RNZNCOMMS ASSN AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Royal New Zealand Navy Communicators Association will be held at the Birkenhead RSA (downstairs room adjacent to the Dining Room) on 5 October 2019 commencing at 1130.  If you are not going to be present at the meeting then please send in your apologies to trixiedog@doglover.com so they may be recorded.

Capture20The agenda for the AGM will be published shortly.

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Parliamentary Questions – Veteran Affairs Answers – Update 9 Sep 19

A number of Parliamentary Questions were asked by Dan Bidois MP for Northcote and Matt King MP for Northland.  I will let you make up your own mind if you consider the answers pertinent, accurate or deserve further clarification.  Official answers are in Blue

29999 (2019). Dan Bidois to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (20 Aug 2019): Which, if any, of the recommendations from Professor Ron Paterson’s report from his review of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 are planned to be actioned by officials through a process or operational changes?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: I plan on taking a paper to my Cabinet colleagues in the coming weeks that will consider potential policy and legislative changes as a result of recommendations from the Paterson report.  Until Cabinet has considered this paper, it is not in the public interest to provide further detail on the Government response to the recommendations of the report. (Watch this space the Minister has had the report from the VAB for over 2 months now and the Patterson Report for over 12 months)

30000 (2019). Dan Bidois to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (20 Aug 2019): Which, if any, of the recommendations from Professor Ron Paterson’s report from his review of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 have been actioned by officials through a process or operational changes?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: I plan on taking a paper to my Cabinet colleagues in the coming weeks that will consider potential policy and legislative changes as a result of recommendations from the Paterson report.
Until Cabinet has considered this paper, it is not in the public interest to provide further detail on the Government response to the recommendations of the report. (Watch this space the Minister has had the report from the VAB for over 2 months now)

30001 (2019). Dan Bidois to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (20 Aug 2019): Will all three services be represented on any future Veterans’ Advisory Board?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: Appointments are made to the Veterans’ Advisory Board from time to time to ensure it has the right mix of skills and experience to undertake its duties.  If the Board feels it requires the perspective of a specific service it is able to appoint a representative of that service to attend its meetings and provide advice. (We look forward to some equality in the appointments in future.  Currently, there is no VAB established although looking at the VANZ website it would give you the opinion that there is.  There is still no RNZN or Ex RNZN member listed although it is believed that the current Warrant Officer of the Navy has been or was co-opted as an observer to appease those Blue members of the Defence Force.  Come on Ron there are three services in the NZDF and they don’t all wear Green.)

30002 (2019). Dan Bidois to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (20 Aug 2019): Will a new Veterans’ Advisory Board be established in 2019?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The Veterans’ Advisory Board is established under section 247 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 and members are appointed to the Board from time to time. The current membership of the Veterans’ Advisory Board, as of August 2019, is published on the Veterans’ Affairs website https://www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz/boards-and-panels/veterans-advisory-board/veterans-advisory-board-members  ( Our Assn has been advised by VA that this VAB had a life until 30 Jun 2019.  No c0mmunications has been seen or advised that it is still continuing work and if it is what are the terms of reference?)

30003 (2019). Dan Bidois to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (20 Aug 2019): When, if at all, will a review of pre-1974 deployments with regard to the classification of “Qualifying Operational Service” be conducted?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: All members of the New Zealand Armed Forces who served prior to 1 April 1974 have qualifying service under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014. The current focus is to review coverage of deployments occurring after 1 April 1974. A review of earlier deployments will not be considered until after this has occurred. (It is interesting to note that during the second reading of the recent amendment to the Veterans Support Act this question was raised by three MP’s and acknowledged by the current Minister of Veterans Affairs and still we get no review of the pre 1974 deployments)

30004 (2019). Dan Bidois to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (20 Aug 2019): Was the right of all ex-servicemen and servicewomen to be buried in a service section of a local cemetery withdrawn, and if so, what consultation supported the withdrawal and how was the withdrawal communicated to serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The Burial and Cremation Act 1964 is administered by the Ministry of Health. Eligibility for who may be buried in the Service section of a public cemetery has changed over time. Originally, burial was limited to returned servicemen. In 1983, an amendment expanded coverage to include persons who served in Her Majesty’s Forces and their spouses. In 1997, an addition was made to the 1983 amendment which required the person who served in Her Majesty’s Forces to have served on operational service declared by the Minister of Internal Affairs. The 1997 amendment also allowed for the burial of a de facto partner.
The amendments made to the eligibility criteria occurred before the establishment of Veterans’ Affairs in 1999, so information on the consultation or communication process is not held by Veterans’ Affairs.  (None the less if you consider a man who gives 20 years of his life to the service you would have thought VA would take up the baton and make it right)

30005 (2019). Dan Bidois to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (20 Aug 2019): Is the right for an ex-serviceman or woman to be buried in a service section of a local cemetery under review?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The Burial and Cremation Act 1964, which may provide for the burial of members of Her Majesty’s Forces who have been on operational service and their spouses or partners in part of a public cemetery set aside by the local authority, is administered by the Ministry of Health. The Act is currently under review by the Ministry of Health. Veterans’ Affairs will work with the Ministry of Health as work progresses.  (The Assn is attempting to find out when this Act will be reviewed and when public submissions will be sought)

30095 (2019). Matt King to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (21 Aug 2019): Does the Minister believe that Royal New Zealand Navy personnel who served with the Far East Strategic Reserve have been appropriately recognised by the New Zealand Defence Force?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The New Zealand Defence Force is currently reviewing a variety of service in South East Asia between 1950 and 1989. Service with the Far East Strategic Reserve is included in this examination. Each period of service will be assessed against the Government’s principles for medallic recognition. Subsequently, any service which meets the requirements of operational service will receive appropriate medallic recognition. (Your Assn has been plugging this track with NZDF for over 4 years and finally we might get a result from our constant written communications.  CDF has advised that the investigation phase has been completed and the analysis phase will be completed by 30 September with recommendations to the Minister thereafter.  Watch this space)

30097 (2019). Matt King to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (21 Aug 2019): Are Royal New Zealand Navy personnel who were stationed with the British Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve deemed to have served in a war or emergency for the purposes of the War Pensions Act?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The War Pensions Act 1954 was replaced by the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 (the Act). There is no provision under current legislation to deem service as war or emergency.  Qualifying Operational Service can be declared under the Act based on exposure to serious harm as defined in the Act. Posting to a specific formation will not in itself meet the threshold. Ships deployed into specific operational areas, over a specific period, to carry out specific tasks, may meet the criteria. Those Royal New Zealand Navy personnel who participated in a conflict recognised as qualifying operational service while stationed with the British Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve have cover under the Act.

30314 (2019). Dan Bidois to the Defence (Minister – Ron Mark) (22 Aug 2019): Are the rules for awarding Long Service and Good Conduct Medals to military personnel being reviewed as at 21 August 2019, and if so, when will the review be complete?

Hon Ron Mark (Defence (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: The review is complete. The changes to the eligibility rules will be announced once the governing Royal Warrants and accompanying regulations have been approved.  (if you look at Breaking News on the NZDF Medal website you will see that this has been an ongoing saga with delay after delay and back in 2015 it was expected that ex-service personnel would be able to make application by the first half of 2016.  It is amazing that a Public Service Medal can be struck by this Government in their first term and this review has been going on well before 2011 when the first principles were approved. http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/news/archive2011.html#long)

New Question posed by Dan Bidois MP for Northcote

30552 (2019). Dan Bidois to the Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark) (27 Aug 2019): Has the Minister taken the interim report he received from the Veterans Advisory Board in June to Cabinet as of 27 August 2019?

Hon Ron Mark (Veterans (Minister – Ron Mark)) replied: No. I plan on taking a paper to Cabinet on that matter in the coming weeks.

31199 (2019). Dan Bidois to the Minister for Veterans (03 Sep 2019): Has the Minister taken the interim report of the Veterans’ Advisory Board he received at the end of June to Cabinet or a cabinet committee, as of 3 September 2019?

Hon Ron Mark (Minister for Veterans) replied: Reply due: 11 Sep 2019

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SEAVA Meeting

The South-East Asia Veterans Association will be holding a meeting at the Howick RSA Saturday, 31 August 1300-1600.

If you want to find out the latest on issues listed below then it might be worthwhile attending.

Deployment reviews
FESR/ANZUK Recognition
Burial Act

You do not have to be a member of SEAVA to attend this meeting however, you might want to become one.  You may also wish to bring a plate for afternoon tea or a liquid lunch may suffice. The Howick RSA is located at 25 Wellington Street, Howick.

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NGAPONA Newsletter

LONGCAST

13 September 19 – Navy Club, Remuera Club at 1200
20 September 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Tauranga RSA
11 October 19 – Navy Club, Remuera Club at 1200
18 October 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Glen Eden RSA
18 October 19 – Trafalgar Day Luncheon at Te Atatu RSA
8 November 19 – Navy Club, Remuera Club at 1200
15 November 19 – Ngapona Assn Lunch at Grey Lynn RSA
13 December 19 – Navy Club, Remuera Club at 1200
20 December 19 – Ngapona Assn Xmas Lunch at Orakei RSA

NEW MEMBERS

A warm welcome to our two newest members, CPO Shane Kennedy (Coxn Ngapona) and PO Jeremy Thorburn (Career Manager Reserves). Welcome aboard!!

If you have served at HMNZS Ngapona and would like to join the HMNZS Ngapona Association please reply to this email to request an application form.

SPECIAL EVENT

The September lunch will be held in the Tauranga RSA at Greerton on Friday, 20th September. So that we can arrange transport we need an indication of numbers.
Please email or phone Richard Maddix 021 369 904 or richardmaddix@gmail.com so we can advise costs.

TRAFALGAR DAY LUNCHEON

To all matelots past and present, who have served under any of the white ensigns.
The President and Quarterdeck Division of the Te Atatu Memorial RSA will host a luncheon on Friday 18 October 2019 to celebrate in true naval fashion the 214th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and you are invited to attend.

See Registration Form for further details. Please note this luncheon is restricted to 100 attendees and applications close Friday, 4th October 2019. Don’t miss out!

SHIP OF THE WEEK – HMNZS ACHILLES

HMNZS Achilles was a Leander-class light cruiser which served with the Royal New Zealand Navy in the Second World War, the second of five in the class. Originally constructed by the Royal Navy, she was loaned to New Zealand in 1936 before formally joining the new Royal New Zealand Navy in 1941. She became famous for her part in the Battle of the River Plate, alongside HMS Ajax and HMS Exeter. All ships suffered damage in the engagement and the Graf Spee sought shelter in the neutral port of Montevideo. Captain Langsdorff scuttled the Graf Spee to avoid the loss of life and surrender to the British. Gun Turret Y, a 95-ton turret with twin Mk XXI 6 inch guns is now at the entrance to the naval base. These are the guns that engaged the Graf Spee in a critical naval battle at the start of WW II. She is notable for being the first Royal Navy cruiser to have fire control radar, with the installation of the New Zealand-made SS1 fire-control radar in June 1940.

After Second World War service in the Atlantic and Pacific, she was returned to the Royal Navy. She was sold to the Indian Navy in 1948 and recommissioned as INS Delhi. She was scrapped in 1978.

DID YOU KNOW?

On the 8 September 1970 the Defence Council approved the introduction of the Warrant Officer rank in the RNZN which was announced in the NZ General Message M180 of 16 November 1970. A formal letter announcing the introduction on 16 December advised that the first substantive promotions would be effective on 1 February 1971, and then at six-monthly intervals. The introduction was completed with Navy Order 144/71 issued on 17 June 1971.

Can you name the first Warrant Officer in the RNZN?

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Jack Passings – August 2019

The following Sailors ‘Crossed the Bar’ during the month of August 2019. Details of funerals etc can be found by clicking HERE.

SUMMERS, Margaret (Peg) (nee Morris): Wren No.70 Telegraphist
KWAK, John Warren (Johnny). Stoker
FEUTZ, Mervyn Edwin Stoker
PENHALE John Seaman Gunner
RAWLINSON, David Walter
WOOD, Norman Charles (Charlie) SEAMAN
PITMAN Tom Paratene SPO
STEWART Ian Grant CPOWTR
RHODES, David Hugh STOKER
HOLLIS Tom
MARTIN Terence (Terry) WOMEA

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Fanny Adams

Today sees the anniversary of Fanny Adams death (30 April 1859 – 24 August 1867), a young English girl murdered by solicitor’s clerk Frederick Baker in Alton, Hampshire. The expression “sweet Fanny Adams” refers to her and has come, through British naval slang, to mean “nothing at all”.

On Saturday, 24 August 1867, at about 1:30 pm, Fanny’s mother, Harriet Adams, let the eight-year-old Fanny, her friend Minnie Warner (aged 8) and Fanny’s sister Lizzie (aged 7) go up Tanhouse Lane towards Flood Meadow.

In the lane, they met Frederick Baker, a 29-year-old solicitor’s clerk. Baker offered Minnie and Lizzie three halfpence to go and spend and offered Fanny a halfpenny to accompany him towards Shalden, a couple of miles north of Alton. She took the coin but refused to go. He carried her into a hops field, out of sight of the other girls.

At about 5:00 pm, Minnie and Lizzie returned home. Their neighbour, Mrs Gardiner, asked them where Fanny was, and they told her what had happened. Mrs Gardiner told Harriet, and they went up the lane, where they came upon Baker coming back. They questioned him and he said he had given the girls money for sweets, but that was all. His respectability meant the women let him go on his way.

At about 7:00 pm, Fanny was still missing, and neighbours went searching. They found Fanny’s body in the hop field, horribly butchered. Her head and legs had been severed and her eyes removed. Her eyes had been thrown into the nearby river. Her torso had been emptied and her organs scattered (it took several days for all her remains to be found). Her remains were taken to and put back together in a nearby doctor’s surgery at 16 Amery Street.

Harriet ran to The Butts field where her husband, bricklayer George Adams, was playing cricket. She told him what had happened, then collapsed. George got his shotgun from home and set off to find the perpetrator, but neighbours stopped him.

That evening Police Superintendent William Cheyney arrested Baker at his place of work: the offices of solicitor William Clement in the High Street. He was led through an angry mob to the police station. There was blood on his shirt and trousers, which he could not explain, but he protested his innocence. He was searched and found to have two small blood-stained knives on him.

Witnesses put Baker in the area, returning to his office at about 3:00 pm, then going out again. Baker’s workmate, fellow clerk Maurice Biddle, reported that, when drinking in the Swan that evening, Baker had said he might leave town. When Biddle replied that he might have trouble getting another job, Baker said, chillingly with hindsight, “I could go as a butcher”. On 26 August, the police found Baker’s diary in his office. It contained a damning entry:

24th August, Saturday – killed a young girl. It was fine and hot.

On Tuesday, 27 August, Deputy County Coroner Robert Harfield held an inquest. Painter William Walker had found a stone with blood, long hair and flesh; police surgeon, Dr Louis Leslie had carried out a post mortem and concluded that death was by a blow to the head and that the stone was the murder weapon. Baker said nothing, except that he was innocent. The jury returned a verdict of willful murder. On the 29th, the local magistrates committed Baker for trial at the Winchester County Assizes. The police had difficulty protecting him from the mob.

At his trial on 05 December, the defence contested Millie Warner’s identification of Baker and claimed the knives found were too small for the crime anyway. They also argued insanity: Baker’s father had been violent, a cousin had been in asylums, his sister had died of brain fever and he himself had attempted suicide after a love affair. The defence also argued that the diary entry was typical of the “epileptic or formal way of entry” that the defendant used and that the absence of a comma after the word killed did not render the entry a confession.

Justice Mellor invited the jury to consider a verdict of not responsible by reason of insanity, but they returned a guilty verdict after just fifteen minutes. On 24 December, Christmas Eve, Baker was hanged outside Winchester Gaol. The crime had become notorious and a crowd of 5,000 attended the execution. Before his death, Baker wrote to the Adamses expressing his sorrow for what he had done “in an unguarded hour” and seeking their forgiveness.

Fanny was buried in Alton cemetery. The headstone, erected by voluntary subscription, reads:

Sacred to the memory of Fanny Adams aged 8 years and 4 months who was cruelly murdered on Saturday, August 24th 1867. Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. Matthew 10 v 28.

In 1869 new rations of tinned mutton were introduced for British seamen. They were unimpressed by it and suggested it might be the butchered remains of Fanny Adams. The way her body had been strewn over a wide area presumably encouraged speculation that parts of her had been found at the Royal Navy victualling yard in Deptford, which was a large facility which included stores, a bakery and an abattoir.

“Fanny Adams” became slang for mutton or stew and then for anything worthless – from which comes the current use of “sweet Fanny Adams” (or just “sweet F.A.”) to mean “nothing at all”.

This is not the only example of Royal Navy slang relating to unpopular rations: even today, tins of steak and kidney pudding are known as “baby’s head”. The large tins the mutton was delivered in were reused as mess tins. Up until that time, when sailors and Royal Marines lived, ate and slept in their mess decks, wooden buckets were used to collect food from the galley, water for washing crockery etc. and to collect the Rum Ration. The empty meat tins were modified and gradually replaced the wooden buckets. These new buckets were given the slang name ‘Fannies’.

Mess tins or cooking pots are still known as Fannies.  Thanks, Dennis Reddaway for the post

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A Very Young Signalman

This image is of two OTAGO ratings who were transferred to HMCS KOOTENAY by jackstay.  The two ratings were AB Chris Ford and a very young ASG John Wano.

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