The Semaphore Circular

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1 The Semaphore Circular No 639 The Beating Heart of the RNA May 2014 The Memorial figure is now well advanced at Graeme Mitcheson s studio RNA members are reminded that hard-copies of the Circular are distributed to each branch via their Secretary, but silver-surfers can download their own copy from the RNA website at below) 1

2 Dear Shipmates (Secretaries and our on-line readers) Welcome to the May edition of the Semaphore Circular. I would like to open with a call to action. It seems from feedback that I am picking up that some Branch Secretaries are keeping the Semaphore Circular to themselves and not passing around the branch members. It is REALLY important that as many as possible get to see the Circ. It is part of feeling that we belong to something bigger than the Branch and knowing what is going on in the whole of the RNA. Best practice is to pass the Circ by for those that have the internet and to pass it round by hard copy to those who don t. The Circ is always posted on the 23/24 th of the month to the website at and the code is shipmate. I know lots do this very well but please consider this carefully. The main event, of course is the dedication of the Naval Service Memorial with planning well advanced, please see the update in the Circ for how it is going. Key facts that you should bear in mind are: Rehearsal for standard bearers at 1030 at the new memorial All those marching to muster at the Armed Forces memorial (mound) no later than 1120, preferably earlier. RNA rig please, polished shoes. Those going straight to the memorial should be in place at 1140 latest, in the marked areas. Later and you might get caught up in the Guard, Band and Parade coming into the arena. Those will mobility challenges will have a golf buggy taxi shuttle service from the visitors centre to the memorial. If they need a seat for the 45 minute service they MUST book it with HQ, contact Nigel. We hope to have Sea Cadets to guide Shipmates to the right place. We suggest that Ladies do not wear hats; the Arboretum can be a windy place. We suggest that berets are worn only by Standard bearers, in order to keep the ceremonial simple. Not a prohibition, but a suggestion. There is a 200 metre walk over grass from the roadways, ladies should wear appropriate footwear. This includes all Royal Marines dressing in women s clothing and high heels. In view of the expected numbers the Arboretum will be opening the marquee pod as a tea room and bringing in additional catering. There is no realistic wet weather routine, other than putting on your smart RNA weatherproof jacket, people can wait in coaches until they need to be in place. We will have St John s ambulance in attendance. Coach routine will run from the Coventry hotels from 0900 until 1000 and returns from The coach is free to those staying in the Conference hotels. Those who wish to attend the Sunday evening event must either be staying as part of the Conference package or purchase a ticket from the hotel directly on , starts at 1800, Shep Woolley is performing (doesn t he always). There will be a coach shuttle service from the outlying hotel(s), for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights free of charge courtesy of 8 Area. I hope that sets the scene. Please give the HQ a ring if there is anything you are uncertain about. Now to some more business related matters: The Branch insurance is going very well and has now been extended so that Areas can take out insurance for their events too. Its great value is now being appreciated. For admin reasons we are changing the standards insurance to the standards insurance fund one for hon treasurers to note. No change otherwise. There is a last minute chance for a young person to take a slot in the IMC sailing camp. The IMC subsidy and the RNA one mean that the camp itself is only 50 for 11 days high 2

3 quality international sailing training and experience. It isn t cheap to get the young person to Varna, but such an exotic location doesn t come around often. Give Nigel a ring. Big thanks to 3 Area branches for their returns for the DNCM election. The standard bearers competition is fast approaching an important one with some very high profile events for the National Standard this year (D-Day in Normandy, Naval Service Memorial, Armed Forces Day in Stirling). Come and cheer on your favourite. COLLINGWOOD should be a great venue. You should be discussing the trustee report, accounts and motions for Conference and ensuring your delegate has a good idea of the Branch view. Last call for delegates too!!! We now have a nomination for DNCM5, thank you for that. We still do not have a proposed Conference venue for 2016, can I ask Areas and Branches to really consider putting themselves forward, otherwise it is looking like the GS s back garden with a burnt sausage for company and a parade to the pub! Shep Woolley is doing a SODS opera in June in Pompey, do lend him your support, money raised is for SF(UK), tickets available at the King s Theatre. Shep is always great fun. STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS I have just heard that the glass will be installed the week commencing 12 May. OK to go and look, but not to interfere with the work or get under the team s feet!!! Also just had some pictures from the toughening plant which show one of the panels after the enamel has gone translucent. This is the panel with the Atlantic spume lines. Hope you agree it looks fabulous! The one below coming out of the furnace, a smaller panel from the centre. As ever, Paul General Secretary 3

4 Chairman s Chat May 2014 Shipmates, I hope you all had a good Easter break and received lots of nice Easter eggs from your children or grandchildren. I had a very nice one from my Sister-in-Law with OBE written in white icing all over it! This will be a very short Chat this month as it will be the last Semaphore Circular many branches will have time to study in detail before Conference. I want, therefore, to encourage you all to get your plans together in good time for the big weekend in June. Please get your bids in to the Royal Court Hotel Booking Office whether you are coming for accommodation over part or all of the weekend, or are just planning to come for the NSM Dedication and then attend the Event Reception at the Royal Court on the Sunday evening for the carvery supper and entertainment by Shep Woolley. This will cost you per person plus drinks and raffle tickets. The gallon of rum tickets are selling very well already and are being sent out to the Fleet as I write. We have already exceeded the income from the 2013 Conference Raffle so thank you all for your support. Perhaps we need to think of an annual raffle featuring 1 gallon, 2 half-gallons, and 4 quarts of Pusser s Rum as Conference Raffle prizes every year! Progress on the NSM is going very well. The NP and GS tell me that Graeme Mitcheson s work on the Sailor statue is already looking very impressive, and I will be going up to visit Graeme s studio and to the NMA just after Easter to see for myself and. The ground works have started, first pouring of base concrete and setting in of glass panel support boots, is complete ready for the second layer of concrete ready to take the granite plinth. I had my first event of the 60 th Anniversary of the granting of our Royal Charter on the 29 th March as guest of the Hereford Branch at their Charter 60 Celebration Dinner. A very good evening indeed in a lovely room with excellent food and company. We all felt very much at ease as it was in an upmarket retirement home!! And I was in photograph where I wasn t the smallest person in the group thanks to the presence of my good friend Roy Wood, President of Hereford, long-term NCM 7 Area and RNA LVP. Well done Hereford. So, Shipmates, I look forward to a great get together in June for a good reunion weekend, a well-supported Conference to get our new Rule Book under way, and for us all to share in the pride of our gift to the Royal Navy a majestic, imaginative and stunning Naval Service Memorial. See you there. Chris Dovey 4

5 Daily Orders 1. Naval Service Memorial and Conference - Update May Edition 2. Naval Service Memorial Raffle details 3. National Standard Bearers Competition 17 May National Events Advisor 2014 Gizzits Update 5. National Vice Chairmans Gong 6. Pussers Rum Special rates for RNA 7. Type 42 HMS Liverpool Ships Bell 8. Irish Naval Association 9. Mesothelioma and other Asbestos related Lung Cancer 10. IMC Sailing Camp 11. Sir John Hawkins Alms-House Chatham 12. TRiM (Trauma Risk Management) for Veterans RNA Volunteers Required 13. Donald Duck Joke 14. Finance Corner Michelle 15. Guess Where? 16. The Resourceful Irish Joke 17. The Fast Ship in the Fleet Book 18. Rum Tub For Sale 19. Veterans UK 20. NAAFI Buzzes 21. Rewards for Forces 22. Beating the Retreat 23. Yellow 24 Joke 24. RNA and NSM Lapel Badges 25. New RNA Area/Branch Insurance Cover 26. Computer Fraudsters Heads Up D ye hear there (Branch news) Shortcast Longcast Ship s Office 1. Swinging the Lamp 5

6 For the Branch Secretary and notice-board Glossary of terms NCM NC AMC FAC NCh NVCh NP DNP GS DGS AGS Asap CONA IMC NSM Throughout National Council Member National Council Association Management Committee Finance Administration Committee National Chairman National Vice Chairman National President Deputy National President General Secretary Deputy General Secretary Assistant General Secretary As soon as possible Conference of Naval Associations International Maritime Confederation Naval Service Memorial indicates a new or substantially changed entry Contacts: Financial Controller FAX Assistant General Secretary (Membership & Slops) Deputy General Secretary Shipmates Administrator General Secretary Admin Find Semaphore Circular On-line ; or... RNA Website Members Area Downloads Circulars Code (Shipmate) RNA HQ Staff continue to attempt to build a library of addresses within the Association. It would be extremely helpful if those Branch Secretaries able to communicate by would forward a short e-message to HQ to Snail Trail Mail - Postal Address RNA HQ, Room 209, PP70, Semaphore Tower, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth Hants PO1 3LT 6

7 Daily Orders 1. The Naval Service Memorial and Conference - Update Work has been at full speed this month on the construction of the memorial and the planning of the main events surrounding the dedication. As you can see the carving on the memorial figure is nearly there, with surface texturing taking about another 2 and a half weeks. The figure is absolutely stunning, with a quiet elegance. The carving of the back of the figure and the at ease cap position is particularly good. The main glass panels have finished at the printing stage and have been taken up to Peterlee and have been through the first stage, where the enamel fuses with the glass and becomes translucent. They have also been through the toughening process (16 weeks at Ganges) and they have been heat soak tested and proved sound. The next step is lamination where the printed and coloured 15mm panel meets its 19mm mirror image and the laminating gel is put between then back into the furnace for the gel to melt and fuse the glass together. David Proto who owns and manages the Glass Company is very very pleased with the way the panels have turned out. The Ground works have now started and the DEMS memorial now moved back next to the Merchant Navy Memorial and looks stunning, much better placed and the Bofurs 40/60 now points into the Naval Area in a more pleasing manner. Big thanks to the DEMS Association for allowing the move. The ground works have now started with the excavation of the deeper foundations under the glass done last week. The National Pres was very impressed by this muddy hole, which shows the length but not the width of the final pavement. The first pour of concrete for the foundations has been made. The very exacting job of precisely placing the template for the brackets for the glass panels was done this week. The picture shows the full size template and position. 7

8 The picture below shows the brackets being drilled and secured in place. The next step is the second pour of concrete which will cover the side fins that you can see. The foundations of the rest of the pavement area are done at the same time giving the full pavement size. The granite paving slabs then go in top leaving a small up-stand for the glass. The glass panels are then slotted into place and secured with a two part epoxy mix and sealed. Graeme will use a mock up of the figure to get the position just right, and then move the carved figure into position. He will have to drill a hole for a stainless steel rod that will keep the figure into position, also a thin layer of grout. The information panel meanwhile is being made at Proto Glass. We have agreed the QR code that will be etched onto the panel which will lead those with smart phones to a web page about the RNA and our donors. The panel will be blue, have the white Ensign and be sand-blast etched with an explanation of the memorial, who it is for and the design by Graeme. Meanwhile planning for the event is at full tilt. We have confirmed a 24 man guard from HMS FORWARD, and I am delighted to announce that the Reserves Colour will be paraded. We have now had confirmation from all the main VVIPS of attendance and we now know that Princess Michael will accompany her husband to the event. The Minister of State for the Armed Forces, the Rt Hon Mark Francois MP will attend as well as the First Sea Lord, the Second Sea Lord. 15 Commanding Officers of HMS Ships, submarines, air squadrons, commandos and reserve units have been invited. The BBC will be covering the event and may (or may not) be providing a live feed. We hope that the Warsash Sea Cadet unit will help with route marking and orders of service. RNA Market Harborough branch have volunteered to help and they will form the bulk of the VIP welcoming party under the gentle command of Michelle Bainbridge. We will have 200 guests at the Royal Reception, with Area officials, guests and invitees making a large proportion of those attending in addition to the Royal Navy and Naval Associations guests. The evening RNA wide do is looking good and the dozens of bottles of Pusser s Rum for the tot have arrived. Sales of the Raffle tickets are brisk too. A big thank you to all those donating to the memorial and selling raffle tickets it is important that we keep momentum. Finally I am looking for people to be interviewed by the BBC for whom the memorial is particularly important please contact GS if you know of someone who is willing. 8

9 2. Naval Service Memorial Raffle Details A raffle is being held with all profits donated to the Charter Challenge Naval Service Memorial Fund. The 1 st prize is a gallon of 1969/70 original Royal Navy Rum, as seen in the photo opposite. (with the National Chairman looking lovingly at it!) valued over 3,000 so well worth winning. The 2 nd prize is a decanter of Pusser s Rum and the 3 rd and 4 th prizes a bottle of Pusser s Rum. Tickets are 1 each in books of five and are enclosed with this circular and available from HQ, they will also be on sale at Conference with the draw taking place on Sunday 15 th June 2014 after the NSM Dedication. Please make cheques payable to RNA and mark cheques on the back Charter Challenge. (Ed: tickets are going like hot cakes, if you would like more let us know) 3. National Standard Bearers Competition - 17 May 2014 The National Standard Bearers Competition will take place in HMS COLLINGWOOD, Fareham on the 17th May Areas are invited to submit the names of qualified standard bearers for this event. The event is open to; 1. Area Standard Bearers 2. Deputy Area Standard Bearers (Deputy Standard Bearers are to be equipped with their branch standard and all associated equipment. (Sling, gloves and drapes). 3 The serving National Standard Bearer and Deputy National Standard Bearer 4. Where an area has not held an area competition a nominated standard bearer is permitted to enter. All standard bearers holding trophies are to return them on the day of the competition (cleaned and polished please). Competitors are respectfully reminded that they are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. The Programme of events is listed below; 0950 Officials arrive Collingwood (Andy Christie to meet at Main Gate) Competitors and Guests arrive. (Changing Facilities available in Warrant Officers and Senior Rates Mess, adjacent to Parade Ground.) 1010 Competition commences Competition concludes Prize-giving and refreshments in the WO &S/Rates Mess. (National President to present prizes) 9

10 This year it is intended to hold the competition on the Parade Ground however, if the weather is inclement the competition will take place in the SARC (Sports and Recreation Centre). The Association of Wrens Standard Bearer competition will be held concurrently. There is limited accommodation available in the WO and S/Rates Mess competitors should contact Andy at HQ to book a cabin. He is acting as the sole RNA point of contact on behalf of the Mess Manager, cabins will be issued on a first come first served basis. Shipmates should not contact the WO & S/Rates Mess concerning accommodation. Names of competitors are to be forwarded to Mick Kieran (NCA) at or by phone This is your final opportunity to enter National Events Advisor 2014 Gizzits Update If your branch is planning an event and you require one of the RNAs three Logo laden Gazebos or you think you have a case to apply for Gizzit support then you need to contact the National Events Advisor Shipmate Steve Caulfield on or This year s Gizzits include Pens, National Service Memorial Fridge Magnets and Badges. If, however you require membership literature i.e. Joining Forms, Car Stickers or RNA Kids Hats you will need to contact HQ. 5. National Vice Chairmans Gong The National Vice Chairman, Shipmate Keith Crawford, visited Buckingham Palace last month to receive his recently awarded MBE. The investiture was carried out by HRH Prince of Wales. I am sure all Shipmates will want me to pass on our congratulations to Keith on a thoroughly deserved award. (Editors Note Apparently it was not true that HRH asked Keith what hair dye he uses for his syrup!!) 10

11 6. Pussers Rum Special Rates for RNA I am sure Shipmates would be delighted to know that there is now an official RNA rate for Pusser s rum set up with Fine Wine Sellers ( to receive the rate simply quote RNA rate when ordering. Details are as follows - Normally Pussers Blue Label normally RP plus delivery of 4.99 (Delivery is 4.99 whether it is one bottle or 6) RNA discount price plus delivery (as above) or 10% discount for 6 bottles or more. (Editors note; What a bargain. sold out last month so get in there!!) 7. Type 42 HMS Liverpool Ships Bell presentation The Naval Regional Command Northern England and Isle of Man is hosting a ceremony on Friday 13 June at 1430 to present the Bell of the recently decommissioned HMS LIVERPOOL on permanent loan to the Church of Our Lady and St Nicholas, the recognised maritime church in the City of Liverpool. The ceremony will involve a church service followed by a short reception in HMS DAUNTLESS, all proceedings should be completed no later than Tickets will be issued on a first come, first serve basis and applications should be made to: Lieutenant Joshua Gorst Royal Navy on or via 8. Irish Naval Association Shipmates may be interested to read the letter below sent to the National Chairman from the Irish Naval Association PRO Terry Cummins; Dear Chris On behalf of the Irish Naval Association please convey to your members the heartfelt thanks of all our members here in Ireland for the wonderful reception given to our Country and our President Michael D O Higgins by Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip. It brought a lump to everyone s throat when our National Anthem was played as her Majesty greeted our President. This surely will rate in Ireland as one of the highest points in our Countries relationship. On another note it is also a wonderful gesture by the Royal Naval Association to invite the President of the Irish Naval Association Mr. Declan Pendred to be your guest at the unveiling of the Memorial on the 15 th June by HRH Prince Michael of Kent and afterwards to the Royal Reception. 11

12 It is nice to recall that in the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland both the RNA and the INA fostered such a good relationship and return visits on several occasions. Perhaps we set the standard for the reconciliations that have happened in recent years. We all look forward to meeting you again in Coventry. 9. Mesothelioma and other Asbestos related Lung Cancer The Royal British Legion is researching current compensation arrangements for veterans with mesothelioma and other forms of asbestos-related lung cancer. They are particularly interested in hearing from single or widowed veterans currently living with this disease. If you know someone who has been affected, please contact Harriet Deane, Policy Adviser, by ing or calling IMC Sailing Camp 2014 Update to deadline The annual IMC Sailing Camp will be held in Varna Bulgaria from 31 July to 11 August Places are available for six young people who will be years old on 21 July 2014, who would like to attend this very enjoyable sailing camp. They do not have to be a Sea Cadet, they might just be a Shipmate s grand-daughter or grandson. But they must have their own Passport and be able to swim 50 yards in light clothing. A programme for the sailing camp will be available shortly. Proposed names should be sent to Nigel in HQ by the 16 th May 14 (very latest). Joining forms will be sent out to those selected and should be completed and returned to HQ with your cheque. The cost will be a heavily subsidised 50 with parents responsible for meeting the cost of travel to and from Varna. Flights available from Wizair for parents wishing to investigate travel costs. This is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy an opportunity to build on your existing sailing skills with an international dimension and to visit a really interesting destination as hosts of the Bulgarian Naval Association and Navy if we send six young people it means that we get back all our IMC subscription in subsidies so get nominating!! Where is Varna? Varna is the largest city on Bulgaria s Black Sea coast. It has an international Airport with flights from all over Europe. Bulgaria is an inexpensive holiday destination. To arrange your travel you might start here. 12

13 11. Sir John Hawkins Alms-House,Chatham - Vacancy The Governors of the Hospital of Sir John Hawkins, Knight, in Chatham have a ground-floor one bedroom flat with its own separate kitchen and shower room/wc available now for occupancy by a man or woman who meets the qualifications of the charity. Under an amendment to the Foundation Charter, the Hospital can provide for a needy or disabled person (well enough to look after him-or-herself there are no carers or matrons) of any age who has served in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, The WRNS, Queen Alexandra's RN Nursing Service, the Army, the RAF, or who has served and been mobilised for active service in any of the Reserve Forces, or the RFA or the Merchant Navy, or who has been employed in the construction, maintenance, repair and re-fitting of ships in the Royal Dockyards. If there is no such applicant, the Governors may appoint the spouse or a dependant of any of the above. The Maintenance Contribution for use of this flat, including water rate but not Council Tax or other utilities, is currently 140 per calendar month. Interested parties are invited to contact the Clerk/Administrator, Tracey Moreton at Sir John Hawkins Hospital, High Street, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4EW TRiM (Trauma Risk Management) for Veterans RNA Volunteers Required TRiM (Trauma Risk Management) was established in the Royal Marines in 1996 and is now used across the whole of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services. It is a proactive, peer-delivered, initiative for supporting individuals following exposure to traumatic events. TRiM is designed to reduce the barriers of stigma, and actively encourage sufferers to seek appropriate assistance. The key players in this process are the Practitioners. Practitioners provide mentoring support for individuals. The advantages of TRiM Practitioners assisting members of the Associations cannot be underestimated. Following a referral from the RNA branch or other source, they would visit the individual in their home environment and carry out an initial assessment. The short training will equip T4V practitioners to use listening skills to help with simple coping techniques, and to mentor or befriend. Importantly, also to signpost the person affected to the most appropriate help, which might be NHS or a veteran charity like Combat Stress who will be using T4V as their first line of contact. We hope to train 40 RNA Shipmates as TRiM Practitioners, who must be properly trained before going into the field. There will be two weekend training sessions in the autumn for up to 20 RNA volunteers in each session. One session will be held at Amport House near Andover and the other will be run at a location in Newcastle upon Tyne. Travelling expenses will be paid and accommodation provided. 13

14 Further information is available on the T4V website at Any Shipmate who would like to volunteer and signs up on-line is requested to copy in Shipmate VP Rita Lock specifying North (Newcastle on Tyne) or South (Amport House Nr Andover) 13. Donald Duck Joke Donald Duck and Daisy Duck were spending the night together in a hotel room and Donald wanted to have sex with Daisy. The first thing Daisy asked was, "Do you have a condom?" Donald frowned and said, "No." Daisy told Donald that if he didn't get a condom, they could not have sex. "Maybe they sell them at reception" she suggested. So Donald went down to the lobby and asked the hotel clerk if they had condoms. "Yes, we do," the clerk said and pulled a box out from under the counter and gave it to Donald. Wait for it... The clerk asked, "Would you like me to put them on your bill?" "Thit No!" Donald quacked, "I'd thuffocate!" (Boom Boom!!) 14. Finance Corner Michelle Sadly Michelle went off on leave upt north without providing a Finance Corner. She is visiting her home town of Hull, the City of Culture The picture shows her car parked next to the 3 star guest house recommended by the tourism department... Only Joking!! Hopefully she ll be back next month as there are bills to pay!!! 14

15 15. Guess Where? An Establishment! Can you name the establishment and where it is? Small clue it is still a naval service establishment to this day! Please forward any other pictures to the HQ that you may have for Guess Where so that we publish them in forthcoming Circulars. No looking on Google or Wiki!! Answers in next month s edition. Last month s answer! It is the David Bruce Royal Naval Hospital at Mtarfa, Valetta, Malta which is now a boys' school. Many thanks to Shipmate John Bailey for sending in the picture. S/M John was in HMS Fearless in 1972 when the ship had a couple of short visits to Valetta. He knew a couple of QARNNS at the time and along with a few shipmates from the mess was invited up to the QARNNS disco at RNH - hence his historical interest in the place!! Remember if you hover over the picture in the.pdf version with your cursor it will reveal the answer. 16. The Resourceful Irish... A great Irish text... Paddy to his lady wife... "Mary, I'm just having one more pint with the lads. If I'm not home in 20 minutes, read this message again." 17. The Fastest Ship in the Fleet Book To coincide with the 70 th Anniversary of the launch of HMS Cavalier on 7 th April 1944, Barry Knell, former Chairman of the HMS Cavalier Associaton has written a book that tells the story of the ship and men who served on all the Ships commissions. The book entitled The Fastest Ship in the Fleet -HMS Cavalier and her Men, contains over 350 pages and 250 photographs, published by the Historic Dockyard Chatham, it will be on sale in the Dockyard Shop. However advanced copies can be pre-ordered by contacting or by phone The profits of the sales of which will be going towards her continued preservation. 15

16 18. Rum Tub - For Sale Horsham branch have a Rum Tub for sale. It requires a bit of refurbishment and they would like to sell it for 100 and it would have to be collected. Anyone interested should contact Shipmate John Dale on or 19. Veterans UK Shipmates may be interested to know that due to a merger between Defence Business Services and Veterans Agency (SPVA) a number of changes will take place behind the scenes, in the main name changes which should not affect the Veteran community. The use of SPVA terminology will be phased out by You may also like to be aware that the Veterans UK helpline s with its new memorable number ( ) and extended opening hours ( (1700 Fri)) have proved very successful. Veterans UK are also now working in partnership with Combat Stress and The Samaritans to provide a 24 hour crisis advice service if needed, which again, is already proving of great value to veterans in need of immediate support. These services complement our existing Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) who will continue to assist veterans one to one via the telephone or home visits where needed. Our Veterans UK website remains unchanged 20. NAAFI Queue Buzzes 1. Inheritance Tax - Exemption for Death on Duty. In the latest budget, an exemption from Inheritance Tax for members of the emergency services killed in the course of their duty was announced. This does already apply to Armed Force personnel in accordance with section 154 of the Inheritance Act. has prompted a number of members to ask why this doesn't apply to the Armed Forces. 2. Please beware of Unofficial Sites... Passports - will charge you the normal passport renewal fee of 72.50, but won't charge additional handling fees. Other sites do. This is particularly important as the government is now encouraging all passport applications to be made on line. E111 Renewal. Renewing a European Health Travel Card is FREE and easy. But if you use an unofficial site they will charge you up to Visa Renewal Sites. Beware if applying online for visas. Again, there are plenty of sites willing to take more money than you need pay. 16

17 21. Rewards for Forces Shipmates may be interested to know about Rewards for Forces who are the UK s largest discount and benefits website for members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and Partners of those Serving or Ex-Serving. Their website is free to join and was set up to get high street companies to offer discounts as a thanks to our members for serving our country. Veterans can sign up or fantastic deals with over local and national discounts. The scheme has gained significant traction from national press and is fully backed by The Sun newspaper and Rewards for Forces has recently launched an App that helps members access discounts codes and offers on the go. Rewards for Forces was launched with the ethos of giving back to those who deserve these benefits and to say thank you for serving our country. Rewards for Forces recognises that wives and partners are also entitled to claim forces discounts and make savings for the whole family. With companies on board such as Merlin, Virgin holidays, Apple, Frankie and Benny s and Burton s Menswear, families can look to save anything from annually. Rewards for Forces is free to join and gives access to thousands of benefits online at 22. Beating the Retreat 3-4 June 2014 Over 400 military personnel and musicians will perform together in the biggest ever Royal Marines Beating Retreat, a pageant of military music and precision drill, to be held on 3-4 June at London s Horse Guards Parade. Shipmates are encouraged to get in quick as tickets to this historic event are selling fast. The vast majority of remaining seats are priced from just 12 and groups are welcomed to attend. This very Royal and world-renowned event, is performed every two years in celebration of the birthday of HRH Prince Philip. This year, the event is extra ordinary as it forms part of a busy schedule of UK-wide celebrations to mark the 350 th Anniversary of the Royal Marines, known as RM350. The event will see over 200 members of Her Majesty s Royal Marines joined on parade by visiting bands from the United States Marine Corps and the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps 17

18 and together over 400 personnel will converge to perform a musical spectacular that is not to be missed. Lt Col Trevor Sawyer RM, Event Director said: Our finest and most versatile military musicians will be on show at this year s Beating Retreat. We re hoping to play to a sell-out crowd so have been rehearsing since before Christmas. The programme contains ceremonial pieces as well as traditional marches and overtures. Ticket information Tickets are available from Ticketmaster or by calling the booking line on Shipmates: if you re getting a group together phone the booking line to reserve your tickets you can then have extra time to finalise numbers and organise your payment! 23. Yellow 24 Joke A man goes to the doctors feeling a little ill. The doctor checks him over and says, "Sorry, I have some bad news, you have Yellow 24, a really nasty virus. It's called Yellow 24 because it turns your blood Yellow and you usually only have 24 hours to live. There's no known cure so just go home and enjoy your final precious moments on earth." So he trudges home to his wife and breaks the news. Distraught, She asks him to go to the bingo with her that evening as he's never been there with her before. They arrive at the bingo and with his first card he gets four corners and wins 35. Then, with the same card, he gets a line and wins 320. Then he gets the full house and wins The National Grid comes up and he wins that too getting 380,000. The bingo caller gets him up on stage and says, "Son, I've been here 20 years and I've never seen anyone win Four corners, a line, the full house and the national grid on the same card. You must be the luckiest man on Earth!" "Lucky?" he screamed. "Lucky? I'll have you know I've got Yellow 24." "Flipping Heck" says the bingo caller. "You've won the raffle as well." 24. Now on sale our new RNA and NSM Lapel Badges HQ has now received our fantastic two new lapel badges and they are available for sale. It is hoped that Branches will purchase them in large quantities costing 2.50 each with a recommended price of 3.00 enabling 50p per badge to go to branch funds. Single badge orders will cost 3.00 and any profits made by HQ from these badges will go towards the Naval Service Memorial Fund. So contact Nigel or Andy to place your order. Be warned they are all ready going like hot cakes! 18

19 25. New RNA Branch Liability Insurance cover now available for Areas Hot of the Press... After further negotiations by HQ Staff Ansvar Insurance have now agreed to sell this policy to Areas, subject to one restriction that is - if the function exceeds more than 500 persons they will have to arrange separate cover. We are delighted to announce that the new RNA Branches public liability insurance is now available from Coleman and Ansvar. In fact, RNA Maidstone is the first branch to go on cover via the online facility which is great news. The process to obtain this insurance is relatively easy: Log on to On the right hand side it states Click here for a quote, click Click on the button that states Get a Quote, you will need to read the Our Assumptions and either press I Agree or I do not Agree. You will need to answer a few questions and then it will give you your quote, once you agree and happy with quote and paid They will then send you by your Branch Public Liability paperwork However a reminder the insurance can only be purchased on line as branches individually have to accept the terms and conditions. Basically the insurance covers the following; The Community Group Connect insurance policy has been tailored to meet the needs of RNA branches located in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The policy covers the following range of activities: RNA Branch meetings Collections in local towns Parading of standards Fundraising events not exceeding 500 persons in support of the RNA This product is only available for purchase on-line and consists of the following covers for an annual premium of just under 100 including Insurance Premium Tax: Public Liability cover with a limit of 5,000,000 This covers your RNA branch for legal liability arising from bodily injury to third parties or damage to third party property arising during the course of normal RNA branch activities. Employer's Liability cover with a limit of 10,000,000 This covers your branch for legal liability for injury to people employed by the branch or working for the branch in a voluntary capacity. Money Cover is provided for 2,000 in transit and 1,000 in a safe in respect of monies collected by your branch at any fundraising event. 19

20 In addition the policy can be extended to cover: All Risks Business Interruption (Extra Expenses cover) Personal Accident Trustees Indemnity (for organisations which are recognised as having charitable objectives) If you select any additional covers, you will be charged an appropriate additional premium. Finally Ansvar are available to assist with any technical issues with the on-line system and can be contacted on , the number is also on the website. Do not use it to try to get a quote. 26. Computer Fraudsters Heads Up Shipmates may be interested to see a Computer Fraudsters that was received in the HQ last week and is an example of the latest tactic being used by them so please don t be fooled; -----Original Message----- From: Lt.Colonel.Rob Freeland Sent: 09 April :44 To: undisclosed-recipients Subject: From Lieutenant Colonel Rob Freeland My name is Lieutenant Colonel Rob Freeland ; I am an American soldier, serving in the military with the 3rd marine commando division in Afghanistan. With a very desperate need for assistance, I have summed up courage to contact you.i am seeking your kind assistance to move the sum of (US$12.7, million dollars) to you, as far as I can be assured that my money will be safe in your care until I complete my service here come next month, this is no stolen money, and there is no danger involved. Source of money: Some money in various currencies was discovered in barrels at a farmhouse near Kabul during a rescue operation, and it was agreed by parties involved that this money be shared among us. This was quite an illegal thing to do, but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risk we have taken with our lives in this hellhole, and I have been shot,wounded and survived two suicide bomb attacks by the special grace of God. This and other reasons has prompted me to reach out for help. The above figure I took as my share, and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a British contact working here and his office enjoy some immunity, I was able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot. He does not know the real contents of the package, and believes that it belongs to a British / American medical doctor who died in a raid here in Afghanistan, and before giving up, trusted me to hand over the package to his family. I want to promise you 30% of this money for the assistance you will give to me but one passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter with anybody. Should you have reasons to reject this offer, please and please destroy this message as any leakage of this information will be too bad for us soldier s here in Afghanistan. In less than 4 days the box should be in your possession and as I said earlier, I will give you 30% of the total amount and 70% for me. I hope I have been fair to this deal. Get back to me with your full information and I will proceed with the registration. Thank you in advance, Lieutenant Colonel Rob Freeland. 20

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