In Depth & News Letters

In Depth & News Letters



Official Newsletter of the Submariners Association

Patron: Admiral of the Fleet Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL

Issue No: 64 | April 2019

InDepth64 1


Hello again to everyone from sunny (well nearly) Barrow-in-Furness. Welcome to In Depth No. 64 – a little later that intended but the last couple of weeks have been a bit busy! Did you go to this year’s National Council Conference & Reunion in Leicester? If you didn’t then you missed a very good Weekend and that chance to catch up with old (and new) friends and with what is going on in the Association. The Holiday Inn did us proud and the catering team even came up with that old Submarine favourite for breakfast - ‘S*** in a Raft’! All right – ‘devilled kidneys’ if you want to be posh! The Chairman will tell you about the business side of the weekend in his Report.

There appears to be a lot going on in the Submarine world at the moment as quite a few articles in this issue will show, but – CASD50 is at the top of the UK pops at this time – 50 years of ‘Continuous At Sea Deterrence’ is a remarkable feat in anyone’s opinion and – as RASM reminded us all at the Conference – it’s not just down to the ‘Bomber’ Boys and Girls but all the SSN & SSK Submariners and all those Service and Civilian personnel in the Bases, Depots and Headquarters ashore over the last 50 years who have made it possible. So, give yourselves a pat on the back, everybody!

A big thank you to all those who have sent in items for this Issue – it makes my job a bit easier in not having to hunt down all the stories and articles! This Issue includes an item from the National Membership Secretary in which he highlights some of the difficulties in maintaining the Membership Database and in attracting new members to and retaining current members of the Association. One of the more concerning statistics is that the total membership is declining by, on average, 3.5% per year a very worrying trend.

There is news from the Submarine Museum and of the changes resulting from the continuing establishment of the National Museums of the Royal Navy (NMRN).

From overseas there is submarine news from the USA, Israel, Australia, Sweden, Germany & Algeria.

The K26 Serial is continued (with some background information into the introduction of headwear for sailors. Also, there is also a review – so there should be plenty to keep everyone entertained.

Please read and enjoy this Issue of In Depth and remember – your story can appear in the next or future issues - all you need to do is to write it down and send it by either E Mail or Snail Mail – my contact details are on this page

Barrie Downer


Issue No. 65 will be published on 1st July 2019. Contributions are required to be with the Editor by 15th June 2019 – please make sure I get them in time..

Chairman’s Report

Friends and Fellow Submariners,
I hope and trust that everyone who attended this year's Annual Reunion and National Council Conference (NCC) had a pleasant and uneventful trip home. The Annual Reunion and the NCC were held in the Holiday Inn Leicester this year. This is the third time that we have used this hotel and this time round was every bit as successful as the previous visits. The fact that the hotel and hotel staff were very welcoming and ever present ready to satisfy our requests only served to enhance the weekend. Perhaps the bit that won it over was when those who made it down to Saturday breakfast discovered that eternal favourite breakfast of the submarine fraternity S**t on a raft!! Excreta Kon Tiki for our Wardroom colleagues!! This is THE breakfast of champions!! The lead organiser for Reunions is Iain Mackenzie; I think a big BZ goes to him from all of us.

Our principle guest was Rear Admiral John Weale CB OBE RASM and his wife Julie. Also attending were, Rear Admiral Niall Kilgour CB and his wife Janie Our thanks go to them for taking time out from very busy schedules to spend some time with us. We hope they enjoyed the weekend as much as we all seemed to! Most of all however, our thanks go to everyone who attended the event and supported us in this annual venture.

The weekend is made up of two very different events; the Reunion and the National Council Conference.

The Friday of the Reunion weekend is always hectic with everyone arriving at different times and meeting up with their oppos, sharing a couple of pints and eventually getting settled into their rooms. The Friday evening meal takes the form of a carvery and as expected this was a very good and varied selection of fine fare! Friday evening entertainment was provided by MJ Soul and was very generously sponsored by Stuart Brown. Saturday evening dinner was the usual high standard with the traditional toasts and speeches. Port for the dinner was munificently sponsored by Andy Bain and Youngs Beers, Wines & Spirits Ltd.

We are extremely grateful to Stuart and Andy for their support and generosity.

It is traditional that during the Saturday morning church service we read out the Roll Call of submariners who have Crossed the Bar since our last gathering. I think everyone was shocked at the length of the list this year. The names of 165 colleagues were read out. These are only the ones we have been alerted to! Not all of them were members the Association but they were all members of our ‘Family’. We really are a dying breed. It is important that you inform the National Secretary (or any member of the NMC) if you know of a submariner who has Crossed the Bar, whether a member of the Association or not.

The NCC is held during the Saturday forenoon and is the only part of the entire weekend which is of a serious nature. It is during this time that we deal with the business of the Association. The event is covered in detail in the Minutes of the meeting and they will be with you very soon so I will only summarise events in this document. There have been some changes over the last few months as follows;
Stuart Brown has taken over the role of National Treasurer and this was formally ratified at this meeting. Stuart is a past member of the NMC so we know that he will do an excellent job in this challenging and important post.

We thank Nigel Mellor for all his work in this role over the last couple of years and wish him well in the future.

This year, as every year, there were two vacancies on the NMC. Brian Tate (West of Scotland) was re-elected. Mark Smith (West of Scotland) was installed as a new member to the NMC. Our thanks go to both for volunteering and for their enthusiasm and desire to do what they can to ensure the good running of the Association. We welcome Mark to the Committee and we welcome Brian back to the committee.

Chris Freeth has stepped down from the NMC after several years of hard work on our behalf, so we thank Chris for all that he has done for us and wish him well for the future.

CPO Paul Swaby has now stepped down from the role of Serving Members Representative. Paul has carried out this job for a couple of years now but his new draft (remember those??) means that he cannot give the role the commitment he feels it deserves. We thank Paul for all that he has done for us and the serving community and wish him well in his new post.

In a change from the standard procedure, there will be two Serving Reps on the NMC. The reason for this is simple, both volunteers are serving on ‘running boats’ and there is a good chance that due to service commitments one could be at sea when meetings take place. However, the post of Serving Rep will have only one vote on any matters debated at the NMC meetings. The two new Serving Reps are;
PO Mark Butchart (HMS AUDACIOUS) (Barrow Branch) CPO Martin Drake (HMS TRENCHANT) (Plymouth Branch)
We welcome them both and look forward to working with them.

The various Proposals and Recommendations submitted for consideration were debated in the usual open, honest and robust manner. These debates are always passionate and always conducted with dignity and respect which is exactly how such matters should be. My thanks go to all the branch Delegates (29 in total) who took part and to the Observers too for their attendance. The full break-down and details of each item will be documented in the Minutes of the meeting.

Those of you who take a serious attitude to how our Association is run and what the future hold for us regarding our sustainability will have noticed on the NCC Agenda an item (number 14) which needs explanation. This is where your branch Delegate and Observers can help by giving you a full report! Once again, I say that the full report of what was discussed is contained within the Minutes, but the gist of the matter is that RASM, Tom Herman and I proposed (informally!!) that we passionately believe that the best way forward for the Association which will unite the serving community, the veterans and other associated groups is for the Submariners Association to make the transition to become a Registered Charity. Our Rules & Constitution do not permit us to ask for the matter to be voted upon at this NCC as there has been no advanced documentation for branches to consider. These details and all relevant information will be put before the full membership in due course but there is a massive amount of work to be done if we are to take the course to become a charity. We would like to make a start on the process and then be in a position to make a formal Proposal to the NCC in 2020 thus ensuring the transition is made in an orderly and correct manner. We asked all the Delegates present and the Observers for comments and eventually for their approval in principle for us to start the process. The support from the 29 Delegates and the Observers was overwhelming and extremely positive. It was very gratifying to see the enthusiasm for our suggestion. Thank you all for your positive response. We will now produce a document and forward to all branches seeking their approval in principle to start the work. During the coming 12 months we will ensure that all branch secretaries are kept fully in the picture regarding the work progress and the way ahead so that there is no confusion at the crucial vote next March. It is therefore vital that branch secretaries communicate with ALL their members on all matters and not just to the few who may turn up at a branch meeting. After all this what secretaries are supposed to be doing. A very busy year lies ahead but it will be worth it in the end. Thank you for your support.

Continuous At Sea Deterrent CASD-50. The Royal Navy will host a National Service of Thanksgiving in recognition of the Submarine Service to mark 50 years of the Continuous at Sea Deterrent (CASD), the longest unbroken operation ever delivered by the United Kingdom. The Service will take place at Westminster Abbey on Friday 3rd May 2019, at noon, and will recognise all those individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to defending the nation as part of this vital mission. Following the Service there will a Reception in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, which is located in Westminster, opposite the Abbey. The closest National Rail station is Charing Cross and the closest Underground stations are Westminster and St James’s Park. The Abbey is easily accessible by all forms of public transport. The event is open to Retired Royal Navy personnel who have worked in support of the Continuous at Sea Deterrent (more recently designated Op Relentless) since 1969.

The Submarine Service will host Ceremonial Divisions in recognition of 50 years of the Continuous at Sea Deterrent (CASD), the longest unbroken operation ever delivered by the United Kingdom. The event will take place at HMNB Clyde on Friday 5th July 2019 and will recognise all those individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to defending the nation as part of this vital mission. Following divisions there will be a reception and capability demonstration. The event is open to Retired Royal Navy personnel who have worked in support of the Continuous at Sea Deterrent (more recently designated Op Relentless) since 1969.

Tickets will be limited, and allocation cannot be guaranteed, but as many as possible will be allocated to the retired community in recognition of their service. Applications should be made via the Application Form and returned to the CASD50 Organising team (address on application form). Attendees may also apply to bring guests and names will need to be included in the application form.

I hope that all of you are aware of these events and can attend. If you have not been informed, then I suggest that you and ask your branch secretary why he did not pass on the information to you. He was sent the Westminster Abbey information and Application Forms on 27 February and the details for the Divisions in Faslane on 7 March.

I have noticed that I seem to have rambled on much more than I normally do but I make no apology. I hope what I am telling you is not new and that you are fully aware of what is happening in the submarine world. I trust you will all enjoy the forthcoming summer months. Remember, we have spent many years dodging the sun so take care in the good weather. I hope to see you all soon.
Lang may your lum reek. JMcM

A full copy of this version can be downloaded from the below link in PDF Format.
Latest InDepth No 64

InDepth Newsletter

Here is an extract of the latest In Depth Newsletter. A full copy of this and the previous version can be downloaded from these links in PDF Format.

Latest InDepth No 64

InDepth No 63


Rear Admiral Niall SR Kilgour CB

Jim McMaster
1, Blantyre Court
Bargarran, Erskine
Renfrewshire PA8 6BN
0141 571 4094
J. McMaster Esq

Vice Chairman:

Iain. MacKenzie Esq.
46 Almora Drive
G82 1AE
I. MacKenzie Esq

National Secretary:
Ian Vickers Esq
160 Bradshaw Meadows
Lancashire BL2 4ND
01204 308539
I. Vickers Esq

Stuart Brown Esq
14 Meadow Drive
Bury St. Edmunds
Suffolk IP29 5SB
07590 195295
S. Brown Esq

Membership Secretary:
David Woolterton Esq.
2 Thornton Close
SO24 9FE
01962 734940 or 07713448734
D. Woolterton Esq

Barrie Downer Esq
The Firs, Dundalk Street
Barrow Island
Barrow in Furness
LA14 2RZ
01229 820963
B. Downer Esq

InDepth Newsletter

A full copy of the previous version can be downloaded from Here: InDepth No 63

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The Submariners Association is an Association of ex and serving Submariners which seeks to maintain the special bonds of friendship, loyalty and comradeship, together with a pride in the Submarine Service, formed during service in Her Majesty's Submarines.

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