LETTER: Ahoy there, shipmates

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I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say that many of your readers would have served in the Royal Navy at some time or other. The older ones who saw service in the Second World War would no doubt recently have been casting their thoughts back 70 years to the end of the war, either in Europe or later Japan with all of the commemorations going on around the country.

Those a little younger may have been called up for National Service, the younger still serving in our much reduced Royal Navy.

One thing is certain, they will all think back and remember the camaraderie and friendships formed at the time, only to be broken when moved to a different ship or shore base. There will be the occasional thoughts being cast back to ‘I wonder what happened to old Chalky White on HMS Rustybucket?’

Well a lot have found out what happened to their ‘Old Chalky White’ because lots of the ships have Associations, full of their old shipmates. And a new monthly service has recently started to help find all of the other ‘Old Chalkies’ or whoever is being looked for.

Friends are being rediscovered because many of the Ship’s Association Secretaries are sending details of their reunions to RN Shipmates for the monthly listings of reunions and other notices.

This monthly service is totally free because it is all done by email. Nearly 400 are on the monthly mailing list.

Looking for someone? This is a good start point for meeting up at a reunion and ‘swinging that lamp’. Interested? Then send brief details to mike.crowe1@btinternet.com

Mike Crowe

Sandown, Isle of Wight

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