News

Armed Forces Covenant: Employers index

MoD has published an index of employers who have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant, and their pledges.

Find index here.

New SANO member

SANO is pleased to welcome its newest recruit, Rear Admiral Mike Kimmons CB.

Admiral Kimmons had a varied 36-year career in the Supply/Logistics branch, culminating in appointment as Chief Naval Logistics Officer and Chief of Staff Personnel and Support to CINCFLEET  (2005-08).  He also served at the Royal College of Defence Studies, as Logistics Commander in HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and as Secretary to First Sea Lord.  He is currently Chairman of the Victory Services Club, and lives in Sussex with his wife Sue.

Picture Victory Services Club

SANO Pub lunch

Our most recent event was the annual Pub Lunch, on 15 August.  A good turnout of 28 members and guests enjoyed a lively session, with good food, beer and service, at the Swiss Cottage, Shoreham by Sea.  Sussex Shipmates’ Association also sent a contingent.

Pictures Christina Stanton

Longest serving Wren

Stumbled on while surfing the BBC website: A 2012 interview with the then recently-retired Susan Morgan.  Susan had joined the WRNS in the rate of Ordinary Wren in 1978 and left the RN as a WO1 in 2012, having served a female record 34 years.  She reflects on her career, which was mostly in the RN Police, and changes in the service in that time.

Pictures Crown Copyright

Listen here; slide forward to minute 26.  MoD release here.

Upcoming: Dartmouth Regatta 175, Bournemouth Air Show

These are, respectively, from Saturday 24 to 31 August (click here, and for BRNC evening Thursday 29th here) and Thursday 29 August to Sunday 1 September (click here, and for 4-ship RN element here).

Cockleshell Heroes memorial service 

Royal Marines have taken part in a memorial service to commemorate one of the most daring operations of World War Two.  

21 personnel from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group, based at HMNB Clyde, attended the service at Le-Verdon-Sur-Mer, south west France, close to the mouth of the Gironde estuary.   

The 1942 mission – named Operation Frankton but better known via the Cockleshell Heroes label and the 1955 film of that name – saw 10 marines deploy from a submarine in two-man canoes.  They paddled over 60 miles up the Gironde River into the heavily-defended port of Bordeaux in Nazi-occupied France to plant limpet mines on enemy ships.  

Of the 10 who set out, 2 drowned and 6 were caught and executed by the Germans.  The 2 survivors, Major Herbert ‘Blondie’ Hasler and Corporal Bill Sparks, escaped to Spain. 

Despite the mission costing the lives of most of the team, the operation was successful in destroying 5 ships vital to Hitler’s war effort.  Winston Churchill said that it shortened the conflict by six months.  

Bill Sparks gave a vivid account of the mission as guest speaker at a SANO lecture lunch many years ago.  He died at Alfriston in 2002, aged 80. 

Pictures Crown Copyright 2019

More here.