Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE stands down as Branch Chairman

Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE

The Ferndown and District Branch is sad to report that our long serving Chairman, S/M Mick Arnold MBE, has been forced to stand down due to a medical condition, though he will continue as a Member.

S/M Mick joined our Branch at its Commissioning on 7th March, 1980, (41 years), joined the Committee in 1986, and in the same year became Branch Delegate to No. 4 Area. Shortly after he was elected to the No. 4 Area Committee, then served as Area Secretary from 1999 to 2019, (20 years). From 2000 until 2019 he served as Secretary/Treasurer of the No. 4 Area Reunion Committee, which for many years has been held in Bideford. For services to the RNA S/M Mick has been awarded as Life Vice President and Life Member of Area 4.

S/M Mick was elected Ferndown and District Branch Chairman on three occasions, 1994 to 1996, 2000 to 2002 and finally 2012 to 2021, totalling 13 years. During the latter period he arranged for three Members to be presented with their Legion d’Honneur in Nelson’s cabin on-board H.M.S. Victory, by former First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band GCB, and a further Member received the Legion d’Honneur at our Branch Headquarters in 2019.

S/M Mick was a member of the ‘Algerines Association’ for many years. In addition, he was our Area 4 point of contact with the ‘Not Forgotten Association’ for over 20 years. S/M Mick was also the County Chairman and Vice President of the Royal British Legion and awarded the Royal British Legion Gold Badge. For Services to the Community of Ferndown he was awarded the MBE in the 2004 New Year’s Honours list.

This year S/M Bob Stanyard has succeeded S/M Arnold MBE as Branch Chairman.

From the new Chairman: “What shoes to fill.

A pillar of society, S/M Mick was a Councillor, and twice the Mayor of Ferndown, along with other social positions of merit within the Dorset Masonic Order.

S/M Mick Arnold has been a huge credit to our Branch and I am so pleased that he and his lovely wife Jean will still be members. I was going to say “Job Done” but no doubt his knowledge and experience will be called upon.

Well done Chairman and thank you Shipmate, thank you for your excellent service.”

Funeral of The Duke of Edinburgh – Saturday 17 April 2021

On Saturday 17 April 2021, The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral took place at Windsor Castle.

To show the respect of our Shipmates for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, it was felt appropriate to fly our Ensigns at both Branch HQ at St Leonards and St Ives Ex Services Club, and Ferndown Village Hall.

Then, in true RNA fashion, Shipmates were encouraged to ‘raise a tot’ to The Duke after the one minute’s silence had taken place.

More information about The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral can be found on The Royal Family’s website.

The death of the Duke of Edinburgh – a statement from our National President

Duke of Edinburgh

I know I speak on behalf of all Shipmates in expressing deep sadness on hearing that His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has crossed the bar.

Today, I have written to Her Majesty The Queen, our Patron, to offer heartfelt condolences from us all.

After serving this country on the front line during the Second World War, Prince Philip demonstrated extraordinary dedication and determination, and an unwavering commitment to duty, in supporting Her Majesty The Queen throughout the decades of her reign.

The Duke of Edinburgh has been associated with the Royal Navy and the wider Naval community for more than 80 years, both through his service and through his support for the Naval Service and Naval charities and veterans’ organisations. Shipmates of the Royal Naval Association have a particular affinity for this distinguished Royal Navy veteran.

Together we mourn the loss of a man who has been a feature of our national life for more than seven decades, and for whom we feel deep affection and respect.

John McAnally

41st Annual General Meeting

Calling all Shipmates….. the Ferndown and District Branch of the Royal Naval Association will be holding its 41st Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 9 February 2021, at 2000 hours.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the meeting will be held online as a Zoom Meeting.

For further information, and details of how to join the AGM, please either email us at or phone 07787 182162.

We look forward to seeing you at the AGM.

Mess Night – Tuesday 8 December 2020

Hello Shipmates

Unfortunately the St Leonards and St Ives Ex-Services Club is currently unable to re-open due to Covid-19 rules, therefore we cannot hold our Xmas Mess Night at the Club.

However, we will hold a Zoom Meeting at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 8 December 2020 for a get-together, xmas hats and jumpers optional!

To join the Zoom Meeting, please refer to the information provided to you in a recent email from Pauline Chalk, Hon Secretary, alternatively please contact Pauline at or by telephone at 07787 182162.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

Shipmates’ Update November 2020

Good Evening Shipmates

Below is an update on upcoming events that we have unfortunately had to cancel/change due to the current Covid situation:

Remembrance Service – Sunday 8 November 2020

The Remembrance service at St Leonards and St Ives Club on Sunday 8 November has been cancelled.

We would ask you not to attend the St Ives Church which will be open only for private prayer.

Messnight – Tuesday 10 November 2020

Unfortunately we are unable to have a Messnight on 10 November 2020 due to lockdown.

Hopefully we will be able to have a Christmas gathering next month if lockdown has finished. We will keep you posted as soon as we know.

In the meantime, if any of you fancy a chat next Tuesday evening, there will be a Zoom call at 7 pm.

To join the Zoom Meeting, please refer to the information provided to you in a recent email from Pauline Chalk, Hon Secretary, alternatively please contact Pauline at or by telephone at 07787 182162.

Wreath Laying Service – Wednesday 11 November 2020

Unfortunately the Unofficial Wreath Laying Service at St Leonards and St Ives Club on Armistice Day at 11 am, has also had to be cancelled due to the current regulations. Shipmates are asked not to attend as the Club could incur fines for breaking the Covid rules.

Keep safe Shipmates, we look forward to welcoming you to future events when the current restrictions have been lifted.

Mess Night – Tuesday 13 October 2020

Hello Shipmates, Good News!!

We are going ahead with our Mess Night next Tuesday 13 October at Branch HQ, St Leonards and St Ives Club. There are a few guidelines in place due to the Covid-19 situation.

  • The Mess is on from 7pm for 7.30pm start, as the club has to close at 10.00pm.
  • Dress code optional, blazers or informal whichever you prefer.
  • Social distancing is in place. 
  • Masks to be worn when moving around the club, but can be removed whilst sitting at the tables.
  • Drinks and crisps etc will be brought to us at our tables, which can have up to 6 people.
  • Waitress service by Candy and her team.
  • There will be no food on this occasion as we are unsure of numbers attending.  
  • There is a sign posted one way system, and only one person in the toilets at a time please.

We are unable to have entertainers, but Bob will find something of interest, and of course we will have our usual raffle.

Do come along and meet your Shipmates for a get together. The Ferndown Golf Club have advised us that our Trafalgar Night Dinner cannot take place, so let’s make this our Trafalgar gathering.

Looking forward to seeing you all.

Hooray Mess Nights are back on!!

Evening Shipmates

Come and join us for our first ‘post Lockdown Mess Night’ on Tuesday 8 September 2020, from 7.30 pm onwards for an 8 pm start.

It will be a great opportunity to catch up with each other, and meet for a chat over a drink. However, the format of the evening will be slightly different to comply with the ‘new normal’.

Social distancing is in place, and the seating is arranged accordingly for everyone’s safety – no need to sit on your own though, as two households can share a table, if you choose to.

After discussion with the Club Committee, we have been asked not to bring in our own food, as previously suggested, as this contravenes the Covid-19 rules due to the likelihood of sharing food. Bar snacks (crisps etc) are available from the bar if you are peckish, but the usual supper will not be served due to the current rules.

We are not currently allowed live entertainers, but Shipmate Bob will come up with something to keep us entertained, and we will of course have our raffle.

An optional informal dress code has been suggested for the occasion.

We all look forward to seeing you there.

Shipmates’ Update, January-March 2020

Hello Shipmates

We hope this update finds you and your families well.

As we’re currently unable to hold our usual mess nights and social gatherings, below is an update on what’s happened earlier in the year:

  • January mess night was a social evening.
  • February mess night was our branch Annual General Meeting – below are details of the changes to the Branch Committee:
    • Our new president is S/m Chevalier Robert Barnett – S/m Chevalier Ron Cunningham has moved away for health reasons, but retained his membership.
    • S/m Dave Ashley did not stand for re-election to the Committee for personal reasons.
    • Our new Standard Bearer is Karl Keeble, who has taken over from Dennis Matthews. We’d like to record our thanks to Dennis for all of his help over the past few years.
  • March mess night was the presentation of Legion D’Honneur, the details are below:
    • At our recent March mess night a Legion d’Honneur medal was presented to Alfred Guenigault who has recently joined the Royal Naval Association, and is now a member of our branch.
    • Alfred Guenigault was presented with the Legion D’Honneur Medal by the Mayor of Ferndown, Mrs Julie Robinson, on 10th March at the 40th annual birthday celebration of the Ferndown & District Royal Naval Association at St Ives & St Leonards ex Services Club.
    • Alfred Guenigault with 6th Ulster Rifles Regiment, part of the Airborne Division, landed 60 metres from Pegasus Bridge. He was sent with his regiment to the the small villages to protect the villagers. He was wounded whilst helping others later in the day.