GOSPORT BRANCH ANNUAL VISIT TO THE SUBMARINE REMEMBRANCE PARADE
(HELD IN THE GARDENS OF THE MIDDLE TEMPLE ON THE VICTORIA EMBANKMENT IN LONDON)
After an early start from Gosport, we travelled to the Victoria Embankment in our usual coach with our usual driver Tony. After a 30-minute stop at the Fleet Services for a quick breakfast we made our way to the Embankment where, despite a minor incident as we made our way into London, we arrived at the Embankment at about 10.30.
As usual these days a large number of both serving and veteran submariners were congregating in the Middle Temple gardens (see the photos page). Many of them had also attended the annual Memorial Service and Dedication of the Poppy Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on Saturday.
At about 11.50 we were fallen in facing the Middle Temple building. The parade included serving members and veterans of all ages from our youngest 17-year-old submarine trainee to a war veteran now aged one hundred years old.
Many families and friends who had made the journey were there to watch the proceeding.
The Royal Marine band had assembled a drumhead as the focal point for the following service of remembrance, A small group of Royal Marine bandsmen provided the music for the service.
After the National Standard had been marched on along with many SA branch standards and bearers the VIPs led by Commodore (Cdre) Paul Dunn, Commodore of the Submarine Service joined us and fell in facing the parade.
The very moving service of remembrance was then conducted by the Reverend Steven Dray RN, the Submarine Association Chaplain, with prayers read by the Reverend Mark Street, Chaplain for the Submarine Flotilla. During the ceremony there was a two-minute silence, wreath laying, and the reading of the roll call of all of the submarines lost.
Following the end of the service all of the wreaths that had been laid during the service were marched across the road by serving submariners and placed on the Submarine Memorial which overlooks the river Thames.
VISIT TO THE RNA CLUB UXBRIDGE (see the Uxbridge visit photo page)
As we left the Embankment, we travelled to the RNA Club at Uxbridge to the west of the capital for our regular visit where we had been invited for a DTS. This visit is a tradition that we have enjoyed for many years as a result of the generosity of the Chair, committee, and members of the Uxbridge RNA Club.
We were offered the usual tot of rum on arrival and were made very welcome by the members of the RNA. After a visit to the bar for refreshments we were entertained to some great music by the ‘Good Old Boys’ a duo of musicians who have entertained us on previous visits. A generous cold buffet was laid out for us and taken full advantage of as we enjoyed the entertainment and hospitality from the members of the club.
Sadly, we had to leave at about 16.30 for our journey home fed, watered and having enjoyed a tiring but amazing day. Roll on next year!