Message from the Editor

May I first welcome onto the committee Charlie Cooke who takes up the role of secretary and to Steve Bullock who replaces Tanzy as Treasurer. Tanzy has given many years service to eth Association in his role as Treasurer and we wish him well in his retirement to Spain. Pedlar Palmer has also taken up the new role  as Welfare Rep and Dickie Davies has replaced Steve Bullock as R.N Liasion.
Steve is currently in discussion with Dickie regarding the mini reunion in Gus, which at going to press was planned for the begining of October. This is for partners as well so we hope as many of you as possible will be able to attend some part of the weekend. Please look for further updates on the Broadsword website.

Dave Bracken


President Captain W R Canning DSO MBE RN

Mr Peter Philips
7 Inverness Avenue
Hants PO15 6AT

Mr D Cooke
16 Knightly Way
ST20 0HX

Mr Steve Bullock
34 Balmoral Avenue
PL12 1HP
Membership Secretary

Mr George Roche
90 Gartland Road
News Editor
Re-union Manager

Mr Dave Bracken
43 Rochford Close
Grange Park
Wilts SN5 6AB
Royal Navy Liasion Mr J Davies
The Barn
Clare Street
Welfare Rep Mr G Palmer
Kupenda, 83 Liskeard Rd
PL17 7HH

H.M.S Broadsword Association
Minutes for meeting 20th February 2009
The meeting was opened at 1902hrs

1. Attendees.
Peter Philips
Charlie Cooke
George Roche
Stevie Bullock
Dave Bracken
Geoff Palmer
Apologies, Dean Webster, Dickie Davies

2. The Chairman welcomed those attending.

3. Web Site
The Broadsword Web site is in need of updating. Dean Webster was not present at the meeting but George is certain that Dean was progressing with the updates.                        Action Dean Webster

4. Welfare Members' Expenses
Geoff Palmer our new Welfare member has made two visits representing the association recently and it was agreed that he should be reimbursed his travel expenses at the current rate and will be again if or when he represents the association in the future.
                                                                        Action Steve Bullock

5. Update Chester
Chester City Council have been contacted by the Chairman but as yet no reply has been received, the Chairman is also in contact with the Coventry City Council regarding the original painting of the "Sinking Of The Coventry" this is still an ongoing matter.
                                                                        Action Peter Phillips

6. Captain Canning's Attendance at WEMN1 Whites Funeral
Secretary to write to the Captain expressing the committee and member's gratitude toward him for this.
                                                                        Action Charlie Cooke

7. WEMN1 John White (Knocker)
Knockers wife Sue has requested that no flowers be sent.
It was however proposed that a token donation of fifty pounds be made to the North Devon Hospice. Seconded and carried subject to Sue's approval.
                                                                        Action Secretary Treasurer and Welfare member

8. Send a letter to Mrs White explaining the above and asking for her approval.
                                                                        Action Secretary

Any Other Business

1. George Roche
George would like to bring to every bodies attention the sterling work carried out by the organisations such as SAFFA and Combat Stress to name but two that exist solely to aid serving and ex serving military personnel. Details of these organisations can be found online in the Navy news, etc, the committee as a whole, encouraged anyone suffering any hardship, be it financial, mental or physical to contact them, if for nothing more than an understanding ear.

2. Meetings
It was proposed seconded and carried the minutes to all committee and AGM meetings be published in the annual Newsletter.
                                                                        Action Secretary and Newsletter Editor

3. Expenses
The mileage costs of the committee have been paid at a rate of 13 pence per mile since the very first meeting over ten years ago.
It was proposed and passed that a a one off payment of 30 pence per mile be made to those committee members that have stood since the beginning and that a new rate of 20 pence per mile would come into effect to new committee members immediately and existing members for subsequent meetings.            Action Stevie Bullock

4. Next Reunion
It was proposed that we should have a sit down meal at the next reunion (Dress, Lounge suits) Costing and availability of caterers to be made.
                                                                        Action Dave Bracken, Newsletter, Dean Webster Website

5. Obituaries
Steve proposed that an obituaries section be added to the website.
                                                                        Action Dean Webster

6. Mini Reunion
Steve also proposed a mini reunion at HMS Drake Senior Rates Mess (subject to availability) in October open to all members and their spouses.
                                                                        Action Newsletter and Website

7. R.N Liaison
With immediate effect Warrant Officer Dickie Davies takes over the role or R.N Liaison Officer for the Association.

Also Stevie Bullock takes over as association treasurer from Terry Lee, Charlie Cooke takes over as association Secretary from Peter Phillips and Geoff Palmer takes on the new role of Welfare member.

8. Correspondance

Captain Canning

A letter from Captain Canning was read to the committee by the Chairman, the letter related to WEMN1 John Whites funeral, a full version can be seen in the next issue of the Broadsword Newsletter.


The meeting was closed at 2020hrs

Chairman's letter

I think that the Reunion went off well in Birmingham last November, although I had a few complaints about the loudness of the disco. Some of the members come to talk over old times at these Re-unions.
I have to try to get Chester to confirm that we can meet there in 2010, as we would have to find another venue. I know that the wives did not take to Birmingham for shopping; at least Hubby's pocket did not become too light.
We have had a change of some Committee members; Terry Lee has retired as Treasurer as he retires from the Police in April and going to live in Spain. The members who attended raised a subscription to present him with a clock suitably inscribed with his service to the Association.
Steve Bullock has taken up the reins. We decided at the AGM to have a member to deal with welfare matters, Pedler Palmer has the job which he was baptised quite quickly as Knocker White succumbed to cancer earlier this year.
I have been replaced as Secretary by Charlie Cooke who has taken over the post smoothly.
We will have a new RN member to replace Steve Bullock who has retired from the RN.
I announced at the AGM that I wished to stand down as Chairman in 2010; we need to encourage younger members to take over, and as I had been involved with IET "was IEETE" since 1976 in the Portsmouth area until the merger with IEE, felt the time had come to take a back seat.

Peter Phillips Chairman


My name is Bill Canning and I have been asked by Sue to say a few words about John - or Knocker as he was universally known in the Navy - and I am honoured to do so. I first met Knocker in the early eighties when I was privileged to command HMS Broadsword during the campaign to recapture the Falkland Is.

John was a key member of our ships company which numbered about 260 men. His prime responsibility was to maintain the gyro compass equipment onboard although he had many other roles to play within the weapons and electronics department.

I should add that, without a properly functioning gyro compass, the ship was virtually blind and, more importantly in 1982, would lose her fighting capability. Therefore, if as happened from time to time, the call went out over the main broadcast for the gyro EA to report to the bridge, I was instantly alerted. But I always knew that there was no need for me to get excited because I had infinite faith in Knockers skill as a technician. His claim and analytical reaction to a problem also inspired considerable confidence and it was a privilege to have this chief petty officer as a member of the ships company for he was a supreme technician who knew his job to perfection. He had learnt his trade the hard way with years of hands on training and experience. Indeed, while chatting to him only seventeen days ago, he was reflecting on the merits of his chosen training scheme in the Navy.

Also during the last meeting, we touched on a number of naval topics and I found that we had much in common. He shared my somewhat critical on a number of aspects of the modern Navy. In particular, he agreed with my long held assertion that a ship of war is no place for ladies. But, Ladies this is political thin ice for me to skate on and I am well aware that his own daughter is in the service and will doubtless disagree with me.

During the last week or so, I have taken the opportunity of contacting a number of Knockers former mess mates and they have all said much the same thing - that he combined professional competence with a quiet and rock like personality. What more could you ask of such a key member of the team.

In these few brief moments, I hope I have said enough to illustrate the deep regard that we all felt for John both as a technical Chief Petty Officer and as a member of a really splendid ships' company.

The Broadsword Association will miss him enormously and our deepest sympathy goes to Sue and her family.


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