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FL19 front COVER_final.pdf



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rers a f a e S ess n e r a Aw eek W 1 July

e– 25 Junp24

issue 19 | spring 2012


12 CHILDREN’S APPEAL Fundraising to ‘Support the Future’

18 20



CHALLENGE EVENTS: Take a challenge and raise money for Seafarers UK

AWARENESS WEEK: Our annual campaign to raise awareness of seafarers


Children’s Society – caring for seafarers’ children for 190 years

inside news

Community news.............................. 4 Scottish news................................... 7 Corporate news ............................... 8 Fish & Chip Feast 2012 .................. 9 Grants news .................................. 10 Royal Marines Band Concerts. ........ 14 Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant... 16

Writes of passage........................... 36


From the Bridge .............................. 2 Letters . ........................................... 3 Events Calendar . ........................... 21 Legacies and Individual Supporters... 22 JackChat......................................... 35 Crossword. ..................................... 35

Cabbages and mayors, by Peter Calkin

Flagship review. ............................. 38 Seafarer Support website & the latest books

Times past...................................... 46 Little Red Lights

Meet the committee. ...................... 48 Plymouth

For the latest news sign up to our Flagpost e-newsletter at Flagship magazine is published by


Editorial inquiries/submissions


Associate Editor

Change of address notification


Kirsty Aldis Craig Ryan

Art Director

James Sparling

8 Hatherley Street, London, SW1P 2QT T: 020 7932 0000; F: 020 7932 0095 Seafarers UK (King George’s Fund for Sailors) is a Registered Charity in England & Wales, No. 226446, incorporated under Royal Charter. Registered in Scotland SC038191.

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Her Majesty The Queen His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, KG, GCVO, ADC


Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson, CB, CVO

Director General

Commodore Barry Bryant, CVO, RN

Warners UK, Lincolnshire


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From the Bridge While it is prudent to maintain a vigilant watch on one’s own navigation from the Bridge, one should

Commodore Barry Bryant CVO RN Director General Seafarers UK



occasionally visit the Flag Bridge (for older readers!) or perhaps the Ops Room to see how our own ship is contributing to the Task Force. Our Task Force is of course the whole maritime and ex-Service charity sector, and I thought I should use this bulletin to explain just how Seafarers UK works with and for many other players for the greater good of all our beneficiaries. Some may say ‘Why don’t they just stick to fundraising and grant-making?’ but I hope to convince you that there are many ways that those vital parts of our business are enhanced by working together with others. First of all there’s the Maritime Charities Funding Group (MCFG), a unique and relatively informal partnership of the main UK players involved in funding, namely Seafarers UK, Trinity House, Nautilus UK, Merchant Navy Welfare Board, RN&RM Charity, and Seamen’s Hospital Society. Over the last few years we have co-funded a major research programme into the many generic problems of our sector, hosted two major conferences, and initiated some very effective projects to improve the quality of life of our beneficiaries and the effectiveness of our overall service. From 2012 onwards, Seafarers UK will hold the chairmanship of the MCFG and will ensure that this innovative work continues. Perhaps our second most important contribution is representing the maritime sector on the Board of COBSEO (the Confederation of Service and ex-Service Organisations, now known more familiarly as the Confederation of Service Charities). Here we sit with the other major ex-Service players such as The Royal British Legion and SSAFA, the Army and RAF Benevolent Funds, and specialists such as Combat Stress and BLESMA. By working together through the common focus of a remarkably energetic Chairman, the relationship with major Departments of State has improved immeasurably; not just with the MoD but arguably, for veterans, with more

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“Some may say ‘Why don’t they just stick to fundraising and grantmaking?’ but I hope to convince you that there are many ways that those vital parts of our business are enhanced by working together with others.”

important Ministries such as Health and Work & Pensions. Sometimes the work is collegiate and positive, sometimes a more direct line has to be taken, but there is no doubt that the veterans’ voice is now much more of a force to be reckoned with across Whitehall. It was the collective strength of COBSEO that convinced the Big Lottery Fund to recently invest the sum of £35m into veterans’ welfare. Specifically they wished to address the psychological well-being of those who had served, particularly during their subsequent transition back to civilian life. Thus COBSEO, with the help of some specific expertise within Seafarers UK, proposed and founded the Forces in Mind Trust (FIMT), which is just beginning to make grants of some £3-4 million per year on research and other projects. Already this work has attracted the close interest of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry which wants to work with the Trust, and we look forward to similar attractive partnerships from external organisations. Again, Seafarers UK is pleased to have board membership of the FIMT. It is perhaps worth mentioning that Seafarers UK staff also carry out certain ‘backoffice’ and administrative operations for all three organisations mentioned above, including


human resources advice, grants assessment and financial administration. Some of this work is ‘pro bono’ but the majority is on repayment, ensuring a small but steady income stream that we can use for seafarers’ welfare. Our last formal external appointment is on the Veterans Scotland Executive, helping to coordinate the efforts of both uniquely Scottish charities and the several which, like us, operate on both sides of the border. There are no purely Scottish nautical charities of any size, and so Seafarers UK (as our name suggests) is well placed to ensure that Scottish mariners are well represented. There are of course separate issues in dealing with the devolved administration in Edinburgh and the Scottish Charity Regulator. Finally, we have long pledged that all money raised for us in Scotland will be spent there, usually plus a considerable premium, and our seat on Veterans Scotland helps us to carry out that promise in the most effective manner. Perceptive readers will have noticed that apart from the MCFG, all these external duties are largely concerned with the ex-Service or military sector. Importantly, our presence ensures that where appropriate, Merchant Navy veterans gain full recognition as members of the Armed Forces community – and it is a lesson that needs constant repetition, particularly in Government circles. Perhaps the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands Conflict will help to remind them? And so, loyal readers, please understand that your sector needs a unifying voice that can harness other sources of influence and expertise for the common good. Fortunately the wise voices who drafted the original KGFS Royal Charter 95 years ago also recognised this need, and framed our Objects sufficiently widely to allow the modern Seafarers UK team to take on this ever-evolving role. Confident that the whole Task Force is in safe hands (albeit sometimes proceeding at the speed of the slowest ship!) we shall return to our more familiar Bridge for the next issue, taking care not to pass too close to rocky islands en route!

Letters Do you have something to say about what you’ve read in Flagship or something you’d like to see included? Or perhaps you just want to get something off your chest? Please write (maximum 400 words) to the editor at Flagship, Seafarers UK, 8 Hatherley Street, London, SW1P 2QT or email to, marking letters ‘for publication’. The editor reserves the right to condense letters.

A bad case of sea blindness from HMG Our island trading nation’s Government has announced that search and rescue (SAR) provision will from 2016 no longer be the responsibility of the Royal Navy and RAF. Yet again HMG displays surprising sea blindness. While I have no doubt that civilian replacements for search and rescue in our country’s mountain regions, and around our 11,000 miles of coastline, will do a sterling job, there no longer being a naval connection will be bad news for maritime Britain. The experience gained by SAR helicopter crews is good for military rotary wing aviators. For the Royal Navy’s helicopter pilots and crews, SAR is an important duty for all helicopters flown from ships large and small. The experience gained from the navy’s SAR flights in Prestwick and Culdrose, in Cornwall, is highly beneficial both to helicopter flying and naval diving at sea, and vice versa. We should not be diluting Royal Navy capability in this way and, anyway, given that the nation’s SAR cover will likely remain unchanged, cost savings will be negligible. One thing has never changed in the 1,111 years that have passed since the time of King Alfred

when, arguably, our Navy was founded. The oceans and seas remain an enduring challenge to man, and the maritime profession, including naval aviation, requires a mastery of the sea that is as commanding today as ever. Rossetti was no seaman but he understood, writing in his ballad The White Ship (1881), “The sea hath no king but God alone”. Indeed, SAR crews know this only too well, for they are called to rescue professional mariners in distress as well as those who mess around in boats. Naval aviation is generally acknowledged to require the most demanding and accomplished flying skills, as viewing any film clip showing a helicopter landing on a ship’s flight deck in rough seas will attest. Just like any matelot, however, naval aviators need time ashore, time with their families, and naval SAR flights in the UK also allow these men and women to maintain their naval aviation skills. There is a sound maritime and defence case to be made for the retention of Royal Navy SAR flights, based ashore in the UK; the decision of the transport minister must be reversed. Lt Cdr Lester May RN – retired Camden Town, London




community news Bath reels to £2,800 The Bath Committee of Seafarers UK held their fifth Scottish Reeling Ball on 19 November. Yet again it proved to be a popular event with a capacity attendance of one hundred dancing the night away to the music of George Buchanan and his band.The evening started with sparkling wine and canapés before the first reeling session. Thales, BMT and Babcock generously provided sponsorship. During the evening a raffle was held with excellent prizes being donated by many local businesses, including Loch Fyne Hotel, MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel, Bath Fashion Week, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Theatre Royal Bath, Ruby Wines of Bradford-on-Avon, Barton’s Garden Centre, NV Hair Studio and Network Hairdressers. The princely sum of £2,800 was raised for Seafarers UK thanks to the generosity not only of the sponsors but also those attending. Plans are already afoot for this year’s Ball on 3 November. Contact Alex Sard on 023 9273 6101 for details. Mr Assem Allam of Allam Marine Ltd (second left), a keen supporter of Seafarers UK, presented a cheque for £10,000 to Captain Brian Mitchell, Chairman of the charity’s East Yorkshire Committee. Also pictured are Captain Atkin (right), a longtime friend of Mr Allam and one-time member of Seafarers UK East Yorkshire Committee, and Peter Clark (left), the present Committee Secretary.




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Alexandra Sard MBE is the Community Support Scottish Charity No: SC Manager for England and Wales. Alex can be contacted on 023 9273 6101 or at alexandra.sard@


Cornwall Committee members Mrs Chrissie Hogg and Mrs Gill Roué

Sea Cadets from TS INVICTA Folkestone & Hythe Unit at Folkestone RMB Concert St Anne’s handbell ringers at Southampton RMB Concert

Rear Admiral and Mrs Hockley, with Plymouth RMB Director of Music Captain Richard Long, at the Truro RMB Concert

At the Truro Royal Marines Band Concert, Seafarers UK was delighted to welcome Rear Admiral C J Hockley MSc CEng CMarEng, Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland, and the newly appointed Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE. (Colonel Bolitho is no stranger to Seafarers UK, his mother being a longserving member of the Cornwall Committee.) Rear

Admiral Hockley lives in Cornwall and as a keen supporter of Seafarers UK addressed the audience on behalf of the charity. The concert was well attended and the whisky raffle, with prizes donated by St Austell Brewery, was as popular as ever! Hot on the heels of Truro, a concert was held at Southampton, where the handbell ringers from St Anne’s Church in Portsmouth Naval Base provided

a festive start to the evening as guests arrived. This was followed by the last concert of 2011 at Folkestone’s delightful Leas Cliff Hall. Folkestone was a first for Seafarers UK and it was so successful that a date is already in the diary for December 2012. For a full list of Royal Marines Band Concerts in aid of Seafarers UK please see page 15.





Military Wives Choir to sing for Seafarers UK!

Forthcoming Committee Events 6 May – Cornwall Committee - Boconnoc Garden Opening 21 June – Cornwall Committee - RNAS CULDROSE Cocktail Party 21 June – Dartmouth Committee - Coffee Morning at BRNC 29 June – Felixstowe Committee - Talk by John White at the Sailing Club Further details from


Seafarers UK is delighted to announce that members of the Military Wives Choir will be appearing with the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth in a Seafarers UK charity concert at the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe on 13 May. This is a first for Seafarers UK, as is the venue, and it is anticipated that there will be very few empty seats on the night. For tickets phone 01271 324242 or visit

The annual Sprat Supper in Lymington has been a popular event for over 50 years. Originating as an all-male affair in Lymington’s Ship Inn, the supper then moved to the Masonic Hall and, as its popularity grew, moved again to Lymington Town Sailing Club, which has hosted the event for the last ten years. One hundred people attended this year’s supper where diners enjoyed a three-course meal with a huge plate of delicious sprats as their main course! Traditionally, local fishermen brought the sprats into Lymington but now they come from Poole. Following supper, a raffle was held raising £1000 for charity. Thanks to Mrs Vivian Robins and the sailing club’s social committee, Seafarers UK was one of the main beneficiaries of this enjoyable event.

HMS Collingwood trainees restoring Dunkirk little ship Five trainees and a member of staff from Victory Squadron, HMS Collingwood, recently started work on restoring the Dunkirk Little Ship Dorian. With the team spending as much time of their spare time as possible working on Dorian, most of the de-caulking between the timbers is now completed, with 80% of the port side timbers already stripped back. Internally, the aft section has had new strengthening ‘wishbones’ added. Other ongoing work includes the restoration of firedamaged doors and hatches, the restoration of original metal work and the fitting of new timbers. Dorian was involved in Operation Dynamo in 1940, evacuating members of the British



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Army during World War II. She later became a houseboat on the Thames and was almost destroyed by fire ten years ago. HMS Collingwood has had a long-standing relationship with the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, with trainees from Fareham assisting with the annual Veterans Cruises since 2007, the most significant of which was in 2010 when Navy personnel joined the 70th anniversary commemorative return to Dunkirk. The team members are pictured wearing Seafarers UK T-shirts showing their allegiance to the charity which they support in a variety of ways, ‘because of the great work done by Seafarers UK in looking after Royal Navy personnel that have fallen on hard times.’



Captain NickNo:Davies Scottish Charity SC is the Seafarers UK Regional Representative for Scotland. Nick can be contacted on 07885 555760 or at nick.davies@

‘Granite City’ welcomes the RM Band Scotland The principal commercial port in northern Scotland, Aberdeen handles 9,000 shipping movements

and five million tonnes of cargo worth £1.5bn in a typical year.The ‘Granite City’ is a community that understands the importance of the sea and appreciates the contribution made by the nation’s seafarers. So it was hardly surprising that the annual Royal Marines Band concert, staged in aid of Seafarers UK, was enthusiastically supported by an audience of 700. First opened in 1822, Aberdeen Music Hall was extensively upgraded in 1986. Sir John Barbirolli once

commented ‘nowhere is there a hall which has perfect acoustics such as this’. Guests of honour at the concert were Flag Officer Scotland & Northern Ireland RA Chris Hockley and Mrs Kate Hockley, and the Depute Provost Mr Bill Cormie. A contingent from Aberdeen Sea Cadets TS Scylla were on parade to assist. Eight local firms kindly sponsored the evening which should raise a net profit in excess of £7,000 for Seafarers UK.

Gala night at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall

Over 900 people came to the Edinburgh Usher Hall in November to hear the Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland perform their annual concert, kindly sponsored by Brechin Tindall Oatts Solicitors, which raised over £13,000 for Seafarers UK. Accompanying the band for the first time at the Usher Hall was guest soprano Lisa Moffat who enchanted the audience with ‘The Balero’ from ‘Chants d’Auvergne’ and

‘L’Estasi Dell’ Oro’ from the film score to ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’. The concert was preceded by a joint Seafarers UK/ Marine Society & Sea Cadets supporters’ reception, hosted by Commodore Barry Bryant and Captain Christopher Hall RNR, during which our Director General presented the President’s Award to Mrs Jean Cameron for her services to the Seafarers UK

Edinburgh Committee. To show ‘where the money goes’, short presentations were then given, firstly by Lt Col Ian Ballantyne RM of Scottish Veterans Residences (SVR) who explained the role of SVR in the provision of housing and support. PO Cadet Jessica Morris of Musselburgh Unit SCC then talked about her experiences in the Sea Cadets. Both SVR and the Sea Cadets are beneficiary charities of Seafarers UK. SPRING 2012




Corporate Round Up


Jos Standerwick Corporate Partnerships & Fundraising Manager Jos can be contacted on 020 7932 5991 or at jos.standerwick@

The Nautical Friday Corporate Challenge As summer approaches and our National Fundraising Day, Nautical Friday on 29 June, looms into view, we want Nautical Friday to be bigger and better than ever! This year we have an exciting ‘Apprentice’ style challenge for our corporate supporters. The idea is simple: we give your team £100 to get the ball rolling, then you have from 1 June until Nautical Friday to raise as much money as possible. The only proviso is that you return to us at least the initial £100. Whilst we will give you all the support you need and ideas for what you could do to raise the money, the beauty of the challenge is you can do whatever you want to support Seafarers UK. This challenge will be a great and fun way to encourage team work, ingenuity and ‘blue sky’ thinking within your business team. There will be a healthy sense of competition between teams and companies as they strive to raise the most money and win the Nautical Friday Cup. So come on, be bold and take the Seafarers UK Nautical Friday Challenge and test yourself and your team to come up with some fantastic, and importantly, lucrative fundraising ideas! For more information or to request your challenge entry form please go to



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It has certainly been a busy time since our last Flagship. My first few months as the Corporate Partnerships & Fundraising Manager have been fantastic and it has been heartening to see the magnificent support we have from our corporate base. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported us over the last couple of months. Whilst every donation we receive is greatly appreciated, we have had some donations particularly worthy of note. The Hadley Shipping Company, who have been a strong supporter of Seafarers UK for many years, recently donated £2,500. International Marine Transportation were exceedingly generous with a handsome £2,000 Christmas donation. Thomas Miller UK P&I Club donated £1,500, which was a very welcome surprise to find on my desk when I came into work on a particularly cold and miserable Tuesday morning! We are also grateful to BP Shipping who contributed £5,000 to the development of the Seafarers UK Commonwealth Fund. Carnival UK, who in various incarnations have supported us since our creation 95 years ago, have donated £9,000 from collections made at their interdenominational church services held on board their cruise ships. The Carnival UK London Marathon team (pictured above) have been fundraising hard as well, and have already broken the £20,000 barrier.

So keep up the good work and we will see you on race day. The continued and steadfast support of Carnival UK and their loyal and generous staff and customers is really appreciated by the whole Fundraising Team at Seafarers UK. We have been working hard to ensure all our corporate supporters are aware of what Seafarers UK is doing and how we can complement and even facilitate their Corporate Social Responsibility objectives. On 18 January, the British Banker’s Association were kind enough to offer us their conference facilities so that we could hold our first Corporate Briefing, in association with Sea Vision. Thank you to everyone who attended. It was a great opportunity to meet supporters old and new, and enthuse them with all our latest news. Adam & Company Private Bank continued their support in kind by very generously hosting a lunch to say ‘thank you’ to a few corporate supporters, and introduce others to Seafarers UK. It was a sumptuous affair which was not only enjoyable but also very informative. As we strive to offer fundraising opportunities that complement the needs of our corporate supporters, we used the occasion to seek feedback on our plans and ideas for the year ahead. Thank you again for all your support and I hope to see you in what is a packed summer schedule of Seafarers UK events!

fish & chips

Fishy fundraising

Jos Standerwick Corporate Partnerships & Fundraising Manager It certainly has been a busy time in the nation’s chip shops, as well as at Seafarers UK, and it is great to see increasing support from what is less of an industry and more like a British institution! Our annual Fish & Chip Feast took place in October and since then the money has not stopped rolling in. Seafarers UK would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported the feast. Whether you put your pennies in one of our collection boxes over the week, had a fishy feast in your workplace or supported us through an event, your fundraising is greatly appreciated. This opportunity must be taken to recognise some of our star fundraisers, including DFDS Seaways who supported the feast for the second year running on their Dover to Calais ferry route. A percentage of the price of every portion of fish and chips sold over a 24-hour period was donated to raise funds for the UK’s maritime community. Russel McKelvey, onboard sales director for the English Channel, said: ‘We were proud to be involved with such a great event and delighted that our passengers and on-board staff were able to raise money for such

a worthwhile cause.’ He added that DFDS Seaways is very appreciative of the charity’s importance, as it helps to raise awareness of the issues that seafarers face on a day-to-day basis both at sea and on land. The eversupportive Maersk had ‘fishy feasts’ in their London and Newcastle offices. And Seafish supported the feast and even had a go at some ‘do it yourself’ fish smoking. Of course, we also enjoyed the support of fish and chip shops up and down the UK, from Stonehaven to Southampton. Once again, however, our top feast fundraiser award goes to Fish‘n’Chick’n who raised an astonishing £7,200 through their charity raffle that included prizes as extravagant as a plasma TV and a PlayStation! Fish’n’Chick’n Managing Director James Lipscombe enthused: ‘We are delighted with the generosity of our customers in raising £7,200 for our charity raffle in aid of seafarers in need. Our team members, managers and assistant managers did a fantastic job selling tickets and we could not have raised this money without their drive and enthusiasm. All the winners were incredibly pleased with their prizes and said what a fantastic charity Seafarers UK is to support.’ Our huge thanks go to the whole team at Fish’n’Chick’n for all their hard work and support. The 2012 Fish & Chip Feast will be from 8 to 14 October, so please note the date and start thinking about your very own fishy fun-raiser.

Chippie of the year

On 17 January the annual Sea Fish Authority’s National Fish and Chip Awards took place. This year Seafarers UK had the privilege of being named charity partner for the Awards. The Awards Luncheon was a glamorous affair hosted by a renowned chef, patron of Bentley’s Seafood Restaurant, the largerthan-life Richard Corrigan. Big congratulations must go to Seniors in Thornton, Lancashire, named ‘Fish and Chip Shop of the Year’. Our loyal supporters (see left) Fish’n’Chick’n Group were named ‘Multiple Fish & Chip Shop Operator of the Year’. Seafarers UK raised a fantastic £1,147 at the event. Huge thanks must go to Nikki Hawkins and all the Sea Fish Authority team for the support they give to Seafarers UK. Plans are already afoot to escalate the involvement of Seafarers UK when the 25th Anniversary Awards are held in 2013.




grants news The view from the engine room Dennis Treleaven Director of Grants and External Operations Seafarers UK was established (as King George’s Fund for Sailors) in 1917 to help organisations and charities involved in the support of current and former seafarers and their dependants in both the UK and Commonwealth countries. It has three broad aims: • To support seafarers, ex-seafarers and their families and dependants in need • To support young people planning a career at sea • To support the development of a more efficient and effective maritime charity sector. In 2011 our grants to charities ranged from £284,000 to the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariner’s Royal Benevolent Society, to support ex-seafarers and their families in poverty, to £500 as a contribution towards the costs of staging the Seafarers Service at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff. In 2011 we were approached by 78 charities and groups seeking over £4.3m. By the end of the year we had made 74 grants for a total of £2,748,643. In 2011, when making difficult choices, Seafarers UK sought to protect those organisations needing funds to deliver direct services (such as care and advice) that make the most direct and immediate impact on our beneficiaries’ wellbeing. However, we were able to make two substantial capital grants. The first was for £50,000 to the William Simpson Home in Scotland, which provides residential social care for men with alcohol-related brain damage as well as respite care and day care places. Our grant contributed towards the replacement 10


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of the old residential accommodation with a new care home. The other substantial capital grant (£80,000) was to the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust to support the development of a new extension at the Trust’s care home in Gillingham, Kent. A new grant in 2011 was £28,060 to Community Network to set up and run telephone support groups for isolated ex-seafarers. Community Network will recruit volunteers and train them to provide telephone support for the friendship groups for isolated seafarers. The grant will pay to train and support the volunteer facilitators and the telephone groups who meet on a regular basis. At Seafarers UK we work in partnership with other maritime charities to share intelligence and knowledge in order to improve the overall efficiency of the sector. As part of this role, I attended the Maritime Charities Funding Group Conference in late 2011 where I ran workshops on how to improve the quality of an organisation’s application for funding. In the current economic climate, with local authority and central government reductions in available funding, our maritime charities need to look to the wider grant-making community for support. To do this, they need to understand how grant-making works and the particular language many grant-makers use. I was pleased to run two workshops on how charities can better identify the difference a grant can make to their work (known as ‘outcome funding’). Within the charity sector there is much discussion as to whether a grant is a gift, or whether the grant giver is actually ‘buying’ something such as a service or an activity or a piece of equipment with their grant, and therefore is


Veterans working with Gardening Leave at the Ayr flower show

it reasonable to know precisely what the money will be spent on and what difference it will make to the lives of its ultimate recipients? Years ago, charities sought grants as a general contribution towards their running costs but over the last decade, the emphasis has shifted towards the need for a better understanding of what the money will be spent on and what difference it will make. Seafarers UK takes the view that many people (such as Flagship readers) have worked very hard to raise and donate money to us, so there is a reasonable expectation that we will make sure it goes where it is most needed and that we will make sure that the money is properly spent and accounted for. I am pleased to report that 2012 is already shaping up to be even busier than 2011. In January 2012 (usually a quiet month), we awarded grants of over £32,000 to eight different charities, from Scotland to Plymouth to India. Seafarers UK covers the whole of the UK as well as the Commonwealth, with grants ranging in size from £1,000 for the Merchant Seamen’s War Memorial Society based in Alford in Surrey, to £5,000 for Gardening Leave based near Ayr in Scotland. Gardening Leave ( was started in 2007 to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of serving and ex-Service personnel using horticultural therapy in the local area and they are now developing similar projects throughout the UK. They needed to replace a vehicle and we were delighted to be able to work in conjunction with other veterans’ charities to fund a new people carrier so their excellent work can continue. At the other end of the country, we were able

Plymouth Drake Foundation

to provide a grant to the still relatively new Plymouth Drake Foundation ( which is a local community charity, covering Plymouth and the surrounding area. They support small voluntary and community groups by providing grants to help their cause; our grant supports projects with a maritime theme for disabled young people as well as support for the Royal Naval pre-school learning association based in Plymouth. Kandla Seafarers Welfare Association (who operate a Seafarers’ Centre in the port of Kandla on the west coast of India) received just under £5,000 which will support the costs of two members of staff who will visit ships in port to give advice and assistance, and a third member of staff who will drive a mini-bus to get the seafarers from their ships to the Seafarers’ Centre at this very busy port – an example of a small grant going a very long way. For Main Grants and Small Grants, further details and application forms are available to download at SPRING 2012



APPEAL LAUNCH “The Appeal strapline is very simple but absolutely fundamental: ‘Supporting the Future’ - and what can be more important? Our remit at Seafarers UK is to target help to those who have been disadvantaged by their own, or by their parents’, seafaring life.” – Seafarers UK Director General Barry Bryant.

Midshipmen Guy Aldous and Ash Waller, London University Royal Naval Unit; Lieutenant (SCC) RNR Chris Hartwell, Sea Cadet ADC to the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and Mrs Dawn Hartwell

Supporting the Seafarers UK Children’s Appeal Nigel Shattock Director of Fundraising & Communications


n 7 March a large crosssection of our key supporters gathered together in support of the launch of The Seafarers UK Children’s Appeal, ‘Supporting the Future’. A number of children’s charity representatives and some of their individual beneficiaries were also in attendance, along with the great and the good. The reception took place at London’s Grange Holborn Hotel, with the costs very generously underwritten by Mr Raj Matharu, Chairman of Grange Hotels. The evening was also by way of a ‘thank you’ to many of our longer-term, regular donors. Seafarers UK’s Director General, Barry Bryant, began the evening by explaining that the appeal, which will be our high profile fundraising ‘ask’ for the next 18 months, has one simple aim. That is to increase the support Seafarers UK gives to charities providing for the welfare needs of seafarers’ children, and to


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organisations that provide activities and personal development opportunities for children in a maritime environment. Barry Bryant went on to emphasise how - in the year of our 95th Anniversary and the Diamond Jubilee of our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen - Seafarers UK is seeking to complement its on-going commitment to the care of maritime veterans by increasing its focus on young people’s welfare and the potential seafarers of the future. He highlighted that, with long periods of separation, more incidents of bereavement, injury and illness, low incomes and general isolation, many seafaring families, and in particular the children, struggle to cope. Three brave people then spoke about their personal experiences, outlining how the support of a maritime charity had helped to shape their lives more positively. First we heard a moving testimonial from a very courageous lady, Kirianne Curley, whose Royal Marine husband was killed in Afghanistan in May 2010. Kirianne spoke about how difficult it has been as a young war widow to bring up a young child whilst also trying to grieve for her loss as well as deal with the practicalities of every-day life and

sometimes the perceptions of others. Next we heard from Julia, who told guests how her and her husband’s lives had changed dramatically in 1981 when their four month old daughter, Rebecca, suffered from brain damage as a result of near cot death. Rebecca required 24-hour care and when her father was deployed to the Falklands with HMS Invincible in 1982, Julia had to cope on her own. After the Falklands, Julia and her husband went on to have two more healthy children, Mark and Matthew, who were at the reception in support of their mother. At the time, however, bringing up two young boys, as well as caring for Rebecca, was very difficult. Julia talked of how these pressures then resulted in the break-up of her marriage, and how maintaining daily support for Rebecca became even more of a struggle. It was the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund (RNRMCF) that helped both Kirianne and Julia to give themselves, but in particular their children, a more stable environment. Sadly Rebecca passed away a few years ago, but the help given to the family meant that Rebecca was able to enjoy many activities despite her disabilities. Likewise the RNRMCF had provided


Tessa Lydekker, Charles Hoare Nairne, C Hoare & Co, Anthony Lydekker,Trustee, Seafarers UK, and Peter Mamelok, Deputy Chairman, Seafarers UK

Jos Standerwick, Corporate Partnerships & Fundraising Manager with members of the Young Maritime Professionals. group

e future Kirianne with much emotional support, but also practical help in terms of funding towards childcare for her twoyear-old son, as well as some much needed play area equipment for their back garden to help ease the emotional difficulty of being out in public with other families. Seafarers UK has supported the RNRMCF for many years and a recent grant has been made to support their activities in 2012. Lastly, Able Cadet Kamil Boriel, of London’s Clapton & Hackney Sea Cadet Unit, highlighted to supporters that he had never expected to be one of the national faces of the Sea Cadets: ‘When I first saw my face on a six-foot poster outside my unit, I was overwhelmed. It felt as if I’d achieved something and reached a goal.’ Kamil talked about having no qualifications when he joined the Sea Cadets but, three years later, he is now qualified in offshore sailing, chart work, seamanship, boating, shooting, piping and instructional methods. Looking back at the things he’d achieved since joining the Sea Cadets, Kamil told attendees that it had inspired him to motivate more young people to get involved. Seafarers UK has recently given a grant to the Sea Cadets for 2012.

So at the end of a very convivial evening of drinks, canapés and the sharing of more stories and conversation, supporters departed with Appeal Packs in hand. These highlighted further case studies, including from the Sailors’ Children’s Society and the Royal Liverpool Seaman’s Orphan Institution, both of which were represented on the night. Seafarers UK has also provided grants to these two maritime charities over a number of years. So we ask that you, the reader, also give your generous support to The Seafarers UK Children’s Appeal. Why? Because we want to ensure that no child of a seafarer should experience undue hardship and not have the opportunities that are offered to their peers. So please help us to help them achieve more, and inspire others. You can donate to the Appeal securely by using the donation letter and form mailed with this issue of Flagship, or by phoning Seafarers UK on 020 7932 0000 with your credit or debit card details. Donations can also be made via our website at Thank you.

Kirianne Curley

Julia Tamlin

Able Cadet Kamil Boriel

Spring 2012




Charmed and surprised by the band of the Royal Marines

The Three Rivers and Colne Committee

Kirsty Aldis Communications Officer


lthough I have been at Seafarers UK for a while now I had yet to attend one of our Royal Marines Band Concerts as a guest, so when the suggestion came to review one of our concerts as a newcomer I jumped at the chance, especially as that concert was in Ipswich and I am a Suffolk girl at heart. On Saturday 3 March my parents (Val and Keith) and I set off to the Regent Theatre in Ipswich to attend our first Royal Marines Band Concert. Whilst I have developed a strong affection to all things ‘seafarers’ throughout my time at the charity it would probably be fair to say that my parents’ knowledge of the maritime sector is restricted to what they have read in Flagship and what I have told them, so their knowledge of what happens at a concert and the music played by the Royal Marines Bands was slightly more dubious. 14

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Committee Chair David Layte

Upon arrival we were greeted by enthusiastic Sea Cadets from nearby Felixstowe holding collection buckets and programmes, with committee members close to hand to answer questions and help guide guests to their seats. It is obvious that the Three Rivers and Colne Committee members have a great loyalty to Seafarers UK and indeed to each other, as everyone arriving received a warm welcome and the transition from entering the Regent Theatre to finding seats was a smooth process. The concert opened with a traditional fanfare and an introduction from the Director of Music, Major Andy Thornhill. Major Thornhill’s opening address was enthusiastic and humorous and set the tone of his and Bandmaster WO2 Ian Hutchinson’s interactions with the audience for the evening. With an eclectic mix ranging from classic band music from the musicians and the Corps of Drums, such as Mountbatten March, and film music from The Cowboys, to an amazing xylophone solo that was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen, there was something for everyone in the audience to enjoy.

The Felixstowe Sea Cadets

The second half of the evening opened with incredible Big Band music that included a fantastic vocal from Musician Poppy Pawsey who gave a wonderful rendition of Caro Emerald’s ‘That Man’. The evening ended with the more traditional Britannic Salute and regimental marches to ease the audience back to reality. I have to confess, I was hesitant about attending a Royal Marines Band Concert, as I was unsure whether two hours of concert music would hold my attention, but I was pleasantly surprised and my parents and I loved the event. The mix of music was both charming and entertaining, with the more traditional music being complemented with modern music so that everyone there had an opportunity to hear something familiar. We definitely plan to attend the next concert in Ipswich and look forward to finding out what music the Royal Marines Band will bring to Suffolk next time! For a list of upcoming Royal Marines Band Concerts around the UK see page 15 opposite.

A Magical

Evening of

Musical Entertainment The ever-popular Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines draw enthusiastic audiences to their concerts in aid of Seafarers UK, with a programme of music that appeals to all ages. Ranging from the rousing Corps of Drums display to a patriotic finale, the evening’s entertainment includes popular tunes from shows and films, played and sung by hugely talented musicians. Band members are active Servicemen and women, many of whom have been on tours of duty in areas of conflict including Afghanistan. Please show your support by coming to a concert near you – and bring your friends!

CONCERTS IN 2012 Wells Cathedral. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Friday, 20 Apr

01749 672773

Glasgow City Halls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tuesday, 1 May

0141 353 8000

Ilfracombe Landmark Theatre . . . Sunday, 13 May (featuring Military Wives Choir)

01271 324242

Eastbourne Winter Garden. . . . . . Thursday, 19 Jul

01323 415500

Perth Concert Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tuesday, 2 Oct

0845 612 6322

Guildford G-Live. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thursday, 4 Oct

0844 770 1997

IOW Medina Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . Tuesday, 30 Oct

01983 527020

Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall. . . Friday, 16 Nov

01892 530613

Edinburgh Usher Hall . . . . . . . . . . . Wednesday, 21 Nov 0131 228 1155 Truro Hall for Cornwall. . . . . . . . . . Sunday, 25 Nov

01872 262466

Carlisle Sands Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . Saturday, 1 Dec

01228 625222

Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall . . . . . . . . Thursday, 6 Dec

0844 847 1776

Southampton Guildhall. . . . . . . . . Tuesday, 11 Dec

023 8063 2601

For tickets please contact the venues direct.

For further information about how seafarers in need benefit from these Royal Marines Band concerts, please contact Alexandra Sard on 023 9273 6101, email (for concerts in England and Wales, shown in yellow) or Nick Davies on 07885 555760, email (for concerts in Scotland and Carlisle, in white).

Spring 2012




Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant At high water on the afternoon of Sunday 3 June, up to one thousand boats will muster on the River Thames in preparation for Seafarers UK’s Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, to take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. It will be one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river. Rowed boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes will be beautifully dressed with streamers and Union Flags, their crews and passengers turned out in their finest rigs. The Armed Forces, fire, police, rescue and other services will be afloat and there will be an exuberance of historic boats, wooden launches, steam vessels and other boats of note. For more information visit www. thamesdiamondjubileepageant. org

London URNU Bake Off Members of the Seafarers UK Fundraising Team undertook one of their most challenging assignments recently, when they were invited to join the judging team at London University Royal Naval Unit’s Charity Bake Sale. Over 30 different varieties of cake and pastry were presented for assessment and anxious not to be seen to be fainthearted in their commitment, our representatives diligently set about the task of tasting and sampling! The students surpassed themselves in the quality and range of the cakes on display, and revealed some remarkable talent. Master Baker David Powell, who oversaw the judging process, declared that in some cases the entries were close to professional standard.



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Midshipman Nadia Hussain stole the honours with her carefully crafted model of HMS Puncher, London URNU’s own tender, but all the judges were tremendously impressed by Midshipman Darren Griffith’s creation of Earth, a cake which, when cut, oozed red sponge and jam ‘lava’. And there was tempting chocolate Guinness cake, brightly coloured cupcakes, diet-defying cheesecake, delicious chocolate brownies, and more – a truly splendid effort. Once the judging process was complete, all the students had the opportunity to sample and purchase. Over £100 was raised for Seafarers UK – just the latest in a number of London URNU’s enterprising and much appreciated fundraising efforts.





Fundraising at the heart o Erskine care home for seafarers


very year we are lucky enough to have some incredible supporters who take part in a range of fundraising activities on behalf of Seafarers UK. The success of our events is due to their amazing fundraising efforts year on year, and without their commitment we would not raise the incredible sums that we do. Thank you all so much and here’s to another great year! Here are just two examples of what your fundraising can achieve: ◗◗ By taking part in the Great Edinburgh Run and raising just £150 your money will provide three children with bereavement counselling. ◗◗ By taking part in the Great South Run and raising £200 your money will go towards one week’s dementia care for a seafarer. We know that many of you are taking part in our challenges for the first time this year and we are here to support you every step of the way. We will send you a supporter pack to get you started with your training and fundraising, making it a fun and enjoyable experience. Over the years it has been a privilege to be a part of so many wonderful stories, such as running 26.2 miles with 36,500 other incredible people, walking 24 Peaks in under 24 hours or swimming in Weymouth Harbour on Christmas Day. We appreciate your support and are incredibly proud of your efforts for Seafarers UK.

Gurvinder Gregson, Fundraising Events Manager, and Verity Maylam, Fundraising Events Officer

How you can help us

We need runners, swimmers and cyclists! We have places available in: ◗◗ The Great London Swim – Saturday 26 May ◗◗ British 10K London Run – Sunday 8 July ◗◗ The Great Edinburgh Run – Sunday 7 October ◗◗ Moonriders - Friday 29 June – a 100km route from London to Brighton cycling through the night. Can you help us to fill these places or do you know anyone that you could persuade to take part? Please drop us an email at events@ or call us on 020 7932 5963 and we will be very happy to talk to you about the best challenge for you to take part in. So please give us a call and get involved in what is set to be another exciting year for Seafarers UK.

Great London Swim – 26 May

On Saturday 26 May, around five thousand people will head to 18


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of what we do Victoria Holden & Poppy Ewence

Nigel Shattock prepares for the Great London Swim The Royal Victoria Dock by the River Thames. The Great London Swim is the largest open water swim in the South of England. But you don’t have to be an experienced open water swimmer to take part. Our very own Fundraising and Communications Director is going to be taking to the water. Nigel Shattock said: ‘Despite my swimming experience to date being limited to picking my kids up from a sports centre, or, at an extreme, sitting in a shallow, junior pool whilst being “hilariously” splashed by the same reprobates, I am taking part in The Great London Swim on 26 May!’ This is a brilliant opportunity to support our seafarers and their families so please sign up today and take part in an exciting and different challenge this summer. All we ask for is a £35 registration fee and that you raise at least £150. Get in touch and sign up today!

London Marathon Update

This year for The Virgin London Marathon we have an incredible 35 people running for Seafarers UK. Between them they are well on their way to reaching our overall target of raising £45,000. Verity Maylam, our Fundraising Events Officer, caught up with a few of them to hear about the different ways they are raising their £1,300 each. Victoria Holden and Poppy Ewence are holding a Fundraising Ball at their university. They plan

to have around 150 guests, all enjoying a fish and chip dinner and then being entertained with a local band along with the chance to win some wonderful raffle prizes. Michele Hoy (pictured) has had an article written about her in the local paper and is planning on holding a Bake Sale. She is already well on her way to reaching her fundraising goal. Other brilliant ideas include a Curry Night, selling items on eBay and of course the traditional sponsorship from friends and family. The countdown to the big day is on, and we are very much looking forward to cheering you all on. Keep up the good work and thank you so much for your efforts!




CHARITY GOLF DAY Tuesday 19 June 2012 Entry fee (per person, teams of four) £47.50 (non-members) £37.50 (members) 1100 Commencing with bacon rolls & coffee 1230 Shotgun start 1845 Curry Supper

the leading charity for seafarers in need

Followed by presentation of prizes and charity auction All proceeds from this event will go to Seafarers UK



Contact James or Catherine on 023 9238 0131 or



W I NTE R 2011


For further information on all these events visit, email or phone 020 7932 5961.



22 April:

12 May: Just Walk,

London Marathon

South Downs 12-13 May: The London to Brighton Challenge 26 MAY: Great London Swim


2-5 June: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 16 June: Great East Swim, Ipswich 25 June-1 July: Seafarers Awareness Week 29 June: Nautical Friday 29 JUNE: Moonriders Cycling Challenge 30 June: Armed Forces Day


8 July: British 10K, London 14–15 July: 24 Peaks Challenge

October 7 OCTOBER: Great Edinburgh Run

December Do it for charity Santa Run (tbc)

8-14 October:

The Fish & Chip Feast 14 October: Liverpool Marathon 21 October: Great Birmingham Run 28 OCTOBER: Great South Run, Portsmouth

RED – KEY EVENTS & DATES GREEN – CHALLENGE EVENTS BLUE – Other 2012 challenges to consider participating in





A gift received with gratitude and respect Robina Whitehorn, Fundraising Manager – Major Gifts Legacy income is hugely important to the work of Seafarers UK, and accounts for nearly £1 million each year. Only rarely do we receive prior notification that such a gift is to be made, and sadly the circumstances of the bequest render it impossible to express our gratitude, on behalf of our beneficiaries, to the donor. That does not mean, however, that we do not take great care to acknowledge our benefactor, and treat the gift with gratitude and respect. Inevitably, but quite properly, the subsequent administrative process is conducted by our Finance Department with the legal representatives of the deceased, and his or her family and friends. In these modern times, the legal requirements and the language used may seem dry, over-formal and dusty to some people. However, in this age of email and instant messaging, the due processes and correct terminology ensure not only that the interests of all concerned are properly safeguarded, but also, and just as importantly, that these affairs are conducted with the dignity and 22


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decorum that we would all rightly expect should any of us choose to make a gift in this way. We must never forget that behind every gift, however large or small, is the person whose choice it has been to remember Seafarers UK. Each bequest, therefore, receives the personal attention of our Finance Director, Ian Wardle, and our Legacy Administrator, Chris Brown. They conduct their correspondence by formal letter rather than email. Ian explains: ‘We always try to remember that the reason for our communication is the death of a loved one, and that grieving relatives and friends should not regard our involvement as intrusive and thoughtless at a painful time.’ Upon receiving notification, either from a solicitor or lay executor, that a legacy bequest has been made, a personal letter is sent, conveying to the family and friends our sympathy and appreciation. At the outset, and throughout the subsequent exchange of correspondence, both Ian and Chris are sensitive to the requirement for timely acknowledgement, whilst avoiding excessive bureaucratic pressure. Sometimes we are given information about our benefactor, and their reason for remembering Seafarers UK. We really do appreciate these personal stories; more often than not, we are sadly unaware of any previous connection with either this charity, or the wider maritime sector. Once the administrative process is complete, and the gift has been received and acknowledged, the name of the donor is written in our Book of Remembrance as a permanent record of his or her kind legacy. This book

Make a date with Seafarers UK!

Julie Behan, Fundraising Manager –Individuals

is always available for inspection at our Annual Meeting in May. At other times throughout the year, friends and relatives may request to visit our London office to have sight of the record of the bequest. For further information, phone Robina Whitehorn on 020 7932 5981 or email

IN MEMORIAM We thank most sincerely the families and friends of those recently deceased, who have chosen to support Seafarers UK in their memory: Mrs Elspeth Agnew Mr John Antony Belcher Mr John Teague Gilhespy MBE Mrs Agnes Lawrie Lane Commander John Clifford Parker Commodore Ian Pemberton OBE RD** DL RNR Vice Admiral Sir Iwan Raikes KCB CBE DSC DL Mr John Rennie Commander Ronald Short Mr Maurice J Swift

There are some significant dates in everyone’s diaries for 2012, including The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics! We hope that in your diaries you have room to include some of the events at which Seafarers UK is planning to raise funds this year. We have a wide range of events in this year’s programme and we hope you will find something of interest. From our more challenging events such as 10K runs and the 24 Peaks, to our ever-popular Royal Marines Band concerts, for which we ask just that you buy a ticket and attend a magical evening of musical entertainment. This issue of Flagship includes an Events Calendar (on page 21). More information can be found on our website at or by calling our office on 020 7932 0000, where a member of staff will be willing to help. This year we have a special ask for our individual supporters. Nautical Friday on 29 June is Seafarers UK’s National Fundraising Day and we are asking that all our supporters make this a day to raise money for seafarers in need. You may choose to organise your own fundraising event for Nautical Friday but, if not, we are looking for some very special volunteers.

We need 100 people who are willing to run their own local Nautical Friday ‘Flag Day’ for Seafarers UK. We can provide tins, stickers and balloons; all we need you to do is provide the manpower and venue. Please note that ‘street collections’ require a licence from your local council. But there are many other places where you may be surprised by people’s generosity. If you have a few hours to spare and would like to help in this way please email seafarers@ or call 020 7932 0000. We are most grateful for the support of our individual donors and we look forward to taking your phone calls and receiving your many letters and donations during the course of the year. Please email julie.behan@seafarers-uk. org or call 023 9269 0324 if you have any questions or suggestions about making a donation or supporting the work of Seafarers UK.

spring 2012



Seafarers Awareness Week 2012

Seafarers Awareness Week 2012 stories about people who work or worked at sea, and the impact they have or had on their lives. We expect to receive recollections like these:

Nick Harvey Communications and Campaigns Manager Seafarers Awareness Week (25 June-1 July) is the annual campaign coordinated by Seafarers UK to raise awareness of the UK’s dependence on seafarers and why we need to support them in their times of need – see

‘Remember a Seafarer’

This year Flagship readers are invited to ‘Remember a Seafarer’ and share their memories, helping to reveal the human aspects of seafaring. Promoted in newspapers and magazines, on radio and TV, and via social media including Facebook and Twitter, ‘Remember a Seafarer’ provides an opportunity for Seafarers UK supporters to send us their 24


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◆ From relatives – “my husband is a Royal Marine; he was in Afghanistan when our baby was born” ◆ From shipmates – “Jack saved my life when our ship went down during the Falklands conflict” ◆ About the deceased – “Grandad was a lifelong fisherman whose trawler was sunk in a terrible storm” ◆ About famous historical seafarers – “reading about Sir Francis Drake inspired me to go to sea”. It is easy to add your stories on this dedicated website – www. Or send them, ideally with a photograph, to ‘Remember a Seafarer’, Seafarers UK, 8 Hatherley Street, London, SW1P 2QT.

A Seafarer’s Life – Children’s Quiz

An interactive online quiz is being created for young children. This will be a fun activity with underlying messages about

the realities of life at sea. Promoted predominantly using social media, and with the incentive of a prize draw, this is expected to attract hundreds of entries. Together with some of our unpublished children’s survey results from last year, this will help us to get radio and TV coverage about seafarers and their vital role in ‘keeping Britain afloat’.

Day of the Seafarer – 25 June

This year, as the global ‘Day of the Seafarer’ is the first day of Seafarers Awareness Week, we are working closely with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to draw attention to the importance of today’s seafarers. The IMO will be inviting consumers to suggest which products that come to the UK by sea are absolutely essential. More information will be published at www.

Parliamentary Reception - 26 June

Seafarers UK is organising a Seafarers Awareness Week reception for parliamentarians in the House of Commons (with thanks to host Caroline Dinenage MP). This will provide a timely

Seafarers UK Director General Barry Bryant and Peter Brookshaw, Lord Mayor of Plymouth, the host city for Armed Forces Day 2012

opportunity to explain to MPs and Peers why the health and wellbeing of our seafarers is so important to the UK as an island nation.

Armed Forces Day Civic Reception – 29 June

In conjunction with Plymouth City Council, Seafarers UK is organising a grand Civic Reception in the Plymouth Guildhall on the eve of Armed Forces Day. With VIP guests and a Royal Marines Band Beat Retreat and Ceremonial Sunset, this invitation-only event will celebrate the entire Armed Forces community and specifically the role of seafarers, past, present and future, in the defence of our nation’s freedom and continuing prosperity. In this Diamond Jubilee year there surely can be no better venue than the historic city of Plymouth, with its world-renowned maritime heritage, to join together for this very special event.

Armed Forces Day - 30 June

Falling this year during Seafarers Awareness Week, Armed Forces Day on 30 June will raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces including the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, plus the Merchant Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. It gives the nation an opportunity to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community; from currently serving troops to Service families and from veterans to cadets. The national event this year is in the maritime city of Plymouth where a spectacular day of exhibitions and displays on land, on sea and in the air has been organised. The day will be centred on Plymouth Hoe and there will be a packed programme of activities for families to enjoy, as well as late afternoon

and evening entertainment on the Hoe and the Barbican. Seafarers UK will have a display in the tented ‘Veterans Village’ – please come and say hello to our fundraising staff and local committee members. See uk for more details.

Sea Sunday (Plymouth) - 1 July

Sea Sunday is a week earlier in Plymouth this year, on the final day of Seafarers Awareness Week, when churches will come together to remember our seafarers. Later that day the work of Seafarers UK will be showcased at the Plymouth Armed Forces Week Concert in the Plymouth Guildhall. To purchase tickets phone 01364 72429 or visit Visit for more information.

Spring 2012



Seamen’s Hospital Society Helping seafarers in need

The Royal Alfred Seafarers’Society

Providing quality residential nursing, dementia and short term respite care primarily for seafarers and their dependants. The nation owes a great deal to its seafarers and our home provides them with a safe haven in old age and adversity. If you know of someone that needs our help please contact us. We offer modern en suite rooms and sheltered flats set in 14 acres of lovely Surrey countryside on the edge of Banstead. Donations and legacies are vital to us and help ensure that our residents continue to receive the best possible care. For further information about the services we provide, or for advice on tax efficient giving, please contact the Chief Executive, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt OBE, at Head Office, Weston Acres, Woodmansterne Lane, Banstead, Surrey SM7 3HA.

Reg Charity No 209776. Est 1865

01737 353763 Fax: 01737 362678


The Seamen’s Hospital Society is dedicated to meeting the health, welfare and advice needs of seafarers. If you are or have been a merchant seafarer or fisherman, we’re here to help you and your dependants. We provide: • Grants for essential household items and disability aids • Help with unpaid bills when money is short • A national telephone advice service for seafarers – SAIL • Support for a number of schemes providing free physiotherapy • Support for a number of local projects helping to promote seafarers’ health • Grants to other institutions that support seafarers • Information on health and the Dreadnought Medical Service Contact us or visit our website to find out more. 29 King William Walk, Greenwich, London SE10 9HX Tel: 020 8858 3696 Fax: 020 8293 9630 Email: Registered charity number 231724

Are you an ex-Serviceman/Woman? Young or old, as a veteran you can get free help and advice on ANY issue affecting your life.


0800 169 2277

Services provided by



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Providing care for 190 years


ailors’ Children’s Society was formed by public meeting on 19 April 1821 when a group of concerned gentlemen felt something should be done to help the seamen returning from the Napoleonic wars. Following early donations, a floating chapel called a Bethel was purchased and moored in Hull, giving the seamen somewhere not only to worship but also to find education. A ship called Wyton was lost on passage to America during 1824 and, following collections during religious services on the Bethel, the very first children’s welfare and clothing grants were made to the widows and children of the lost crew. Sailors’ Children’s Society still provides help to disadvantaged children of seafarers throughout the United Kingdom 190 years later. The early principles of the founders 28


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of the Society have stood the test of time and still hold fast in the 21st century.

The Society currently helps over 400 children of seafarers from Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleet families who have suffered a traumatic experience including bereavement, diagnosis of a terminal illness or the break-up of abusive relationships. The staff aim to let children be children throughout these difficult times and provide appropriate support on a financial, practical and emotional basis. The financial and practical help the Society gives includes:

Monthly Child Welfare Grants

Welfare Grants are intended to help with the day to day cost of children’s living expenses such as brownies, cubs, and music and sports lessons. Many parents feel these provide time for the children to be away from the local streets where gang cultures often exist. These clubs also teach children valuable skills for later life. In the recent economic climate, however, these grants are often used to

provide nutritionally-balanced meals for children and normal heating in the home.

Clothing Grants

The Society gives clothing grants to each of the children it supports twice a year. The first, in August, provides each child with a new uniform in which to return to school during September. Having a new uniform in the same way as their peers has an immeasurable impact on a child’s self esteem, compared to the head-down feeling that comes from wearing second-hand clothes on the first day back. Additional help is also given when a child first starts school or moves from junior school to senior school. The second clothing grant the Society gives is to provide each child with winter clothing. As the majority of supported families do not own a car, the children either walk or travel by public transport to school every day. This grant pays for a pair of sturdy winter shoes and a warm waterproof coat. If parents shop wisely there can be spare cash within the grant for hat, scarf, gloves and wellington


Deanne Thomas and team members at the Sailors’ Children’s Society

boots. The Society simply seeks to provide the essentials throughout the cold winter months and receives many photographs from families of children making their own snow angels and snowmen!

family to bond again. The caravans are based on Haven Holiday sites and each family is given free activity passes to ensure the children can experience new sports and activities in the same way as the other children they meet.

Emergency Grants

Tickets to local attractions and pantomimes

The Society will always seek to help a family in an emergency either by providing emergency funding themselves or by working with other maritime charities with which they have long-standing relationships. During the harsh winter of 2010, emergency heating grants were issued, initially to all the Society’s families in Scotland who suffered from minus 20 degree temperatures for more than two weeks. The Society then also issued a slightly smaller emergency grant to the rest of its supported families in England and Wales to ensure the children had adequate heating over the Christmas period. With a small team, the Society is flexible enough to be able to recognise the needs of families and to react quickly when required.

Caravan Holidays

The Society owns seven caravans throughout the United Kingdom and offers each of its families the chance to take a week away from the stresses and strains of normal life each year. Families new to the scheme who have very recently suffered a loss are prioritised as the experience of a holiday in new surroundings helps a

Each year the Society applies to many local attractions, including safari parks, cinemas, ten pin bowling centres and theatres, for free tickets to allow supported children to have a family day out when otherwise the cost would mean they miss out. This is a fairly new initiative and again allows the children to laugh and enjoy simply being children. When a family has suffered a loss, they often have emotional needs in addition to their immediate financial problems. As a team the Society always provides a listening ear and through experience has links to many other more specialist support organisations such as childhood bereavement or debt support organisations. There is also a Family Support Officer based in south west England who provides face to face support on a regular basis, working with families in that area to enable them to tackle their issues and move forwards. From an initial traumatic event, families stay on their support scheme on average for a period of five years until they are once again self-sufficient. However, the Society will always provide support to a family whilst a

child is in full-time education, when needed.

Families supported include:

Tina’s partner Jim was injured whilst working onboard a car ferry and is now being looked after on a long term medical support plan. Jim’s injuries mean that he no longer recognises his son Jack, who aged eight, cannot understand what has happened to his dad. Tina was recommended to the Society by her local Royal British Legion caseworker and since the Society accepted her and Jack onto the scheme, they have benefitted from on-going child welfare and clothing grants, and in 2011 took a holiday in one of the Society’s caravans. Andy had to give up his job as a fisherman when he was diagnosed with cancer. His wife Sarah is now his full-time carer. The Society accepted Andy and Sarah onto their scheme in 2009 with their children Jamie (six) and Emily (four), and has provided financial support during this time. The Society will continue to support Andy and his family until they are once again self-sufficient and no longer need their help. Seafarers UK regularly supports Sailors’ Children’s Society with grants of over £50,000 to help the Society continue to support families like these throughout the UK. For further information on Sailors’ Children’s Society please contact Deanne Thomas on 01482 342331 or email info@ SPRING 2012




Linseed, Flax and the Navy At first glance it may be hard to see how this plant whose Latin name means ‘most useful’ could have anything to do with seafaring, but scratch below the surface and you will find quite a few connections.

It is hoping for some nice unsaturated ancient people managed to press the oil fats to speed the process. If on the other from the seed they discovered it could be hand the body has adulterated oils used in other ways to preserve wood and and fats the process is slowed and bad to make paint. When an old masterpiece residue is dumped on the artery walls. has a yellow tinge it is from the lovely linseed oil. Linseed oil played a big role in The advice is, never roast with any oil at high temperature; it destroys the vital keeping the timber of the old ships from Flax is a plant grown for its fibre. It is oxygen transferring abilities. So how to splitting and rotting. very strong, durable but also soft and roast those potatoes or parsnips? Well, Here’s a question for you. The Royal flexible. It makes double damask table saturated fat is the answer. This kind of Army Medical Corps were nicknamed cloths as well as sails. It is said that fat is unharmed by heat whereas oils are The Linseed Lancers. Does anyone know Nelson used sails made near Bridport in made more like plastic. if the Naval Medical Corps had a similar the village of Coker and paid 2p more Johanna went on to use linseed oil in nickname? Interestingly, the very first per square yard than was the going rate her protocol to help cure many diseases page of the 1944 RAMC training manual because they had developed a better way including cancer. If oil can cure, it seems talks about the cells of the human body of retting the fibre therefore making to me that the cause of many of our ills and how important it is for them to them stronger. Ropes were also made are the result of far too much junk oil and receive the oxygen they need to do their from the flax fibre and a sailing ship has adulterated fats in our food chain. work and to be able to get rid of waste. plenty of them. There is a company still I am just about to set up an online It also has a recipe for making linseed in Bridport in the rope and net making museum with my many linseed and flax poultices. business but unfortunately it is all artefacts. I hope you have enjoyed this The link here is made by a wonderful plastic today. German doctor, Johanna Budwig. It is still possible to discern from the 3rd Floor Offices, 29 - 35 St Nicholas Place, Leicesterlittle LE1sail 4LDthrough the forgotten world of linseed She was among the first to research old flax workers cottages how rope Telephone: walks 0116 251 7385 Facsimile: 0116 262 6280 and flax. If you have any memories to share I would love to hear essential fats and the role they play in the were incorporated into the town plan. fromSize: you. H: 12.5cm X W: 20cm making of cells. Now, linseed, well, it has been eaten Issue No: 226 Publishing date: 9th September 2011 Imagine the heart ready to do the for thousands of years. It is an oilseed Durwin Bankstel, 01403 730326, job and the lungs waiting to supply the containing Omega 3, 6 and 9. Omega 3 oxygen. The heart is thinking what sort and 6 are essential fats that the body does of oil have I to help with this process? not make and must be in the diet. As




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Have you seen the old man outside the seamen’s mission? Memory fading with the medal ribbons that he wears And in our winter city the rain cries a little pity For one more forgotten hero and a world that doesn’t care

Don’t Forget The Seamen’s Rest! Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest is the Seamen’s Mission of the Methodist Church. Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest has been serving seafarers in the East End of London since 1843. We accommodate 170 men and we see our work as offering these men a home. Our work is motivated by the love of Christ. In the words from Ralph McTell many of these men are ‘forgotten heroes’ many have fought for their King/Queen and country and now find themselves trying to survive in a world that ‘doesn’t seem to care’. Thanks be to God for places like the ‘Seamen’s Mission’ a place where God willing ‘old men’ can stand outside for many years to come. To support our work and/or request a copy of our Annual Review Contact: Alexander Campbell 121-131 East India Dock Road London, E14 6DF Tel: 02079874622 Registered Charity Number 1106126



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White Ensign/THLS Advert_Layout 1 24/02/2012 14:11 Page 1

Trinity House– serving the Mariner since1514 Main picture: Godrevy Lighthouse

Trinity House provides nearly 600 Aids to Navigation from lighthouses, buoys and beacons to the latest satellite navigation technology in England, Wales & the Channel Islands. We provide commercial services to the maritime industry, offer voyages on our flagship THV PATRICIA and have converted a number of keepers’ cottages to holiday accommodation. Trinity House is also the UK’s largest fully endowed maritime charity. It provides major grants to maritime organisations engaged in welfare provision, education and training, and the promotion of safety at sea, and spends over £4million each year on its charitable objects.







Penguins by Gap The twelve italicized solutions are Roman Emperors and their definitions are omitted from these clues.There will be a bottle of Cutty Sark whisky for the first correct entry pulled out of Flagship’s bicorn hat after the closing date of 25 May 2012. Post your entries to: Kirsty Aldis, Seafarers UK, 8 Hatherley Street, London, SW1P 2QT.


cartoons by Paul Thomas

Coke-bottle shoulders

watch, as a result of there not being enough sleeping accommodation for the whole ship’s company. Still very much used on submarines where space is always at a premium, but rarely on surface ships except during wartime. May or not be related to the term ‘hot desking’, used ashore where two or more workers share a single desk.

© GAP productions 2012



1 Treating saves pain (9) 6 Lass getting degree (5) 9 Italian dish Alan cooked with gas (7) 10 One taking over American transfer for Peru by river (7) 11 Reportedly prepares pastry essentials (5) 12 Clothes protector – a Shakespearean character – before dance (4-4) 14 Usual choice for UK election badly hurts Sir Robin (7) 15 Obtain article (4) 18 Book and part of title, perhaps (4) 20 Pigeon patty? (8) 24 Fearless, I printed revision (8) 25 Justinian II, perhaps, a former partner on Crete, we hear (5) 27 Accepting publicity, I create new issue for publisher (7) 28 Threatening piece in game, not starting with solvers and setter (7) 29 Raven stew (5) 30 Developing nation gets newspaper back (9)

DOWN 1 Port football team, maybe, gets a couple of points (6) 2 Accused religious group eating half of supper untidily (7) 3 Important states (8) 4 Country artist has a measure of brightness outside (4) 5 Any pure hot concoction for a disease? (10) 6 Awkward and sinister? (6) 7 Scientist climbing mountain in decorative cloth (7) 8 Stan loses head when meeting Scotsman (8) 13 Flower made a spirit sad perhaps (10) 16 Leave out queen of hearts without a surrounding (8) 17 Ran a live presentation (8) 20 Impetuous person found by Tottenham (7) 21 Parasite found in pine structure containing animal area (7) 22 He (Raj) and I take trip – a seventh century flight (6) 23 I go off the scale (6) 26 Uncooperative habit (4)

An anatomical feature possessed by those individuals who are unable to take responsibility in any situation - after the rounded ‘shoulders’ of the classic Coca-Cola bottle. A more extreme version of this complaint is ‘Galliano shoulders’ as the elegant bottle containing this liqueur – an essential ingredient in a Harvey Wallbanger cocktail – has no shoulders at all.


Originally a large and unwieldy transport or cargo vessel, especially in the Mediterranean (it comes from the Greek word holkas, meaning ‘barge’). It subsequently came to mean an old, dis-masted vessel laid up in a harbour and used for stores, accommodation, training, as a prison or even as a hospital for people with dangerous or contagious diseases.

Hot bunking

Alternate use of bed or bunk space by sailors coming on and going off

Last issue’s crossword was won by Helen Glasson from Buckinghamshire, who won a bottle of Cutty Sark whisky. The following ten lights can be preceded by Christmas to make a phrase: CACTUS, STOCKING, CAROL, DAISY, BEETLE, FERN, PRESENT, DISEASE, ISLAND, ROSE.

Word derived from Arabic meaning to take a look, usually inside or under something. The flexible fibre optic endoscopes originally designed for medical use and now used to look inside jet engines are known as ‘shuftiscopes’.


Dusty is a traditional nickname for anyone with the surname Rhodes or Miller. A ‘Jack Dusty’ is a supply rating looking after stores or supplies aboard ship. The name derives from the historic nickname ‘Jack o’ the Dust’ for the seamen who issued the flour provisions.

You can order a signed copy of Jackspeak: a guide to British Naval Slang and Usage, by Dr Rick Jolly OBE, for just £10 including p&p, a saving of £2.50. Send cheque for £10 to Palamanando Publishing, PO Box 42, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 2YR, marking your order “Flagship Offer”. The author will personalise copies being bought as gifts on request. SPRING 2012



Writes of Passage

Cabbages and Mayors by Peter Calkin In 1952 I was a junior officer in HMS Surprise, the C in C Mediterranean’s Despatch Vessel, when we were ordered to take Flag Officer Malta, Rear Admiral Geoffrey Hawkins, and his family for a few days well-earned leave following the end of a long and bitter strike by workers in Valetta 36


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dockyard, the smooth and continuing operation of which was Admiral Hawkins’ responsibility.

Sicily offered the nearest and most suitable destination and we duly sailed for Taormina which had been a popular and sophisticated resort before the war and was just beginning to recover that status. I was detailed to make a courtesy call on the Mayor to ask his permission for one of Her Majesty’s ships to anchor off his town, although this blessing had of course already been sought and granted through higher channels. I hadn’t done this sort

of thing before but was told that I would be met by the Mayor with his official transport and my only responsibility was to thank him as nicely as possible for the hospitality he was according the ship, and Admiral Hawkins’ family in particular. All in all, an apparently uncomplicated mission, but I’d been in the Navy long enough to know that the simpler a task was made to sound the greater were likely to be the unmentioned possible ramifications, which turned out to be the case. Duly dressed in best uniform whites and sword I embarked on the adventure on a warm sunny morning and with

WRITES OF PASSAGE a fairly light heart, despite the fact that there was no jetty and the slightly shelving beach meant getting ashore could involve a longish jump from the bows of my boat. Being then pretty athletic and not expecting this to be a problem I took off, only to land in calf-deep water, which rather marred a previously pristine uniform, the boat having gone astern at the critical moment. I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if the cox’n had done this on purpose, as part of what he considered a young officer’s necessary education, although at the time I found it neither educational nor funny. The next problem was how to arrive in good order and not out of breath after climbing the 110 steps up to the cliff top where the Mayor and assorted onlookers were waiting. Taken slowly, however, this stage happily afforded some drying time for my wet trousers, and I reached the top breathing normally with cap on straight and sheathed sword correctly held, to be greeted warmly and politely by a small crowd and effusively by the Mayor, who turned out to be the town’s greengrocer – which slightly surprised me as did his official transport, a Vespa scooter. He had also just come from the market with two very large nets of cabbages so, while seeking desperately to retain a modicum of dignity, I was whisked off to the Mayor’s Parlour perched precariously on the Vespa’s pillion and armed with a giant bag of cabbages in my right hand, sword and second giant bag in my left, all the while hoping that my cap would stay on. The Mayor was a ferociously determined driver despite the modesty of his official carriage, but laden with two people and the added drag of the cabbages we fortunately never reached lift-off. The Mayoral Parlour presented another surprise, turning out to be a sort of violently over-decorated lounge abounding with huge fluffy cushions and what looked like velvet hangings, all in various shades of bilious mauve. It housed – and I can think of no better word – a singularly well-built lady, the Mayor’s wife, who spoke American, and was American. She had been a nurse with the US Army in Sicily and had stayed on after the Italian capitulation, married the Mayor and ever since had clearly enjoyed the culinary, vinous and sundry other delights that the Mayor could offer.

“I was whisked off to the Mayor’s Parlour, perched precariously on the Vespa’s pillion and armed with a giant bag of cabbages in my right hand, sword and second giant bag in my left, all the while hoping that my cap would stay on.”

She turned out to be much gentler than her intimidating size had led me to fear, which was a bonus as another unexpected challenge to decorum appeared in the form of how to descend decorously into a perilously deep armchair while encumbered by sword, aperitif and plate of small snacks. This obstacle having been successfully overcome, the natural warmth of my hosts and the extent of official hospitality meant we all got on famously, albeit with my having to bless the unofficial lessons in holding one’s drink that had been part and parcel of my earlier Naval training. Such lessons notwithstanding, however, my departure was slightly more hesitant, not to say erratic, than my arrival, but we reached the top of the cliff safely, although after even more enthusiastic Mayoral embraces the steps seemed rather trickier to negotiate than they had been on the way up. Once on the beach I found the ship’s boat safely grounded much closer inshore than previously and the cox’n wearing that look of sublime innocence that only experienced sailors can manage. Nothing was said, nor did it need to be, and I returned to the ship with a not entirely alcohol-fuelled feeling of satisfaction that I had just managed to complete my first official engagement - without disgracing either myself or, more importantly, the Royal Navy.


Visit the traditional Bridge, see the triple expansion steam engines and Scotch Boilers

Commemoration Excursions for RMS Titanic

10th April – join us as we depart midday and re-trace Titanic’s course in the Solent and view the events in the White Star Dock, Southampton: £46 14th April – we commemorate Titanic’s last full day at sea with an excursion to the Eastern Solent. There will be a short memorial service on board for all those lost at sea in peace and war: £46 Book early to secure a place, on 0844 357 2329 visit our website at: Also available for private hire, special interest trips, or functions alongside.





Flagship review

Recommended WEBSITE:

Seafarer Support

When you need help in a hurry, it’s not the best


They Couldn’t Have Done it Without Us: the Merchant Navy and the Falklands War by John Johnson-Allen

While the Merchant Navy has always supported the Royal Navy in times of war (right back to the Battle of Sluys in 1340), John JohnsonAllen’s longoverdue study shows that its role was particularly significant in the Falklands due to the logistical challenge of fighting a modern war 8,000 miles from home. The Task Force included some 70 merchant ships, and while some were from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, most were ships taken up from trade (‘STUFT’, or ‘requisitioned’ in the popular terminology of the time). As well as the QE2, they included container 38

F L AG S H I P S P RIN G 2012

time to have to navigate your way through the bewildering array of organisations that make up the maritime charity sector. Seafarer Support, a service launched by the Maritime Charities Funding Group (of which Seafarers UK is a member), aims to help seafarers and their families cut through the jungle and get quickly to the charities best placed to help them. The Seafarers Support website is basically an updated and fully searchable online version of the Maritime Charities Welfare Guide, published in paper form for many years by Seafarers UK. It includes details of hundreds of charities that help seafarers and their families, including those such as the Royal British Legion, which of course do not confine ships like the ill-fated Atlantic Conveyor (pictured), roll-on-roll-off ferries such as the St Edmund and several tankers including the British Tay and Shell’s Eburma. All crewed by British seafarers, with foreign crew being replaced for the duration of the war (much to the chagrin of some). Such is the decline of the British Merchant fleet in the last 30 years that, as Johnson-Allen laments in a timely final chapter, it would be ‘impossible’ to imagine assembling such an Armada today, largely because sufficient British crew would not be available. The centrepiece of this book are many accounts from crew serving on the various ships; some based on interviews, some on contemporary diaries, some written specifically for this book. These accounts are often frank, and reveal a good deal of mutual incomprehension between Merchant and Royal, especially over matters like discipline, food and accommodation, as well as the tendency to criticise the seamanship of the crews of other lines and even, God forbid on occasion, of the RN. It’s particularly interesting to read these accounts written by sailors with mostly no military background or training, many of whom, particularly those on ferries, had no experience of going ‘deep

Would you like to review for Flagship? To

join our list of reviewers, contact Kirsty Aldis on 020 7932 5986 or email kirsty.aldis@

themselves to seafarers. A very short and clear video on the home page tells you who the website is for and how to use it. This much easier than trawling through ‘About Us’ pages or wearying lists of FAQs. Those who prefer to talk to a real person can use the 0800 phone number to speak to the specialist staff at Seafarer Support, or can use the site to request a call back at a time that suits them. Looking for urgent financial assistance for a recently bereaved widow of a Royal Navy rating, we entered a few basic personal details (although a box asking for ‘Proof of Service’ seemed unnecessary at this stage and was left blank without apparently affecting the results) and searched for services covering ‘Bereavement’, ‘Welfare’, ‘Childcare’ and ‘Grants to Individuals’. Being able to tick as many options as you like means you can make sure you have all the bases covered. More than 20 charities were listed, with the one perhaps best placed to help in this situation, the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), right at the top. The site showed that this charity offers immediate

sea’. They glow with the excitement, and occasional fear, of men and women who had never expected to go to war. Just one example will serve, from the journal of Laurine Mulberry, assistant purser on the Canberra, one of the few women to serve in the South Atlantic: ‘The incongruity of eating dinner – with a string quartet – to hear conversation of cold storage for bodies and then the conversation turn, casually, to the poetry of Yeats and Wordsworth… This is so totally real and yet surreal. Cruising will, quite literally, never be the same. You will constantly see behind the frivolous façade of a cruise the darkness of men gearing themselves up for a fight and possibly even death.’ Seafarers Books, 251pp, £9.95 ISBN 978-1906266233


financial support to the widows of ratings who die in Service, as well as other benefits for people in this situation. The information on each charity does vary, with some providing full details of services and restrictions while others give only a general description. Searching for help for a retired merchant seaman looking for residential care produced a long list of specific residential homes plus charities providing more general support for

HMS Ark Royal: Zeal Does Not Rest 1981-2011 by Alistair Graham and Eric Grove

Originally intended to help mark HMS Ark Royal’s 25th year of service, this book instead became a tribute after the iconic ship was

housing, with the Mariner’s Park in Liverpool (run by Nautilus Welfare Funds) coming out on top. The results did include a number of Service charities who may offer help to merchant seafarers in certain circumstances. A search for help for a young fisherman looking for re-training opportunities produced a slew of results for charities which provide training courses, grants for training, or help and advice, from which The Marine Society and

decommissioned as part of the government’s Strategic Defence Review (aka savings exercise). The new book is written by Lieutenant Commander Alistair Graham, who served on board as a Senior Weapons Engineer from 2008 to 2010, and naval historian Eric Grove. Very slightly larger than her two sister ships,

Trinity House were the obvious first ports of call. However, the involvement of many charities for disabled seafarers in training and employment did produce some extraneous results here. A couple of minor glitches aside, Seafarers Support is a simple, user-friendly site that does exactly what it says on the tin.

and with a steeper ski-jump ramp, Ark Royal carried the STOVL (Short Take Off and Vertical Landing) Harrier Jump Jet aircraft, as well as various helicopters. With a complement of over 1,000, including the embarked Air Group, she saw active service in the 1990s Bosnian War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, witnessing her fair share of military successes and personal tragedies. Affectionately known as ‘The Mighty Ark’, she was the fifth Royal Navy ship to have borne the name since the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 – and the name had become synonymous with the history of the Fleet Air Arm for nearly a century. With an abundance of operational photos and personal tributes from former Commanding Officers (many of whom subsequently did quite well!), this is an uplifting ‘must have’ volume and a fitting memorial, not only to this great ship and her people, but also to a zealous tradition of successful fixed-wing naval aviation that will not rest until the next generation carrier becomes a reality. Maritime Books, 368pp, £29.99 ISBN 978-1904459460





Together our challenge is to raise £6,000,000 by the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines in 2014. It goes without saying that we seek to support our wounded and injured in any way we can. But we also seek to improve the quality of life of those who are facing multiple tours in high threat environments and are so very often forgotten. And we continue this support long after our people have severed their formal links to the Corps. Sadly, we also provide a death grant to the next of kin of any member of the Corps who has died in service.

To find out how you can support us visit or to make a donation now, text ‘MARINES’ to 70300 to donate £5*


*This service will make a one-off £5 donation to the Royal Marines Association minus your mobile operator charges. The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund is an Incorporated Registered Charity No. 1134205, Registered office: RM Corps Secretariat, Building 32, HMS EXCELLENT, Whale Island, Portsmouth PO2 8ER

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03/06/2011 16:28

Wrens Small Ad 91x130mm:Hydratech Data Sheets SAILp2


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for Wrens and Royal Navy female personnel ashore and afloat

Seafarers' Advice & Information Line PO Box 45234, Greenwich, London SE10 9WR Tel: 08457 413 318 Fax: 020 8269 0794

Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

The Seafarers' Advice and Information Line is a telephone, email and letter advice service operated, on behalf of the Seamen’s Hospital Society, by the Greenwich Citizens Advice Bureaux, to provide advice and casework to merchant seafarers, fishermen and their families. The line is open 10.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday.


ASSOCIATION OF WRENS Greenwich Citizens Advice Bureaux Ltd. Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered number: 3346379 Registered Charity number 1064404 Designed by Riverside Design Associates 09/08

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By leaving a legacy to the Marine Society & Sea Cadets you become a member of the Nelson Legacy League supporting professional seafarers and Sea Cadets, Britain’s largest maritime youth charity. For more information, contact our Legacy Manager on 020 7654 7000 or email

YOUR LEGACY - THEIR FUTURE SeaCadets_Ad_A4_1.indd 1

Patron HM The Queen A charity registered in England and Wales 313013 and in Scotland SC037808

Our core activity is to provide life-long job finding advice, information and support to service leaders. Additionally, we provide this service as part of the Career Transition Partnership, using the amalgamated resources of the RFEA and the Officers’ Association, through a network of 24 reginal offices and specific overseas and executive appointment consultants. We offer employers access to thousands of quality candidates through our no cost recruitment service.

If you are a service leaver looking for support, or an employer looking to recruit, log on to our website or call our central employment team on 0121 236 0058 for details of your nearest RFEA office.

12/7/11 12:29:01





Supporting independent living for our ex-Service community “I don’t have to worry about being lonely”

Rosendael  Comfortable  Affordable  Friendly  Independent living with support when you need it. Worried about loneliness, security or paying the bills? Rosendael in Broughty Ferry, Dundee offers first class residential accommodation for veterans of all ages. If you or your spouse served in the armed forces (including reserves) or merchant marine, call today and find out more.

Don’t hesitate, call today. Call Max or Carole on 01382 477078 or visit

Supporting Our Heroes Poppyscotland provides year-round support to veterans and their families across Scotland We rely wholly on public donations so we can provide financial assistance directly to those in urgent need. Your donations also help to fund specialist services such as long term care, housing and employment for veterans of all ages. Poppyscotland reaches more veterans living in Scotland than any other charity providing for their immediate and future wellbeing. Please don’t leave it until November to give your support. To find out more about us or to make a donation, visit our website: Poppyscotland, New Haig House, Logie Green Road, Edinburgh EH7 4HR 0131 557 2782 Poppyscotland is a trading name of The Earl Haig Fund Scotland. Scottish Charity No SC014096. A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Scotland No 194893 at the above address.

Registered Charity No. SC 015260

THE ROYAL HOMES (A Branch of SSAFA Forces Help)

Self-contained apartments become available periodically at Queen Alexandra’s Court for widows, divorcees or single daughters of Officers or Warrant Officers, or women who are retired Officers or Warrant Officers of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

The Royal Homes are listed Grade II and set in delightful grounds. Applicants will not normally be admitted for residence before the age of 60 and must be able to care for themselves and their flats. There is a resident Manager, Assistant Manager (Maintenance) and Assistant Manager (Residence). For further information write to:

The Manager Queen Alexandra’s Court St Mary’s Road Wimbledon SW19 7DE or visit our website at: 42


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Men and women in the Royal Marines and Royal Navy serve their country, often at times of danger: the RNBT serves them and their families, at times of need, throughout their lives. Your donations and legacies help us to help them.

The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust Castaway House, 311 Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth PO2 8RN t 023 9269 0112 f 023 9266 0852 e w






Contact us at PO Box 1303 Geelong. Victoria, 3220,Australia. Ph/Fax 61 3 52786895. Mob 0413 707 753. email



S P RIN G 2012

The Danish Illustrated List of Ships

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The Danish Illustrated List of + postage Ships 2012 contains photos and packing and data on all ships of Danish ownership, flying Danish or foreign Features in the Danish flags. Illustrated List of Ships 2012: The book includes ships of foreign • Approx. 1800 ships and ownership listed in the Danish photos International Register of Ships. • Complete list of added/deleted ships It also includes a comprehensive, updated list of 650 addresses • Includes ships of The Royal Danish Navy of authorities, shipping compa• Text in both English and nies, agencies, ports, shipyards etc. Danish. SERVICE 24 HOUR EKNIK A/S 6314 3160 · www.bran ISK BRANDT se S · Tlf. +45 SKANDINAVHjallese · DK-5260 Oden Hestehaven

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TIMES past

Little Red Lights In the early days of World War Two, merchant shipping losses were mounting and it was often impossible for rescue ships to find survivors in the vast turbulent expanses of ocean, particularly at night. An answer had to be found and as John and Rupert Eastell explain, it was John’s father who devised a solution. The Battle of the Atlantic was one Britain could not afford to lose. Throughout the early years, the submarines of the Kriegsmarine proved highly effective against almost defenceless merchant ships, and difficult for the Royal Navy to hunt down. All merchant ships were considered to be enemy vessels. ‘Rescue no one and take no one with you’ Rear Admiral Karl Dönitz told his U-boat commanders in November 1939. ‘Have no care for the ships’ boats. Care only for your own boat and strive to achieve the next success as soon as possible. We must be hard in this war.’ Against this background, the British government came under increasing pressure to improve safety at sea for merchant ships. Having quickly introduced the convoy system, it also stepped up the use of intelligence from Bletchley Park for tracking U-boat movements, and introduced better radar for search and rescue aircraft. Among the other specific safety initiatives was the development of more effective lifejackets. The basic lifejacket issued by 46


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the Board of Trade, consisting of a hollow vest with blocks of cork front and back, carried a real risk of breaking the wearer’s neck when jumping into the water. (The suggested solution at the time was to lower oneself into the water rather than jump!). Later, a waistcoat made from Kapok fibre was introduced and became the forerunner of the modern lifevest. Another problem

Rear Admiral Karl Dönitz was locating lifejacketed survivors who had drifted from their boats. Existing sea-proof torches proved impractical for survivors immersed in water, and there was also

concern that their white lights could be confused with those on liferafts. In December 1939, Eric Eastell ran Electrical Auto Services (Easco) in Brixton, South London, a company that rewound dynamos and magnetos for cars, vans and taxis. He began to develop a prototype light that could be clipped onto the shoulder of a lifejacket wearer in the water. To be viable for manufacture, it needed to be a very simple design using only a few readily available components. The Easco prototype consisted of a battery container, one U2 battery, a switch, wire, crocodile clip and a waterproof light. The battery needed to be waterproof and the light bulb reliable, whilst keeping the weight of the whole product to a minimum. The ideal container turned out to be a gentleman’s shaving soap tin, similar to those made by the Metal Box Company. Dale Containers quickly agreed to supply an amended version, which was also easier and cheaper to manufacture. Finding the right light was more difficult. Bicycles already had waterproof lights so, while visiting Reading, where his young sons had been evacuated, Eric Eastell went to every cycle shop in the town before finding the right model, the rear light off a Raleigh bike. The other components were

TIMES past less troublesome; the crocodile clips had been used on his battery chargers in Easco since 1926, while the connectors came from HT radio sets and grid bias batteries. Successful field trials, carried out in a Scottish loch, proved the effectiveness of the design, particularly the red light. A production line was set up in the billiards hall adjacent to Easco’s radio shop in Kennington. The lights were often delivered direct to the ships owned by well-known operators such as White Star Line and Cunard. Eastell’s product soon earned a positive reputation, with many rescue accounts referring to the ‘little red lights’. The main problem was the batteries being run flat by seamen who used the lights (with the red covers removed) for reading in their bunks. One response was for the lights only to be issued when a boat was sinking. Within a short time Easco’s production facility was unable to cope with the demand and the firm relocated into a new factory in Brighton Terrace, Brixton, next to the Empress Theatre. In August 1940, Valbania Limited, based in South Lambeth, began to produce the lifejacket lights under licence. During the war, Eastell filed for patent protection for his initial design and for an improved version introduced in April 1942. The lights had a list price of seven shillings and sixpence, but it appears the Admiralty received a significant discount for their bulk orders. The SS Harlesden left the Clyde in February 1941 bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her crew would soon be some of the many men who owed their lives to Eric Eastell’s ‘little red lights’. By 22 February, the Harlesden was part of a convoy of unescorted empty merchant ships some 500 miles from Newfoundland, when it received radio messages indicating that the German battleship Gneisenau was at large in the Atlantic. In an attempt to escape the warship, the convoy was ordered to scatter. At 14:30 hours an Arado Ar 196 seaplane appeared in the sky above the Harlesden. With machine-guns blazing, it dived and strafed the ship, flying so low that it carried away the Harlesden’s main aerial with its floats. The plane dropped both of its 50kg bombs, narrowly missing the ship on both occasions. At its full speed of 11 knots, the 5,483grt merchant ship headed south. As evening wore on with no sign of the German raider, the crew thought they might have escaped with only minor damage. Then, suddenly, the merchantman was illuminated by a powerful searchlight followed immediately

German Battleship Gneisenau

“The SS Harlesden left the Clyde in February 1941 bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her crew would soon be some of the many men who owed their lives to Eric Eastell’s ‘little red lights’.”

by heavy shells smashing through the Harlesden’s hull, while lighter shells hit the deck structures. ‘Enormous crashes,’ recalled Third Mate, William S Mutimer, ‘like a thousand dustbins all flying around and hitting one another’. With his right arm already broken in the seaplane attack, Mutimer was below decks when those first shells landed. Though drowsy from the morphine he had been given to ease his pain, he climbed up to the main deck and reached one of the lifeboats being lowered on the port side. Mutimer immediately took charge, managing to get the badly shocked men to take up the oars and, with the Bosun steering, set off to search for other survivors. At night, in a swollen dark sea hundreds of miles from land, the chances of finding any of their mates would have been slight – had it not been for the Easco lifejacket lights. Guided by the red lights, six or more men were rescued by Mutimer’s lifeboat until a guttural voice, hidden in the darkness surrounding the searchlight, ordered them to bring their boat alongside. The men, many wounded and half-drowned, were assisted aboard the Gneisenau. Thanks to Eric Eastell’s ‘little red lights’ only seven men were lost out of a crew of 41. It was described by the historian Gabe Thomas as ‘miraculous’. Some reports say that several thousand lives were saved by Easco’s ‘little red lights’, although this has never been verified. However, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that this relatively simple and cost-effective innovation had a significant impact on safety at sea. At the end of the war, in a generous gesture, Easco granted an unlimited licence for the Admiralty to produce the lifejacket lights, without royalties, for the sum of £2,000.




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Stolt-Nielsen Limited is pleased to support Seafarers UK

c/o Stolt-Nielsen M.S. Ltd 65 Kingsway London WC2B 6TD Tel: +44 20 7611 8960 Fax: +44 20 7611 8965 RMC General Ad 1/2 A4:Layout 1



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and tradition...

The Royal Maritime Club is the perfect venue for get-togethers, overnight stays, first class holiday breaks, social occasions and business meetings. The Club is also licensed for the marriage ceremony. Set in the heart of British naval tradition and synonymous with naval excellence, The Royal Maritime Club offers club members and guests:

• our popular restaurant serves a set price dinner choice from a 2 or 3 course menu • traditional buffet style English breakfast

• a welcoming ambience • over 100 comfortable rooms to suit all needs • special rates for seafarers and other military personnel • enjoyment of indoor leisure facilities including swimming pool with steam room and spa, gym, snooker and pool tables and double skittles alley


T: 023 9282 4289

All this at the centre of Portsmouth’s unique naval heritage – HMS Victory, the Mary Rose and HMS Warrior are all very close by. So too are rail and ferry links, the harbourside Gunwharf Quays shopping complex and the breathtaking Spinnaker Tower. Contact us for details of former Military and Associate Membership.

T: 023 9282 4231 Advanced Bookings: 023 9283 7681

F: 023 9229 3496 E: Queen Street, Portsmouth, Hants. PO1 3HS

30 years on, Veterans are still fighting for peace On the 14th of June this year it will have been 30 years since the Falklands War ended. But for many Falklands Veterans, the battle still rages in their minds. Combat Stress is the leading UK charity specialising in the care of Veterans’ mental ill health. We are supporting over 200 Veterans who served in the Falklands War and who, 30 years on, are still suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, paranoia or depression from what they endured in battle.

We know there are hundreds more out there who need our help.

Darren’s story Darren Horsnell joined the 4th Field Regt, Royal Artillery at sixteen and was nineteen in 1982 when they were deployed to the Falklands. Here he bravely shares some of his experiences to explain why treatment is so vital. ‘I saw the Argentinean jets coming down bomb alley and opening fire on our ships, dropping their bombs. A feeling of uselessness came over me. Our men were sitting targets. We were firing small arms at the airplanes and I remember screaming at them, “Leave them alone!” I still wake up screaming. Later I was injured and evacuated to the field hospital. While they were operating on my right calf, I could see the body of a guy in the next bed who had had his back blown out. I used to dream about this guy and in the dream he’d turn around and start talking. When I came home I didn’t tell anybody that I was having nightmares, or flashbacks. But all that was sinking deeper

and deeper into me, and obviously it was getting harder to hide. But I was in denial. It was everyone around me who had the problem, not me. It was nearly 14 years before I got any help. My [then] wife forced me to go and see my GP, who told me about Combat Stress. They assessed me and diagnosed me with PTSD. One day, the Activities Centre Manager said to me, “Why don’t you try some art therapy?” When I was painting it took all the bad memories away. I am now teaching other Veterans to paint. It is a great form of therapy. I also do Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at Combat Stress, once a month. And I am on a health management course too. I can honestly say Combat Stress saved my life. Without them I don’t think I would be here today.

There’s nothing wrong about going to ask for help. Go and see somebody.’

HAVE YOU SERVED? Whenever you served, whatever your age, it’s never too late to get the help you need. Don’t put it off. Please call our 24-hour Helpline on 0800 138 1619 now. Text: 07537 404 719* or Email: *standard charges may apply for texts

Visit for more information Combat Stress: Tyrwhitt House,Oaklawn Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 0BX Telephone: 01372 587151 Email: Registered Charity No. England and Wales: 206002. Registered Charity No. Scotland: SC038828. Company Limited by Guarantee No. England and Wales: 256353


Seafarers UK

Plymouth Committee

Committee member Iain Smith

Committee member Marion Smith

Committee member Mrs Chris Rankin MBE talks about Plymouth’s plans for 2012. How many members are on your committee? There are four committee members at the moment as well as our Chairman, the Captain of the Naval Base. Plymouth Committee is long established but committee members have dwindled somewhat over the last couple of years. However, we are now in a state of revival with a new member taking us up to four, all of whom are committed to the cause! We very much enjoy organising our events and welcome anyone who wishes to help us, so please get in touch if you are interested.

How often do you meet? Plymouth Committee meets three or 48


S P RIN G 2012

four times a year and meetings tend to be informal over coffee in one of our houses or in the Captain’s office.

What events have you particularly enjoyed running? We have traditionally held an annual Royal Marines Band concert at the Pavilions Theatre, which is a wonderful evening’s entertainment and popular with the locals. We have decided, however, that due to the rising cost of theatre hire and all the other events that are happening in Plymouth this Summer, our next concert will be deferred until the Spring of 2013 when we shall seek an alternative venue, enabling our loyal audiences to purchase tickets at an affordable price. Other events that we have particularly enjoyed doing are a Jazz Evening, Plymouth Music of the Night and, of course, Navy Days and the occasional quiz night.

What events do you run and what have you got planned for next year? I think the most important item on the agenda for everyone in Plymouth at the moment is the forthcoming Armed Forces Week, which takes place during the last week

of June. Seafarers UK will play a major role in this event, not just on the actual National Armed Forces Day on 30 June, but also by hosting a formal Reception at Plymouth Guildhall on Friday 29 June. Armed Forces week coincides with Seafarers Awareness Week and Nautical Friday, which is on 29 June too, so the Plymouth Committee will be involved in a host of activities throughout the week I am sure!

Why do you think people should join a committee?

The role of seafarers is vital as we have a large area of sea around us and frankly could not survive without our sea trade. It always surprises people to learn that 95% of what we consume and use is brought to us by sea. Seafarers UK is unique in looking after serving and retired members of the maritime community and it is so important to raise funds for those in need. Committee work is not onerous; it is fun and provides us with a sense of achievement and camaraderie. If you are interested in joining a committee please contact Alexandra Sard MBE on 023 9273 6101 or

Flagship Magazine Spring 2012  

Seafarers UK's Flagship Magazine for Spring 2012, launching our Children's Appeal 2012 to help families of Seafarers in Need

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