Royal Naval Association - Aquitaine Branch
Copyright RNA Aquitaine © 2020 All Rights Reserved
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RNA HQ advise us that if we want to open the monthly RNA "The Semaphore Circular" click on:

The RNAHQ monthly newsletter is now published on the internet, and is always worth a quick look.

Your RNA card will get you a £10 ticket for the RN/RM museum sites in Portsmouth and Gosport, and £10 each for up to four family members.

The RNA centrally have decided to have a review, on cancelling our subscriptions to RNA HQ centrally. - These have been at a cost of £7.00 per member per year. There is going to be a Zoomed meeting, before Christmas. to discuss it, Ken will try to join it. The aim is to cut the continuous drawdown in RNA membership. I am unsure precisely how the RNA proposes to fund itself! They do, however, hope each branch will make an annual donation.

This also means that for the moment we will NOT be asking for our Aquitaine Branch members to pay annual subscriptions.

For those who have already sent their cheques we will just hold on to them until we see the way forward.
Luckily for us we have not had any reports of Covid amongst the Shipmates here in France, although John Roberts mother who was in a home in Yorkshire, has the disease.

If anyone here needs assistance, please contact Ken Napier at once, many of the shipmates have offered their support if required.
Sadly we have had four crossings of the bar this year.

John Hudson received his 100th birthday present from us all, but sadly died 2 weeks later in February back in Britain. John was the cipher officer in HMS CUMBERLAND, in the Falklands, heard the Battle of the River Plate going on between EXETER, AJAX and ACHILLES and Graf Spee: The Captain promptly sailed CUMBERLAND, who arrived off Uruguay in time to see GRAF SPEE scuttle herself. John went on to serve in North Africa, and Italy, earning a Mention in Dispatches. Later as a member of the judiciary he served in England.

Don Pike was the Admiral's Secretary in the Royal Yacht, having served in several ships as a member of the Supply Department. He went on to qualify as an interpreter in Japanese, and worked in a number of ships operating off Japan. Don was our Treasurer.

Pat Barron has also crossed the Bar, he was the CO at Dundee RNR and enjoyed being CO at sea in the Ton Class tender. Pat lived in the summer months in his barge, cruising up and down the French canal system. Sadly his boat was too big for the Canal du Midi.

Yolanda Minter, Mike's wife sadly died last month. She, along with Mike, was a staunch supporter of the RNA from the outset of our Association.

There is no further update for SSAFA events.
We joined the RNA by visual link when they celebrated Nelson's death, on 21st October 1805, onboard HMS VICTORY.

A number of us - separately - raised a toast to the 'Immortal Memory of Lord Nelson'.
Photo from the RNA HQ Site, a full description of the event can be found here: 2020-on-board-hms-victory/
The Autumn and winter period, has seen the Ship alongside in Portsmouth, playing an active role in the Royal Navy's preparation for its Year of Experimentation in 2021, as well as supporting Defence Engagement events.

In support of the Royal Navy's Year of Experimentation 21, which will prove to be the underlying theme of our period at sea in the New Year, the Ship has played host to a number of cutting edge Uncrewed Ariel Vehicles, or 'drones', taking center stage on our vast flight deck, as well as surface and sub-surface capabilities which will revolutionise the future Royal Navy into a modern and cutting edge fighting force with PWLS at its core.

The Ship also provided the backdrop for the 1st Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, to unveil to the media his vision for the Royal Navy going forward into the Government's Integrated Review. Positioning us as a Global Navy for a Global Britain, this included showcasing both current and near future service capabilities alongside industry partners demonstrating what emerging technologies have in store for a modern, progressive Royal Navy.

In September HMS PRINCE OF WALES hosted the first visit by a foreign Head of State to a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier. His Excellency the President of Ukraine, President Zelenskyy, alongside with his Defence Minister, the Secretary of State for Defence and the Royal Navy's Fleet Commander were all welcomed on board. After landing on by helicopter, the first PUMA landing on a QE class carrier, the delegation enjoyed a tour of the Ship followed by a working lunch. This all culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Intent for defence cooperation between Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Recognising our own personnel, WO1 Sam Hogg has been selected as the 2020 armed forces caterer of the year, for his management of catering arrangements since the Ship's company moved on board. Furthermore, Mr Hogg and WO1 Gary Scott, have each been selected as recipients of the Meritorious Service Medal in Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday Honour's List. Sub Lieutenant Jordon MacNeil one of our young officers has also been awarded the coveted Britannia Association Sword from Britannia Royal Navy College as one of the best Young officers the college has trained this year.

A team of 19 sailors from the Ship have been raising money for the Royal British Legion ahead of Remembrance Sunday in order to increase fundraising for them as Poppy sales were affected this year due to COVID-19. In total the sailors have raised over £2,000 running the distance from Portsmouth to Gibraltar - a total of 1,338 miles - over the month of October!

The Ship looks forward to sailing in the New Year, conducting further trials and training before participating in Exercise IRIS and taking further part in this exciting Year of Experimentation.

Now is the time to apply for your French Residence Cards.

This link will take you to the French Government site to start the process.

You can now apply for your UK EHIC Cards on line. It is a simple process and no documents are required to be sent.

This link will take you to the DHSS site.

UK EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)
RNA UK is about to release guidelines on subscriptions from Shipmates after a major zoom-in meeting.

Central payments of subs will stop! We need to have an AGM ourselves, to discuss our way ahead.

But with no immediate prospect of having our annual Branch AGM,
we are for now continuing with our existing annual subs of 20 euros for 2021.

We are now looking for our Branch shipmates to pay that sum.

Up to now, 2020 and before, £7/8.50€ of our subs annually has gone to UK RNA centrally, the rest has run our Branch and welfare.
If you haven't advised us, and you have a new postal address, please do so at your convenience.

It seems that most unnamed roads and streets, town and country, now have names, and most houses have numbers.

Our new address tells you that our house is 404 metres up a dead-end road from the mainish road (we're at the end).

Changing this one line has proved expensive, for us, including new number plates for our older car.

Beware! It is obligatory to tell all official people like Carte grise, banks, Impots etc.