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Southampton Royal Naval Officer's Association


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                                                                                       © SRNOA - December 2011

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Held at

The Dolphin Hotel (Mercure Southampton Centre) 34-35 High Street Southampton SO14 2HN  in The Jane Austin Room



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.





Monday 9th September 2019


“What shape was a battleship? (and why the last one had its great aunt’s teeth)

by Cdr Patrick Keefe RN


Patrick served in the Royal Navy as a Logistics Officer from 1977 to 2012 during which period he was Flag Lieutenant to Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse, who was CDS, for three years. He has a keen interest in all things Navy and talks on a number of  subjects. The chosen subject for this talk is actually what factors drive the design of warships, but he has used battleships to illustrate this, and then selected British ships as the RN was the predominant Navy during the battleship era. The talk includes video clips of a rolling broadside from HMS Victory and what it was like to be on the receiving end (the Italian warship Guilo Cesare) of a 15” hit from HMS Warspite in 1940.

This promises to be a fascinating talk to start our season.


Monday 7th October 2019


“On a Wing & a Prayer – the Cold War Deterrent Mk1”

by Wing Cdr Tony Davies

As most members should be aware it is the 50th anniversary of the RN’s continuous at sea deterrence patrols this year. Prior to this date the UK relied on the RAF ‘V Force’ to provide round the clock deterrence. Tony was a Cold War V-Bomber captain, flying worldwide, and a NATO staff officer; - from the Cuban Missile Crisis (nuclear brinkmanship) to present day confrontations. This talk will tell the story how the RAF defended the UK at the height of the Cold War, and how Tony played his part flying his beloved AVRO Vulcan nuclear bomber.


Monday 11th November 2019


“At 15 minutes notice for 50 years – incites and incidents of the RN’s first Continuous At Sea Deterrent patrol by the Navigating Officer of HMS Resolution” – by Cdr Ray Hunter RN

As previewed in the talk last month, the RN shouldered the responsibility to provide the nation’s deterrent in June 1968 with the first continuous at sea deterrent patrol. The first boat was HMS Resolution and Ray was the Navigating Officer. He was a career submariner and carried out four deterrent patrols, two as the Navigating Officer and another two later as the Executive Officer of Resolution, having passed the “Perisher”. This is his story of those early days when the Cold War was still raging.


Monday 3rd February 2020


‘I say, Number 1, my end is diving. What is your end doing?’ The Royal Navy’s first quest for a viable fleet submarine – by Andrew Choong Han Lin

The Royal Navy’s K class submarines were developed during the First World War in an attempt to provide the fleet with a high-speed submarine that could act in cooperation with capital ships in a fleet action. Today they are generally perceived as products of muddled and wrongheaded policy, with reactions ranging from acknowledgement of a brave but tragic failure, to condemnation of an idiocy that was

pursued even beyond proof that they were not viable. This talk will revisit the chequered careers of the K boats, and while broadly acknowledging the validity of the charges laid against them seeks to reappraise these. It will propose that while the execution was somewhat lacking, the strategic and tactical concepts were in fact very sound. The analysis will attempt to explain these vessels in context, exploring both the perceived need for them within the Royal Navy and the influence of foreign developments.

Most of you will know Andrew, our Professor Emeritus, from previous talks and will know they are not to be missed.


Monday 2nd March 2020


To be advised


Monday 6th April 2020


To be advised



  Recent Lectures have included:

Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup, an insight!" by Abby Ehler



“A Very Warm Time; HMS Clio and British naval operations in Mesopotamia, 1914-1918” by Andrew Choong Han Lin

The Wager Disaster; Mayhem, Mutiny and Murder in the South Seas" by Rear Admiral Kit Layman CB, DSO, LVO

 “The British Carrier Strike Fleet after 1945” by Cdr David Hobbs RN

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


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

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.

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

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

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

 “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

“Imagining the Future of Submarines” by Hon. Captain Jeremy Greaves RNR and Mr Alex Morphew