Daedalus Crest
Association Chairman;
Arnold Thompson,
7, Almond Close,
Association Treasurer;
Michael Worship,
3, Arundel Drive,
PO16 7NP

Welcome to the Winter Newsletter

This is my first newsletter as the new Secretary of Daedalus Branch and I hope to emulate the good work of my predecessors. The first point I would like to raise very much concerns the Members of Daedalus Branch; this is your Branch and I would like very much to tailor each newsletter to what you as members wish to see in them. I notice that there are a few older Members who must have a few dits about their time in the Fleet Air Arm; rather when we had a Fleet Air Arm. A potential new member was involved with the sinking of the Tirpitz, there must a few good dits there.

Daedalus Branch Web Site

I am developing a Daedalus Branch Web Site and in an effort to save money it is attached to the Solent Branch Web Site. The site can be found at solentbranchfaaa.co.uk at the bottom of the page is a link to Daedalus Branch by clicking on the Daedalus badge. There is a members section a part of which is protected and can only be accessed with a password, which in due course I will give every on-line member. If anticipation or excitement overcomes you and you need access to the web site contact me at pete.westbrook@gmail.com


I do not think that your newsletters should be used as a political platform unless of course it concerns the Navy in general or the Fleet Air Arm in particular. One area of concern is the manning of the new aircraft carriers, where will they find the manpower or in these enlightened times the "ladypower"

About Me

A bit about me; I joined the RN in September 1962 very much a junior however I did manage to avoid St Vincent and Ganges, instead completing my six weeks training at HMS Raleigh. I left in 1992 having re-engaged for a further 5 years ending my career as a CPOAEA(R), I confess that I was not a Tiff although in their infinite wisdom the Navy top brass decided that all Mechanicians would become Tiffs overnight. I ran for the Fleet Air Arm Field Gun Crew in 1971, the proper one not Brickwoods!. I Served during the Falklands Campaign in 1982 aboard HMS Invincible on 801 Squadran.

NHS Continuing Care

None of us are getting any younger and at one stage having my elderly in-laws living with us I developed a keen interest in NHS Continuing Care. During my research I very quickly realised that at times the NHS was acting unlawfully when refusing NHS Continuing care for someone who, quite obviously, should be fully funded. If you or any member of your family have been refused Continuing Care, or you feel that they should be receiving fully funded NHS Continuing Care please get in touch with me. This is not an advert for financial gain, I willing to help anyone, for free, who feels that they are being refused fully funded care. There is of course certain criteria to comply with and it is not to be found in any of the NHS Guidelines.


There have been three re-unions this year; in the early part of the year the Fleet air Arm Association and the Armourers had theirs. The Armourers journeyed to the Midlands and the Royal Court Hotel and the Association to Bristol and the Aztec Hotel. The Field Gun Association also held their re-union at the Royal Court, this being the only hotel centrally located that has the capacity to hold the numbers in both Associations. Of course the fact that there is a generous discount on beer and some spirits may have something to do with it. I attended the Field Gun Re-union and this year for our annual photo call we had the advantage of a drone with a camera attached for the first high level photo.

The 2016 FAAA Re-union will be held at the 4 star Aztec Hotel, Bristol; from Friday 8th April to Monday 11th April 2016. The various package rates are;

  1. 3 night/4 day £204 per person
  2. 2 night/3 day £163
  3. Gala dinner only £36
I have a few application forms they can also be obtained from; Isle of Wight Tours Ltd. 3, New Road, Lake, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 9JN

It is difficult for my wife Pat and I to attend the re-unions in the early part of the year as that is the time we head for the continent in our motorhome. The advantage being the prices are substantially lower at this particular time of year.

Mentoring Scheme

The Navy seems to be modelling their structure in similar manor to that of the USN. While discussing the routine for the Remembrance Sunday Parade at the Fleet Air Arm Memorial at Lee I happened to be speaking with the Command Warrant Officer and took the "bull by the horns" and asked about the Mentoring Scheme. For those unfamiliar with this scheme it was decided at a high level to emulate the Mentoring Scheme initiated by the Royal Marines. The Marines were worried by the drop out rate from their recruits undergoing Commando Training. It was decided to ask retired Marines if they would offer guidance and encouragement as mentors to raw recruits throughout their Commando training. The Scheme proved so successful seeing the drop out rate greatly reduced. Solent Branch, being the closest to HMS Sultan where the new recruits undergo part two training, were tasked with providing Mentors; a good number rose to the challenge. The trail for the Scheme in the RN has gone cold, however the Command Warrant Officer has said that he would look into it. Watch this space.

As of Remembrance Sunday the Command Warrant Officer has informed me that the Mentoring Scheme is and I quote. "Not needed". This was a directive from on high which seems a bit perverse as I am sure that every ex-serviceman can see the merits of this scheme.

Association Sites

I am not sure if everyone is aware of the page on Facebook especially one for the Fleet Air Arm Association. It is a prerequisite that you join facebook, if the intention is to browse it is not necessary to join a site. The site can be found at facebook.com then search for Fleet Air Arm Association.