Message From The Editor

May I first take this opportunity to wish all our members and non members a happy Christmas (yes it’s only 3 weeks away) and a very happy new year.

May I also take this opportunity on be half of all the committee members to thank all members for there continued support. Without you shipmates there would be no association.

If anybody is in contact with any old shipmates who are not members please try and encourage them to join as this can only strengthen the association and make future re-unions even more enjoyable

Committee Members

President Captain W R Canning DSO MBE RN

Mr Peter Philips
7 Inverness Avenue
Hants PO15 6AT

Mr Terry Lee
61 Bush Avenue
Little Stoke
BS34 8NE
Membership Secretary

Mr George Roche
22 Thanet Road
Thorney Close
News editor

Mr Dave Braken
43 Rochford Close
Grange Park
Wilts SN5 6AB
Royal Navy Liasion

Mr Steve Bullock
34 Balmoral Avenue

Forthcoming  Events

The last committee meeting was held in Bristol on 25th November.
In attendance were Peter Philips, Tanzy Lee, George Roche, Spider Webster and Dave Bracken. Apologies from Steve Bullock who could not attend due to changes in routine. (Remember those good old days).

The proposed date for next years re – union in Chester is Saturday 18th November 2006.
As Chester town hall is currently under a period of refurbishment as yet this venue cannot be guaranteed.
An alternative venue in Chester is currently being looked into should the town hall not be available. A letter has been sent to Chester council asking for a completion date and a final decision will be made at the next committee meeting scheduled for February 2006. Details will then be published on the web-site and included in the spring issue of the newsletter.

Recent Events

Congratulations to Billy Billingham and Zena on their recent marriage in Gibraltar.
The occasion was attended my many of the associations members and by all accounts it was quite a few days.
I have published a couple of the photos; more are available to view on the website.


Broadsword Association Constitution


The Broadsword Association was established in 1996, in order to foster links between those who have served in Her Majesty’s Ships of that name and also with the City of Chester. The Association is affiliated with similar associations through the Federation of Naval Associations under the patronage of the Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command (CINCNAVHOME) and, as such, enjoys charitable status.


Membership of the Broadsword Association is open to all ranks that served in any of Her Majesty’s Ships of that name who have paid and maintained their annual subscription. Annual subscriptions will ONLY be accepted by the Association in the form of a bank transfer payable via the Association bank account. Associate Membership is also open to direct relations of full member’s (current or deceased) families. Any such Associate Member would be Ex- Officio and would therefore not be able to cast a vote on any matter at AGM’s or on any other matter concerning the running of the Association. A 50% discount of the full membership annual subscription will be enjoyed by Associate Members. Associate Members’ annual subscriptions, also to be paid, by a bank transfer to the Association bank account.


The Association is served by an elected committee whose members are elected/re-elected at the bi-annual meeting of the AGM. The Association is a non-profit making organisation of which the accounts shall be presented for verification at the AGM. The annual subscription should be set at such a level such that the costs of postage, printing, telephone calls and essential travel by members of the committee (i.e. for setting up of AGM’s and reunions) is covered with a small margin for contingencies and any deserving causes as agreed at the AGM. Such a margin should not normally exceed £500 in the Number One Account. A Second account shall be used to hold larger amounts of monies for the payments to caterers etc at reunions.

A quorum of the committee is deemed to be the Chairman (or his representative) and a minimum of two other committee members. The President of the Association (an ex-Officio post) shall be elected/re-elected as and when it is deemed necessary on the understanding that the office holder may either request or be invited to stand down as the occasion arises.

City Of Chester

In view of HMS Broadsword’s (1979 – 1995) adoption by the City of Chester the continuing link with the City is regarded as crucial.


Bi-Annual AGM’s & official bi-annual reunions shall be held at Chester with the permission of the City of Chester Council unless otherwise voted for by the membership or permission by Chester City Council is withdrawn.


The Association may be wound up if that is the wish of at least 50 per cent of the current membership. Any funds held at the termination shall be audited and distributed among charitable organisations as stipulated by the committee.

Joining Up in January 1953
By Peter Phillips Series 17

It was a new experience for a young boy leaving home for the first time.
I had been entered in the October entrance exam by my Father a retired Chief Yeoman
of Signals of “Pepperpot” fame. It was to be a trial as I was not expected to pass!
He had come 10th in the Artificer Exam in 1920 and they admitted the first 9. He sat the
exam in the waiting room at Holme Station, long gone by Beeching.
I had attended Deacon’s Grammar School in Peterborough and had at the options point in my
Education selected languages, in which I am still interested in having always tried to be
able to be polite in the language of the Country I worked after retirement from the R.N..
My Father made a mysterious visit to Victory Barracks whilst we were down visiting my
Grandparents in Littlehampton Summer 1952.
When he came out of the Barracks into Queen Street where I my younger Brother and Mother
were waiting, he announced that I was on the C-in-C’s List (unfortunately not available now
in the age of political correctness). I was to learn of this implication later!
However I think that My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty were desperate for anything in
long trousers so I passed at the first attempt, thanks to my Teachers at Deacons who tutored
me in the science subjects that I had abandoned for languages, after School, bet that this
would not happen today if there are any Grammar Schools left.
So having passed then came the Interview and aptitude tests which were held at the back of
HMS Daedalus in nissen huts. It was there that I met my future class mates. I passed the
Medical, which my Mother hoped that I would fail due to flat feet, as I said previously
My Lords must have been desperate.
All of the others in my group were told “don’t ring us we will ring you“, nothing was said
to me, but the Chief who took us down to the Gosport Ferry said to me you must have a Father
in the Navy as you have a Navy grip, congratulations we will send you your Railway ticket.
Most of the others joined me at Fisgard.
Well late November there was a letter from Admiralty with my ticket to Plymouth North Road
and a request to inform them on which train I would arrive on the 5th January 1953.
Being an avid railway buff ( but never owning an Anorak) I decided I would travel on the
Cornish Riviera 1030 ex Paddington.
The 5th arrived and my Father took me a very young 15 year old to Peterborough North to
catch the 0830 to London King’s Cross. It was a typical January morning, dark and foggy, not
quite smog.
This is where things started to go wrong! The station announcer said that the heavily
delayed 0530 from Aberdeen to King’s Cross would be the next departure at 0900, so what is
new about the Railways this was the days of British Rail. It was obvious that I would not
make the 1030 departure from Paddington as it took 90 minutes non stop to London
(now 45 minutes).
When I arrived at Paddington the next train was the 1200 to Paignton, the “Torbay Express”
so I was not too disappointed.
I then put into action the plan to watch my back! I had been briefed by my Father.
I had been to the Station Master at King’s Cross to get a signature to say that the trains
were running late and to send a Telegram to HMS Fisgard to say that I had missed my
designated train and would be arriving later in the afternoon.
I sat back in the train to enjoy pastures new looking out of the window of the train and
noting with interest the other locomotives bustling about.
On arrival at North Road we were bundled into coaches with utility seating i.e. wooden slats
where a roll call was taken from the list. The Chief then said anyone here whose name I have
not called please show.
Guess what “you are adrift,” to which I replied I sent a Telegram to Fisgard advising them
of the situation.
OK that over we arrived at Fisgard and fell in outside the New Entry Office to be addressed
by a Mr. Brownrigg, He gave his spiel and then said who is Phillips? I replied me sir to
which he replied why did you waste money on a Telegram!
The moral of the story is you win some and you lose some.

Peter Phillips MX920235 Ships book Number 3103. Sir!

The End of my first Commission

H.M.S. St Brides Bay 1957-1959

It all started one November weekend in Hong Kong 1958, the PO EL and I had gone over to Kowloon on a rabbit run. As we walked up Nathan Road my legs started to swell up so it was a case of back to Ship. Saw the LSBA who told me to see the Doc, a National Service Lieutenant in the Morning, he would no doubt prescribe the usual Aspirin and that would be that. However I was told that I would have to go up the Peak to RNH as it appeared that I would need surgery in the matrimonial area of my body making my own way! Monday morning I went on the Peak Tram and presented myself to see the Surgeon, the surgeon very quickly said you do not need to see me but the Medical specialist.
So having been checked over by him I was informed that I had perforated kidneys and had to be admitted immediately. I then went back to the ship to retrieve my kit ready to be admitted to RNH. I then had to get the sick bay to organise a Tilley to take me back to RNH. I thought that this would be no problem as by now I had risen to the dizzy heights of PO! I was told that I was not entitled to transport, but I argued my case and won. I later found out that my condition was so serious they had considered to fly my Parents out, so why the hassle over transport. I was admitted and put on a strict bed and diet routine, the latter being a bottle of milk one hour and the hour a glass of limers so you can imagine the affect on the milk by the limers, they changed me to Ribena and that was OK. After 3 weeks of the diet and countless jabs I had my first meal, a British Rail sandwich and a jelly, an absolute banquet! I had a 21st birthday cake made for me but not allowed to eat it. Christmas lunch was a choice between a piece of Turkey or Pudding.
As February was looming up I asked about repatriation to the UK as the rest of the commission would be going home. It was decided I would go home on the Nevasa as bed case. Shortly before my departure, by this time I was allowed up for 2 hours a day so I asked the Doc if I could have one last visit to the China Fleet Club and to get some rabbits. This was granted on condition that I took taxis everywhere. I caused No 1 boy consternation in the CFC by asking for the Comprador, but only for a menu as a souvenir! I still have that menu at home.
Having returned to my sick bed the next morning the Doc asked me if I had enjoyed myself and would I like to go again the answer was obvious, although the food was good in RNH the CFC food was better.
Whilst I was swanning around in Hong Kong a Chief SBA had been to check on my state as to boarding the Nevasa later that week, when he found out I was down town he was heard to say that I did not need a stretcher or wheelchair I could damn well walk.
I know that you are probably aware, that in those days our female compatriots were non military and treated as ladies. We always called Sister ‘Sister’ and of course God was Matron. During one of my two forays I bought a small Sharp Transistor radio with earpiece so that I could listen to Inspector West on Radio Hong Kong during Matron’s rounds by hiding under the sheets. One night she caught me and in a loud voice said haven’t you a little one there, the whole ward burst out laughing and I am not sure that she understood what she had said.
To continue, I soon found out that Army run Hospital were not the same as ours, my first mistake was to call the QARANC captain Sister after all I had been doing that for nearly three months in RNH. I was firmly told to refer to her as Marm. I also found out that as a PO I could use the 2nd class lounge deck so I asked the Army Doc if I could spend one of my 2 hours out of bed up there. He said no as it was for NCOs only then being an Army run thing your rank had to be on display. He said was that my uniform hanging up above my bed. To which I replied yes and he said are you really an NCO, I suppose he was not used to the Tiffy advancement where at 20 years old you became a PO. The next problem on my first trip on deck, I could see this character in flamboyant Bermuda shorts, surrounded by minions, keep eyeing me up. Sure enough after a few minutes one of the minions came scurrying over demanding that the RSM wanted to know what I meant by being on the 2nd class deck. It gave a big sense of satisfaction to send the reply back I was fully entitled being a PO in the RN!
The food was diabolical and I survived on Ice Cream smuggled out by the medical staff on the 21 day trip back to Southampton.
The Army Doctor turned out to be an alcoholic and bearing in mind my medical condition he allowed me to draw my tot on condition that he had half!
The Customs cleared me of all my ready cash at Southampton and I spent the first night in Rose Cottage in Haslar only to be resited in the medical ward the next morning.
I hope it has not bored you but it does make a different end to a commission.

Peter Phillips ex FCWEA

D & C
Pap smear
Terminal sickness
Occurring every year
Study on paintings
What Doctors do when treatment fails
section District in Rome
Stringed instrument
Made eye contact with her
A sheep dog
Where Washington is
Journal of daily events
To live long
Not a friend
Small lie
Coat hook
Important, well known
Higher offer
Cheaper than day rate
Was aware of
Person who has fainted
Fatherhood test
A Christmas flower
operative Letter carrier
Room to do upholstery
Nearly killed them
Rolled leaf tobacco
Roman Emperor
Hide anything
Study of cereal
A small table
Sickness at airport
Country in North Africa
An extra pair
Opposite of you’re out
Located nearby

Thanks to Eric Wyatt HMS St Brides Bay Association

Members details update

Standing Order Request