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Southampton Royal Naval Officer's Association


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                                                                                       © SRNOA - December 2011

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Held at




To enjoy a series of lectures  during the winter months given by top level speakers. A balance of subjects is maintained between current Service topics and operations, naval historical subjects, sailing and adventurous activities.

(Follow link above for address and map.)




Wednesday 20th September 2017

  “White Ship, Red Crosses – a BritishHospital Ship at War” by Senior Nursing Officer Nicci Pugh

This is the story of the requisition and conversion of the P&O cruise ship SS Uganda at the start of the Falklands War. Nicci was one of many medical personnel given a crash draft to her, transforming the ship into a fully functional sea-going hospital. She recounts tales of compassion and hardship providing medical assistance to both sides “to bring them back alive”.


Thursday 19th October 2017

 “Reflections on a second career with the UN” by Cdr Geoff Wordley RN

Geoff was a Pusser who served 21 years in the RN before taking up a varied second career with the UN which involved postings to some of the world’s most outlandish hot spots. The scene was set on his first draft to the HQ of the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda when within the first week he was woken by the sound of heavy machine gun fire below his bedroom accompanied by incoming small arms fire some of which entered through the bedroom window. Subsequently it seems that wherever there was a humanitarian disaster, Geoff was there. These postings were mainly in central Africa but latterly included Iraq and Syria, Croatia and Bosnia, and then Ukraine. Apart from the drama of chaos and violence on the ground, Geoff will give an insight into the workings of the UN.


 Thursday 7th December 2017 (Rescheduled)


“Preparing Portsmouth for HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH” by Captain Iain Greenlees RN

Iain is the Head of Infrastructure in Portsmouth dockyard for the QE project and as such has overall responsibility for all related aspects from dredging to the provision of power supplies. There has not been such a major development since Edwardian times as they worked out how to build and support the Dreadnought-class battleships, at the time the largest warships in the world.


 Wednesday 14th February 2018

 “From Sea To Sky; The Royal Navy’s Aircraft Carriers 1912 to 1945” by Andrew Choong Han Lin, Curator, Historic Photos and Ships Plans, National Maritime Museum.

Members will recall that Andrew gave us a most interesting talk earlier this year on the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet at Scarpa Flow. His next project was to research the history of the evolution of the aircraft carrier in the RN from the beginning until 1945. This should be a most interesting talk considering the context of the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Wednesday 14th March 2018


“S/m experiences” by Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson CB CVO (title to be


Admiral Peter’s last appointment was as Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel) from 2007 to 2010. He commanded the submarines HMS Otter, Superb, and Vanguard, being promoted to Captain in 1995. He was Captain of 2nd Submarine Squadron from 1999 to 2001.He has kindly offered to give us a talk on his life in submarines and a suitable title will be promulgated in due course. This promises to be a very interesting talk bearing in mind he was in command when the Cold War was coming to an end and he commanded HMS Vanguard which was the first of the new SSBNs to replace the Polaris boats. She carried out the first Trident missile test firing in May 1994 and the first operational deterrent patrol in 1999.


Wednesday 11th April 2018


“The mysterious loss of sailing yacht OUZO off the Isle of Wight by Mike Waddleton.


During the night of 20/21 August 2006 the sailing yacht Ouzo was lost with all her three experienced hands some miles south of the Isle of Wight. She had left Bembridge earlier that night en route to Dartmouth in moderate sea conditions.  What happened shortly after remains a mystery, although there was a close encounter with the P&O ferry Pride of Bilbao.  The three crew were found later separated over a large area but they were dead. The Ouzo has never been found in spite of exhaustive surface and sonar searches.   Mike was called to the enquiry as an expert witness. This is his account of an intriguing but tragic episode which should be of great interest to all small boat sailors.




Recent Lectures have included:

 “Operation Neptune: Frogmen – the first men ashore on D-Day” by Lt Cdr Rob Hoole RN (retired)

“Instructor Officer at War” by Lt Cdr Nigel Huxtable RN (retired)

 “Bird in a Biplane” by Lt Cdr Tracey Curtis-TaylorRNR

“Op Herrick 5, Afghanistan” Lt Col Matt Holmes RM (CO 42 Cdo RM)
"Op Herrick 9, Afghanistan" Cdr Kev Seymour RN (CO Navy Strike Wing )

"Future threats and risks", Rear Admiral Chris Parry

"United States ICEX Operations 2011, RN involvement and experiences"

“UK Maritime Trade Operations, anti-piracy and maritime security operations in the Middle East”

“Fleet Diving Squadron, worldwide diving and EOD"

“Operation Bugle, the EU response to the ‘Darfurisation’ of Chad”

“HMS Daring,1st Type 45 destroyer”Capt Paul Bennett RN (CO HMS Daring)

“Buccaneer, last all British bomber”

“Falklands, HMS Coventry” Cdre Jamie Miller (OOW when she was struck by an Argentine Exocet missile)

“Falklands,the Air War” Cdre Neill Thomas (CO 899 Naval Air Squadron)

“Falklands, 3 Cdo Bgde” Major General Julian Thompson (CO 3 Cdo Bgde)

“The Channel Dash, 825 NAS suicide attack on the German battle cruisers

in the 2nd WW” Lt Cdr Edgar Lee RN (last survivor of the action)

“Operation Frankton, the Cockleshell Heroes Raid"

“Falklands experiences” by Rear Admiral Chris Parry

“SCRAM! Junglies in the Falklands” by Lt Harry Benson RN (retd)

"In the wake of William Bligh" the recreation of Lt Bligh's small boat voyage

"Row to the Pole" Mark Delstanche
“F35 Lightning ll – The Future of British Fixed Wing Maritime Aviation”

 “The Falklands war – a close run thing” by Commander Jeff Tall RN (retired)

 “The Shackleton Epic expedition” the recreation of Shackleton's boat journey

“The Flying Boats of Southampton” by Colin van Geffin
“The Battle of the Atlantic” by Rear Admiral John Lang
 “Submarine operations in the Cold War” by Cdr Jeff Tall RN (retired

 “The Coder Special Archive” by Tony Cash

“Operation Ellamy; submarine operations during the Libyan crisis” by

Commander  Robert Dunn RN  

“The EU Training Mission to Somalia” by Commander Mark Barton RN

 “The story of the Schneider Air Races” by Colin van Geffin

 “Carrier Strike – Regenerating the UK’s Carrier Aviation Capability” by Cdr Nick Walker RN

“The Three Voyages of Exploration of Captain James Cook”

 “Unsung heroes: the Royal Naval Division in World War 1” by Captain

 Christopher Page RN Retired

“Cheerfulness in the face of adversity – 350 years of smiling through gritted

 teeth” by Chris Terrill

Four men in a boat” by Ken Endean

“Trinity House 500 and its role today” by Commander Graham Hockley Royal Navy

 “The Royal Navy Historic Flight” by Lieutenant Commander Christopher Gotke AFC RN   

 “Martin Nasmith VC – Pioneer Submariner” by Duncan Dunbar-Nasmith

“No more history lessons – Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015” by Lt Ben Timpson RN

 “Gallipoli: Myth and Memory” will be presented by Nick Hewitt
 “HMS M33 – Unique Gallipoli Survivor” will be presented by Matthew Sheldon

 “An update on the Type 26 programme” by Captain Tim Cryar RN