Incorporated by Royal Charter
Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
Registered Charity No: 1068408
Commissioned 20th April 1986
Full Recognition by The Royal Navy
The Bilge Rat
March 2021
Issue No 381
Any items for inclusion in the Bilge Rat are to be
sent to: -
Branch website
Vice Chairman
Membership Sec
Welfare Officer
Welfare Officer
Area Delegate
Social Secretary
Standard Bearer
Slops Bosun
Rum Bosun
PRO Officer
Branch Chaplain
Bilge Rat Editor
Lt. Cdr. John Lennon
S/M Marie Belfitt
S/M Roger Grace
S/M Christina Whitty
S/M Warwick Belfitt
S/M Christina Whitty
S/M Maureen Parker
S/M Terry Whitty
S/M Gordon Strudwick
S/M John Lennon
S/M Jerry Fleming
S/M Warwick Belfitt
S/M Adam Strutt
S/M Stephen McGuire
S/M Adam Strutt
S/M John Lennon
S/M Ian Wheatley
S/M Adam Strutt
S/M Jerry Fleming
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01579 346606
01579 343605
01579 343139
01579 343605
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01579 343823
01579 208423
01579 346606
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Whilst The Bilge Rat is the magazine of the Liskeard branch of
the Royal Naval Association, it should be clearly understood
that the contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the
Association, the branch members or the Editor and should not
therefore be interpreted as such.
A colour version of the Bilge Rat may be viewed on the RNA
Branch website:
Birthdays for April 2021
Members (Approx)
Total 53
Life 6,
Full 27,
Associates 20,
3rd Warwick Belfitt
4th Trevor Newbury
7th Rod Harvey
11th Gordon Strudwick
19th John Lennon
29th Nancy Strudwick
29th Margaret Jolly
Pip Harris
Zoom Meetings
How Do I Join in with a RNA Zoom Meeting?
The following is a basic introduction to setting up Zoom and a lot of contrib-
uting factors can get in the way.
Accessing Zoom is different depending on what device you are using – but
the steps below will hopefully help to get you into a meeting.
If you are using an iPad / tablet / mobile phone:- You can download
Zoom from the App Store (Apple users) or Google Play Store (Android
Look for the Zoom icon and installthe App to your device. (select
Zoom / install / enter your password (if required) and allow the App to
If you are using a Laptop or Desktop:- You can install Zoom by going
to the website and clicking on Sign Up for Free – enter
your details and you will receive an email from Zoom with a link to Acti-
vate Account and to set up a Password.
To attend a Zoom Meeting If you have been sent an email for the
meeting by the organiser, then click on the link in the email and follow
the online instructions. It will include selecting Join with Video and add
your name – which other users will see.
If you have been given a meeting ID and a password, then launch the
Zoom App or go to the Zoom website and login. Tap Join a meeting
then type in the Meeting ID and Password - enter the information
youve been given. Then tap Join 1.
To join the meeting, youll be asked to enter Your Name and then tap
Continue 2. Select Join with Video 3.
If prompted for your audio preferences - use Internet Audio Fingers
crossed the notes have worked and you are now part of the Zoom
A little bit of Zoom Etiquette
1. Your microphone is always ON – unless you mute it
2. Be aware of background noises – in your room/home
3. Make sure your attire is suitable
A Quiet Run Ashore
In 1988, I was the Navigator of HMS ALACRITY. We had endured a
Jan-Feb work-up/BOST at Portland (VSat overall) and were rewarded
with a port visit/run ashore in Bordeaux. The pilotage was epic, with a
45 mile passage up the tidal Gironde River, which kept me on my toes
(and worried) the whole time. The Captain, however, was more fo-
cussed on his Readers Digest Book of Wine’, which he flicked
through, reading about each of the wine estates as we passed them.
When the French Navy liaison officer joined, with the upper river pilot,
the boss went into overdrive, intent on a spot baron strangling’: As we
passed Chateau Magnol, he exclaimed that as he shared his surname
with the owners, the Liaison Officer really should try and arrange a vis-
it. Later that day, after the cocktail party, the Liaison Officer reported
that a visit had duly been arranged, and the bus would leave at 11 the
next morning. The Wardroom duly paraded their post-cocktail party
hangovers and off we went - to be met by a bevy of young ladies who
gave us a cracking vineyard and winery tour and then, just before the
inevitable (and much-anticipated) tasting, said that there was some-
thing important we needed to see. We were taken to a series of low
red-brick outbuildings where a series of bullet marks indicated the
place where the Cockleshell HeroesSgt Samual Wallace and Mne
Robert Ewart allegedly met their ends in the aftermath of Operation
Frankton: Very sobering. After a tasting and a cracking lunch, we were
poured back on the bus... along with 6 cases of Chateau Magnol 1979
- a very generous gift. I have two other memories of that visit and both
relate to the departure. As the tide began to rise and we went to har-
bour stations, the usual activity began, including out all gashand the
leaving harbour brief. Brief complete, I looked out of the bridge win-
dows and across the beautiful riverside Town Hall Square, alongside
our berth, for a last look at the city, but was distracted by what had
been (when last I looked) the fountain in the middle of it. Formerly a
noble stone renaissance structure, topped by naked river nymphs, it
was now a 30 foot high wobbly foam mountain... one of the stokers had
probably slippedas he walked past with a 20ltr container of AFFF
(wink). I wasnt surprised when the XO returned, breathless, to the
bridge shortly afterwards, asking can we go early?(oh the joy of gas
turbine propulsion...). And finally... as we prepared to drop the pilot at
the mouth of the river, there was some confusion over the whereabouts
of the pilot boat. After a bit of fast French radio chatter, the pilot said
that he would leave by helicopter - the first wed heard - and pointed to
an inbound aircraft about half a mile away. Even in a slick worked-up
frigate its hard to get to flying stations in under about 10 minutes, but
we made a frantic start as I explained to the pilot our procedures -
dropping the flight deck nets and ensign staff and so on, but he just
nodded and said Au revior’. The helicopter pilot was obviously used to
merchantmen and not worried about RN procedure - he didnt want to
wait: Undeterred by our radio calls and visual wave-off, he made a rap-
id into wind beam approach and hovered about a meter above the flight
deck for a second or two (which we watched aghast on the bridge TV
monitor) and then turned fwd to land, using the deck markings. The tail
rotor missed the flight deck nets... but it didnt miss the ensign staff.
The ensuing Crash on Deck was, thankfully, over very quickly and not
too messy. The Flight Commander was wounded in the chest (by a fly-
ing tail rotor bolt) as he tried to wave the pilot off, and the River Pilot
was more than a bit shaken as he was narrowly missed by the aircraft
as it crashed. The MAA, who had also been attempting to be the FDO,
had to be restrained from forcibly rebriefingthe helo pilot, who dealt
with it all with a Gallic shrug. We spent the rest of the day at Verdon
Sur Mer, a container terminal at the mouth of the Gironde, where the
wreck of the hello was craned off and the embarrassed pilots, both riv-
er and helicopter, landed. I suspect that we were all quite glad to get
back to sea that night...
S/M Ian Wheatley
Chairmans Address 2021
Good Evening everyone and welcome to our A.G.M. for 2021.
First of all we would like to send our condolences to Lisa and Adam on
the loss of Adams father, our thoughts are with them at this sad time.
The year started very well with a small group of members attending
Burns Night at Torpoint.
In February we had the Mayors Civic Service.
In March eight members attended the Annual Reunion weekend at
Bideford and Bodmin branch hosted the skittles evening with St. Aus-
tell and ourselves.
Then everything came to a holt with the arrival of Covid and the big
lockdown and our meetings were suspended until the whizz kids
(Adam & Lisa) came along and started the monthly zoom meetings.
Sadly we had four deaths during the year; Barbara Bartlett, Muriel
Hocking, Basils Wife Iris and Christinas Father, additionally this month
Sue Murray crossed the bar.
Mary Whitty had a spell in Hospital, Nick had a fall whilst in Yeovil
breaking his hip and subsequently having a replacement, Trevor went
into hospital just after Christmas to have a new knee thankfully all are
now home and recovering well.
The collection at Morrisons was a success although cut short by lock-
down two.
In November both the dedication of the Field of Remembrance on the
Parade and the Remembrance Service in the Cattle Market were very
well attended.
Our congratulations go to Jerry on his achievement in coming third in
the Area 4 Standard Bearers Competition.
I would like to thank all those members who have worked behind the
scenes to keep things running and keeping us informed and in touch.
Also our Mentors who have turned to the virtual world to ensure that
recruits families are kept informed and feel included in the wider Naval
This year the posts of Chairman and Secretary are up for election. Lisa
has indicated that she does not wish to stand for re-election due to oth-
er commitments. I would like to express our gratitude for the tremen-
dous job she has done over the last 4 years often under trying condi-
I will now ask the Vice Chairman to take over.
We have one nomination for the post of secretary Christina Whitty. She
is proposed by Terry Whitty and seconded by Lee Hayward. As there
are no other nominations and there have been no objections Christina
is duly elected to serve for a period of two years.
This year I am awarding the Dunn Trophy to 2 people who have
worked as a team, over lapping as required to keep us all informed and
amused and facilitated our monthly meetings - Adam and Lisa Strutt.
S/M Marie Belfitt
War Memorial.
It was recently said to me that War Memorials are looking to the past. It
is a point of view I can understand. It made me consider what a war
memorial means to different people.
Our best-known memorials are those for the 1
and 2
World Wars.
The names of those (mainly) men that lost their lives in the service of
their country were inscribed on the memorials so that family, friends,
and the public could pay their respects and remember their sacrifices.
In the 1
World War soldiers were buried where they fell, if they were
buried at all. Many were later buried in Commonwealth War Cemeter-
ies, those that were never found had their names engraved on memori-
als within the graveyards.
Town and village Memorials gave families a focal point where they
could go to remember loved ones, much as people do today in church
So yes, War Memorials are a link to the past.
They also provide a focal point for the National Act of Remembrance
each year.
Many members of the armed forces currently serving also pay their re-
spects to fallen comrades from more recent conflicts at the war memo-
rials, their names may not be local, but it is somewhere tranquil to re-
member fallen friends.
So, the memorial is also for the here and now.
The majority of Liskeard youth organisations attend Remembrance
Sunday, this is a chance for the youngsters of the town to understand
the sacrifices made by all generations so that we may enjoy the free-
doms we have today.
So, the memorial is for the future as well.
This is an overly complex area of thoughts and ideas, above is a very
brief insight to some views.
S/M Trevor Newbury
Relocating the War Memorial.
More than 10 years ago I first mentioned my opinion to councillors,
that the War Memorial was not situated in the best position in town and
suggested that consideration should be given to incorporating it into
the regeneration of the cattle market.
The Memorial was duly shown in artists impressions of the new cattle
market development, standing prominently at the top end of the mar-
Time has moved on and plans have changed, the War Memorial, is
still being mentioned in the redevelopment plans, although not as
My reasons for suggesting relocating the Memorial have not changed,
indeed some of the reasons have been reinforced.
The current location of the War Memorial is at the bottom end of
Castle Park, tucked behind the old Police Station/school at the top of
the slope from Castle Street.
This makes it virtually invisible, most people only see it during Novem-
bers remembrance period, as you would not know that it is there.
Accessibility is not easy to put it mildly. There is no vehicle access
from Park View/Castle Gardens or Castle Street. Likewise, there is not
any parking provision in any of these roads. The slope from Castle
Street to the Memorial is so steep that many of the older generation,
are unable to access the area.
The area is also incredibly small, making it difficult to accommodate
the large numbers that gather for Remembrance each year.
The last time we had a Remembrance parade, pre covid (2019), there
were an estimated 400 on parade, with a further 100-150 congregated
at the Memorial. The area cannot safely accommodate that number of
people. Especially in this age of social distancing.
If the Memorial were relocated to a more visible position, it could be
more of a focal point in the town, that would be more accessible to all
Some people will agree and support me on this, some will not, which is
fine, we live in a democracy and are entitled to our own views, after all
that is what the men we honour and remember on the Memorial fought
S/M Trevor Newbury
Armed Forces Bill Survey
To be completed by 5th April 2021
The Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill has launched a
survey, hoping to hear from a range of individuals, including serving
personnel of the Armed Forces, veterans, the families of personnel and
veterans, and civilians subject to service law, on the forthcoming Bill.
Survey: Armed Forces Bill
The survey will aid the Committees scrutiny of the Bill and elements of
the results may be used in the Committees final report.
The survey covers a range of issues related to the Bill and the Commit-
tees scrutiny of the Bill. The survey asks whether the Bill addresses
the practical problems the Armed Forces face and whether legislation
has been applied evenly, regardless of location, rank and status as
currently serving personnel or veteran. The form includes questions on
the prosecution of serious crimes within the military, as well as the
complaints process and safeguarding.
The survey will be open until 5 PM on Monday 5 April 2021 and will
take roughly five minutes to complete. Respondents must remain anon-
ymous in their answers.
Puzzle Page
Last Months(224):
ACROSS, 1. Lose one's shirt, 8. Yeats, 9. Carrara, 10. Hoe, 11. Otago, 12. Pincers, 14. Not let,
16. Sketch, 20. Hamster, 23. Equip, 24. Rap, 25. La Linea, 26. Fudge, 27. War Department. DOWN:
1. Lay down the law, 2. Sealant, 3. Onshore, 4. Except, 5. Siren, 6. Irate, 7. Transshipment, 13. Cue,
15. Lbs, 17. Keep fit, 18. Trundle, 19. Errata, 21. Molar, 22. Tense
1. Gaps (6)
5. Obsessive activity (6)
8. Boast (4)
9. E France wine region (8)
10. Mix up (6)
12. Wolf group (4)
15. Simultaneously (2,3,4,4)
16. Nourish (4)
17. Box (6)
19. Underground cemetery (8)
21. Silent (4)
22. Quick (6)
23. Perish (6)
2. Dancing spin (9)
3. Crow noise (3)
4. Go under water (8)
5. Post-Nixon president (4)
6. Eg, Eddie Calvert (9)
7. Unhappy (3)
11. Lose water (9)
13. Baby's dummy (9)
14. Friendly (8)
18. Sacred (4)
20. Current unit (3)
21. Ground plan (3)
1 2
4 5 6 7
19 20
22 23
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Social Calendar 2021
22nd Oct
30th Oct
7th November
11th November
14th November
11 December
Trafalgar Night (TBC)
Festival of Remembrance
Dedication of Field of Remembrance
2 minutes silence on Parade 1100.
Remembrance parade
OAPs dinner
All social dates subject to current Covid-19 restrictions.
Updates as situation changes.
If anybody would like to read more on events outside of the Liskeard
area, current and previous issues can be found at the link below.
We have provisionally booked the Hannafore for the weekend of 22nd
October for Trafalgar Night. Captain Suzi Nielsen (HMS Raleigh) as
Guest of Honour.
Liskeard RNA usually meets on the last Thursday of the month, in
the room above the Royal British Legion. The room and bar are open
from 1930 and the meeting starts at 2000. You do not have to be ex
Royal Navy to join. All are welcome.
Anybody who has content for the Bilge Rat, please send to
the Bilge Rat Hon Editor.
Email: -
Breakfast Club· Market Cafe Liskeard
Next Meeting
Topic: RNA Branch Meeting
Time: Mar 26, 2021 07:30 PM London
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