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: 72 | April 2021

InDepth65 1

Photo:  HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH at Glen Mallan Jetty, Loch Long at night


Hello again everyone.  Well, that’s a full year of Covid and it associated restrictions completed.  Hopefully the vaccine roll out and the hoped for relaxation of the rules will soon allow us all to get back to normal.  It will be good to get back to normal monthly Branch meeting and social events.  So what has been going on?

On Saturday 27th March we held the Submariners Association AGM – National Council Conference.  There was no NCC last year (as you will all recall) owing to the Covid problems so, this year, there were two years’ worth of Recommendations and Proposals to consider as well as all the usual Officers Reports etc.  A face-to-face Conference was not possible again this year but the National Secretary managed to set up a virtual Conference using Zoom.

Thirty-one of our fifty branches had Delegates in attendance (no Observers this year) with a further nine NMC members, VPs, and guest speakers taking part - so two screens were needed

A protocol had been issued beforehand and a briefing was given on how to conduct the meeting (remain on mute unless speaking and raise a hand (electronically) should you wish to speak.  All voting was done on the screen which provided visual results and was recorded – a bit like ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ – all press now!  There were one or two hiccups but things generally went smoothly.  The full draft Minutes will be issued in due course but a summary of the main events of the Conference follows:

Having completed the usual preamble of Welcome, Roll Call, Apologies, Crossed the Bar, President’s Address, Minutes, Actions etc. we got to the main part of the business – the Proposals and Recommendations.

The Minutes of the 2019 Conference were proposed and Seconded and accepted as a true record.  Andy Bain was ratified in post as the National Treasurer.

The Membership Secretary reported that we have 1,574 Association ‘Full Members’ with 68 New Applications in process.  He also reported that a new Association Membership Database is being set up and trialled to provide a more user-friendly and accurate listing.  This new system will also enable Branches to have access to update their Membership Status and amend the Database.

Each of the ‘Proposals’ from the Branches and the ‘Recommendations’ from the NMC were read out by the Chairman, debated by the Delegates and Voted on.  The  results of the voting are summarised as follows:


Proposal 1:  Northern Ireland All proposals at Conference should be a straightforward Yes/No/ Abstain.  This failed to meet the required 2/3 majority - Yes 60%, No 37%, Abstain 3%

Proposal 2:  Australia.  Enable Branch Ballot Papers to be forwarded by email.  This was agreed - Yes 96%, Abstain 4%.

Proposal 3:  Norfolk.  Facilitate proxy voting.  This was agreed - Yes 71%, No 29.

Proposal 4: Barrow.  Branches to be consulted when spending Association funds beyond defined limits.  This was agreed - Yes 68%, No 32%

Proposal 5:  Scottish. Full membership for Dutch Submariner who is an Associate Member and has fulfilled an essential and important role within the branch for several years.  This was not agreed - Yes 32%, No 64%, Abstain 4%).

Proposal 6:  Gosport.  Proportion representation for Association voting.  This was withdrawn.  The NMC was requested to look at adopting modern technology and methods so that every paying member can have a say on Association business. No vote was taken.

Proposal 7:  Sunderland.  The Seconder Branch was not present.  However, the Gosport Branch stepped in so the proposal could go forward.  The nominal sum of 150 pounds to be donated from National Funds to each Branch for this year only to assist with Branch expenditure.  This was not agreed - Yes 29%, No 71%.


Each Recommendation was read out and a Proposer and Seconder from the Branches was requested for them to go forward as Proposals and voted on.

Recommendation 1:  Was withdrawn.  More information required.

Recommendation 2:  Reduction of Life Membership age from 90 to 85.  This was agreed - Yes 92%.

Recommendation 3:  Transfer of residual National Funds to the Submarine Fund (RNRMC) in the event of dissolution of the Submariners Association.  This was agreed - (Yes 100%).

Recommendation 4:  National Committee Standing Orders.  Nomination of SA Representative on the Submarine Family Working Group and various text changes to the Rules & Constitution.  This was agreed - Yes 100%.

There were two speakers who gave briefings on the following:


Tom outlined the process that had been adopted to select the final design and the designer for the new memorial.  This included the setting up of the charity, the personnel and partners involved and a selection process overview.  He stated that £370K is required and about £150K has been raised so far.  The remainder will have to be achieved through various fund-raising events, people funding and Submarine Industrial Partners.  It is hoped that most of the funds can be obtained by the end of this year so that construction and installation go ahead with completion by the third quarter of next year (2022).

Note – a fuller report is at Pages 16 to 18


Commodore Jim Perks (COSM) gave an overview of the current situation and operations of the Submarine Service - highlighting the additional constraints imposed by COVID.  Whilst patrols successfully continued throughout the last year the impact on family life for those serving on board and in support roles has been significant.  Quarantine and self-isolation has added several weeks to the Patrols and time away from the family.  He praised the dedication and fortitude of all those involved.  Despite this recruitment was up - but that also creates issues with regards to training - particularly the ‘At-Sea’ training.

He then went on to brief the Conference on the work that has been going on to set up the Submarine Family/Fund organisation which is still a ‘Work in Progress’.  The ‘Submarine Family’ embraces/ includes the ‘Serving Submariners’, The Submariners Association, We Remember Submariners, The Friends of the Submarine Museum and the various Industrial Partners, also working in conjunction with the RNRMC to provide administrative support.  It is anticipated that this will provide approximately 120K a year to the Submarine Fund.  This will provide financial support to Submarine Organisations via grants and eventually facilitate free membership.

Note.  A fuller report is at Pages 18 & 19

The Association President, Niall Kilgour, Thanks everyone taking part today and gave brief but amusing final comments before the Chairman closed the meeting and the ‘Toast to the SM Service’ and ‘Absent Friends’ was Proposed

Take care everyone and make sure you get both of your ‘Jabs’ when you are due.


Barrie Downer


Issue No. 73 will be published on 1st July 2021.  Contributions are required to be with the Editor by 15th June 2021 – please make sure I get them in good time!


This Newsletter is published by the Submariners Association and is © 2021.  The opinions expressed in these pages are not necessarily the opinion of the Editor, the Submariners Association, the MoD or the Submarine Service unless otherwise stated.  The Submariners Association may not agree with the opinions expressed in this Newsletter but encourages publication as a matter of interest.  Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless so stated.  Otherwise the Submariners Association accepts no liability on any issue in this Newsletter.

A full copy of this version can be downloaded from the below link in PDF Format.
Latest In Depth No 72

In Depth 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 In Depth No 72

In Depth No 71


Rear Admiral Niall SR Kilgour CB

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

Andy Bain Esq
5 Rydal Mount
07792 100896
A. Bain 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

In Depth Newsletter

A full copy of the previous version can be downloaded from Here: In Depth No 71

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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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