The 20th Anniversary of HMS Wessex Closure
A Reunion was held at HMS King Alfred RNR on 22nd February 2014 to mark the 20th Anniversary of the closures of HMS Wessex RNR and HMS Sussex RNR which then reformed as HMS King Alfred RNR.
It was very well supported with many ex-Wessex of all ranks coming together to mark 20 years since the closure.
The 10th Anniversary of HMS Wessex Closure
On Sunday 28th March 2004 there was a gathering of about 95 old Wessexers at the Seafarers in Southampton. A lot of time was spent in advance of the event trying to round people up, and in the end we had more officers and senior rates than junior rates. Having said that, we are all civvies now, and there is no such thing as rank or rate, so everyone mixed very well, with a lot of old stories being exchanged. It’s great to finally hear anecdotes told from the other side! Those of us who spent time on the door faced a real struggle trying to identify old colleagues and match them against the names. This has less to do with people changing, and more to do with our failing memories!
The Seafarers supplied a lady to work behind the bar, which oiled the tongues, as if they needed any oiling, and a buffet was laid on for those who need their midday sustenance. The now familiar model of the Itchen graced the centre of the room, and there were scrap books available, which comrades perused with both laughter and sadness. It was heart warming to see the pleasure on peoples’ faces as they spied past comrades amongst the crowd.
As I cast my mind back I can think of more and more people who really warrant a mention, so much so, that I feel it probably better not to single out anyone. It was just so wonderful to see so many familiar faces, many of whom have had serious health or personal problems, and yet managed not only to come, but to contribute so much to the afternoon.
(written by Claire Mills)