Remember Navy family

I would like to bring to readers' attention, the Royal Navy Shore Establishment HMS Collingwood, because if you say 'HMSCollingwood' or 'Royal Navy Electricians' or 'Collingrad the Stone Frigate!' a lot of people will immediately smile.

They will think back and wonder where their old shipmates are and think about “That Parade Ground”, reputed to be the biggest in Europe before some of it was built on.

Next year sees the 70th anniversary of the Electrical Branch being formed with HMS Collingwood being its ‘home’. Many other people lived and worked there including cooks, writers, seamen, stokers, stores etc all to keep the ‘city’ functioning.

So where is everybody and how do you get in touch?

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There are two wonderful associations, both of which have reunions, arrange visits into today’s HMS Collingwood and the means of getting in touch with old shipmates. First there is the HMS Collingwood Association for anybody who served there, be they seamen from World War II, when the establishment trained those who had volunteered, cooks who fed them, the Wrens who clothed them, stokers who kept the boilers going to provide all the hot water, right up to the present day dealing with the very latest in electronics. The membership secretary, Peter Lacey, can be reached on [email protected]

Still with HMS Collingwood as ‘home’, there is the more specialist and individual Royal Navy Electrical Branch Association, formed specifically for those who served in any of the derivatives of the electrical branch be they electrical, radio and radar, control or weapons engineering and is more aimed at ships served on, to try to reunite branch members on specific commissions.

This association is linked with the Royal Navy in that at the request of the Royal Navy, the name has been changed to the Royal Navy Electrical and Weapons Engineering Branch Association and can include those serving at the present time. Partially administered by volunteers at HMS Collingwood, the membership secretary, Iain Crawford, can be contacted on [email protected]

Looking for old shipmates? Peter and Iain would be pleased to hear from you and set you on the right road.

Get your membership forms in and be at the next reunion.

The two associations are to have a joint reunion, where wives and partners, as always, will be included. That will be a real ‘Lamp Swinger’. See you there.

Mike Crowe,

Isle of Wight