Members of the Dunedin Society gathered for their annual reunion on Saturday 22nd November. Sadly, for the first time in the history of these reunions, Society President, Bill Gill, was unable to attend following a fall a few days earlier. We all wish him a speedy recovery and everyone was pleased to hear that he was on the mend.
As usual, the proceedings began on Southsea Common, where the Society’s new-found chaplain, the Rev. Graham Hitchins, RN, conducted the Service in freezing, but sunny, conditions. And once again, one of the more poignant moments came when a Royal Marine bugler sounded the Last Post. Special thanks go to David Allen for his expert arrangement of the proceedings at the Memorial.
Later, at the Royal Maritime Club, Michael Gill showed an excellent trailer of his DVD of past reunions dating back to the first one, at Henley in 2001. The members then heard speeches from our wonderful band of survivors and listened to Chris Broadway’s fascinating account of the capture of the German supply ship, Lothringen, in June 1941 and Tommy Handley’s presentation on being part of the Prize Crew of the Ville de Rouen, captured by Dunedin in July the same year.
In between times and over lunch and dinner, the conversation buzzed as survivors and veterans reminisced and the members heard more about what happened to HMS Dunedin and her men all those years ago. Another wonderful reunion.
Thanks go to Anne Randall, as ever, for her extraordinary work and – this year – to the fantastic Karen Kebby, who stepped in so brilliantly to help pull it all together.
The Dunedin Society continues to grow and strengthen. We have more than three hundred members, mostly relatives of the Ship’s Company, and they come from all over the world, including this year, Blair Rance form Bermuda, whose Grandfather was lost in the ship.
The excellent photos below were taken by Dave Hitchins, who holds the copyright :-