The Dunedin Society met for the annual reunion and remembrance service. Click here for¬†a¬†first report.
At this year’s Remembrance Service (for which, the details of the arrangements are in the previous post) I am pleased to tell you that we will be able to tell you about some new information which has come to our attention about the sinking of HMS Dunedin and the rescue of the survivors. New documents have shed more light on what happened when HMS Dunedin was hit and how the survivors were recovered. Members of the HMS Dunedin Society will be on hand to explain. In due course, this information will be made available on this website, but you can initially hear about it at the Remembrance Service on 21st November. I hope to see you there.
The HMS Dunedin Service of Remembrance and Reunion will take place at the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial, Southsea Common, on Saturday 21st November 2015 at 1200hrs.
The service will be conducted by The Rev Colin Noyce OCM (RN).
An Order of Service will be distributed on arrival at the Memorial.
Following the service we will be holding an informal gathering in the Royal Maritime Club (RMC). Hot Lunch/sandwiches may be pre-ordered from the Compass cafe on the morning of the service which will help to speed matters up upon our return. Tea and coffee will be available as well as a full bar. Lunch will be taken at the front end of the restaurant.
As the Reunion is to be held on a Saturday again we hope that many of you will be free to join us. There will be a chance in the afternoon to mingle and Dunedin Society members will, as usual, answer any questions you may have about HMS Dunedin as well as anything concerning the life of the ship and her crew during the ship‚Äôs war service.
In the evening a members‚Äô dinner will be held in Horatio‚Äôs Restaurant at 7 pm. All are welcome to join in. Please note that the cost of the meal for non-residents is ¬£15.75 per person (no increase from last year)
It is important for planning purposes that we know how many people will be taking part during the day so it would be very helpful if you could please advise David Allen (email address below), by no later than the 8th November, suppling the names in your party who will be:
1) Attending the Memorial service,
2) requesting Lunch,
3) wishing to join members for Dinner
We recommended that you make your arrangements as soon as possible.
Should you wish to stay at the RMC we have negotiated a reduced rate for Room/Breakfast and three-course dinner at ¬£48 single or ¬£89 in a twin/double per night.
You must make your reservations directly with the RMC, making sure you mention you are a member of the Dunedin Society. Their advance booking line is: 023 9283 7681 and further information can be found at www.royalmaritimeclub.co.uk
Other hotels are available within the Portsmouth area.
Parking on site is on a first come basis. Road parking scratch cards are available for ¬£2.50. Opposite the Club is the Historic dockyard parking offering 50% off relevant stay, but you must have tickets stamped by hotel reception and they can only be redeemed 7am-7pm when pay kiosk operating.
National Memorial Arboretum Alrewas Tuesday 24th November
As usual there will be a small service conducted at 13.30hrs and very kindly organized by Bas Bowyer at the HMS Dunedin Plinth, followed by Wreath Laying and planting of crosses. Dunedin members from the Midlands are cordially invited to attend. The Order of Service will be distributed at the service.
Dunedin Society Costs
Remember, the Dunedin Society can only operate if its members make voluntary contributions towards its running costs. You can donate online at our new website www.hmsdunedin.co.uk. You can find the PayPal button on the home page or here.
David Allen, Events Co-ordinator
Save the date in your diary for this year’s¬†HMS Dunedin Reunion and Remembrance Service: Saturday 21st November, starting at 1200 noon at the¬†Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea Common and continuing afterwards at the Royal Maritime Club. Further details will follow.
On an unusually mild but drizzly November morning, around fifty members of the Dunedin Society met at the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial, Southsea Common, on Saturday 22nd November to remember the men who lost their lives when HMS Dunedin was sunk in the South Atlantic on 24th November 1941.
Two survivors from the sinking, Jim Davis (President of the Dunedin Society) and Andrew McCall, were present at the annual Remembrance Service and the Service was led by the Reverend Colin Noyce OCM (RN). Two Royal Marine buglers played flawless renditions of the last Post and Reveille.
Afterwards, many of the members gathered in the Royal Maritime Club for lunch and a catch-up with old friends. Our two survivors once again shared their stories and experiences, remembering those lost in 1941 and since. Throughout the afternoon, members and survivors were able to chat and see photos and documents related to¬†HMS Dunedin, such as the full report written in 1942¬†by the senior surviving officer, Lt-Commander Watson. Later, members gathered for dinner as usual and carried ion their discussions and some stayed on overnight.
Once more, the Society showed its enduring strength as we welcomed five new members. Thirteen years after the first Dunedin reunion in Henley¬†in 2001, the Society continues to demonstrate its attraction as a living monument to the men who lived and died in HMS Dunedin. The archive of photos, artefacts, documents, memories and stories grows and evolves¬†each year¬†as a fitting tribute to those we have lost.
For the first time, we departed from the tradition of holding the reunion and commemoration on the 24th, the anniversary of the sinking, instead choosing the nearest Saturday to ensure as many people as possible can come. And so it proved, with fifty-five attending. As the years pass we are very pleased to see more of the younger generation coming along to give their support and to keep the memories alive. We thank them all.
Members come from far away.¬†We thank them all for making such an effort, but let me be permitted to thank, especially, Blair Rance and his mother, Heather, for coming from Bermuda to be with us and to remember Heather’s father and Blair’s grandfather, Lt Wright, who died when the ship went down.
For all our members, both new and old, the gatherings of the Society provide comfort as well as remembrance and there is usually something new to find out. Sometimes it’s a detail about the ship and other times it may be about a specific member of the ship’s company. And, of course, there are Jim’s stories!
Finally, the Society’s heartfelt thanks go to David Allen for once again organising the whole day. It was another excellent job for which he has the gratitude of the Society.
We look forward to seeing you all again.