On Sunday 6th September 2015, shipmates Bill Small and Karl Webb joined the mass gathering of RNA, CONA, and visiting Naval forces personnel at the Cenotaph, London, for our Biennial Parade. Chairman of Huntingdon Branch, S/M Bill Small, was to parade the Branch Standard, whilst Huntingdon’s Hon. Secretary, S/M Karl Webb paraded the Standard from St Neots & District Branch (their Standard Bearer, S/M Keith Ridley is also No 6 Area NCM and was to parade with the National Council).
On arrival in London, RNA shipmates joined other Confederation of Naval Associations (CONA) members from the UK and overseas (e.g The Irish Naval Association, a naval contingent from Belgium, UK’s Type 42 Association and the Type 21 Club). Standard Bearers fell in behind the Sea Cadet Band and veterans took up their places behind the Standards. The parade moved of in true naval style and formed squads around the Cenotaph.
As well as the RNA National President and command team, our guests of honour included the Fleet Commander; Minister (AF)
Penny Mordaunt; Minister Mark Francois; the Chair of the House of Commons Defence Committee; and our own Chaplain of the Fleet.
As always, the parade was a great success, the full article will be published in the Semaphore Circular in due course (links to S/M Nigel Huxtable’s photographs can be found below). Once the parade had been dismissed, it was time to enjoy scran and a few wets at the Civil Service Club.
Also in keeping with tradition, S/M Nigel Huxtable dished out a tot for the Standard Bearers.
And everyone had a chance to chat with the trainees from HMS Sultan, and of course to catch up with old shipmates from their time in service.
Huntingdon shipmates Bill and Karl had both served onboard Type 42s (Karl’s time onboard was short-term drafts as a Phot) and had a great time catching up with the troops from the Type 42 Association.
As the day drew to a close, shipmates began heading back to their homes, it was a great day out and with new freindships forged, we shall loo forward to the next gathering. BZ Shipmates.
Click here to see the rest of S/M Nigel Huxtable’s photographs.
More images from Huntingdon & District Branch at the Biennial Parade: