Mansfield Royal Navy association hopes new members will come aboard

A Mansfield naval organisation which annually remembers those lost at sea during the Battle of Trafalgar is calling for new members to come aboard.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 6:30 am

The Mansfield and District Royal Navy Association is hoping to swell its ranks with an appeal to serving and veteran personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines to join them.

The association holds meetings at the Forest Town Arena, at 11am, on the second Sunday of the month, providing a social and support group for former and serving naval service personnel.

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Circa 1790: British Naval Commander Horatio Nelson (1758 - 1805). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Every year, the association also holds a traditional dinner to remember the many sailors lost during the Battle of Trafalgar, which was on October 21, 1805.

The battle saw the Royal Navy engage with fleets of the French and Spanish during the Napoleonic Wars led by Admiral Lord Nelson who was killed in action.

This year, the dinner is being held at the Mansfield Town Football Club, on Saturday, October 16. The association will toast to the Queen, as well as those lost at the battle, at sea, and other conflicts.

Spokesperson for the group Paul Antell, 48, from Mansfield, said: “We are a mutual support group for anyone with any involvement in the Royal Navy or Royal Marines, although Mansfield is quite inland, there are a lot of people with a connection to the services and the sea.

"We have about 30 members, a hard core of 20 regularly attend. Many of our members are getting older, so we want to attract some new blood to help keep our association going.

"It is a great organisation for anyone with a naval background, it is a place you can talk the same language, reminisce about old shipmates, all those that ‘crossed over the bar’.Paul, who’s background is in commercial and military communications, joined two years ago, after moving to the area from Portsmouth, after retiring from the Royal Navy in 2018.

Originally from Essex, he added: “It’s a wonderful association, we keep an eye on our senior members, they have some great yarns to share, and the group offers a place of friendship and support. We’d very much welcome new members to come along.”

New members can turn up at the meetings, or contact via the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MansfieldRNA/. The next meeting is Sunday, November 7.

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