in keeping good order, but also as a visible reminder of the Royal Navy! We are most grateful.
There are some more photographs of the occasion on the website in the page QARRNS Association Gallery. It was good that we actually got a mention in the BBC coverage – and indeed one or two of our number were seen clearly on television!
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