February 04, 2019
HMS Sultan Artificers Reunion - June '19
I am currently involved in the planning for an Artificers Reunion that we intend hosting here at HMS Sultan this June. The anticipation is that the reunion encourages Tiffs from across the various decades and establishments (Fisgard/Caledonia/Raleigh) to meet up at Sultan for an informal chat and drink in our newly refurbished Senior Rates Mess.
We are aiming for 300-400 serving and ex-serving personnel and will be putting on music, food and entertainment (using a band made up of Tiffies). It is anticipated that this will become a regular event (either here at Sultan or moving around the country) and we have set up an initial committee to organise and help finance our planned event.
In order to set up this event and bring it to fruition we are looking to encourage interested parties to get involved, either by advertising our event, supporting it through donations and/or providing pictures/memorabilia in support of the event.
This event is currently planned to be a fairly informal event that gives those attending a chance to circulate and catch up with old friends and hopefully to make some new ones. The dress code will be that of any SRs Mess (Trousers/Skirt, Collared Top/Shirt, Shoes etc) and it is intended that we will run a Hog Roast (provided by Sultan personnel) and buffet to cater for those attending. The entertainment is ever evolving but currently looks like a band made up of Tiffs will play music suggested by the attendees in advance (i.e. they will be asked to provide music from their basic training day/runs ashore/Emma's/Jo's etc), as well as an ex-Tiff 'Ernie Wise' doing a crooning spot for a bit on the stage. WO1 Bob Crozier is running with the entertainment on the night. The overarching desire is for an informal night where people can chat, drink and mingle.
Does this sound like something that you or an associated organisation would be interested in?
Look forward to hearing from you.
Warrant Officer 2 Midge Ure
Nuclear Trainer, Rutherford Block, HMS Sultan
January 22, 2019
A Memorial Service for Commander Cliff Fiander
It was announced on 1st December 2018, that Cliff Fiander passed away at home. He had contracted methesolomina and had been battling the cancer for a number of months.
Lynne Fiander and her daughters, Charlotte and Victoria, have said their goodbyes privately on the 4th January 2019. They wish to welcome all Naval friends to Cliff’s “Celebration of his life” church service on the 15th February 2019.
The service starts at 1400 at St Bart’s Church Corsham Wiltshire, SN13 0BY and continues afterwards at the Trowbridge Rugby Football Club house at Paxcroft Trowbridge BA14 6JB.
If attending, please let David Woollard know -
November 28, 2016
New RNEBS Website Goes Live
The new RNEBS website was published on 28th November 2016. We hope that you like the updated site and the additional information you will fine here.
The existing RNEBS mailboxes for Man Sec, Gen Sec, Editor and Webmaster will be closed down at the end of the year and you then contact people by their normal email addresses.
There are a few bits to tidy up so you will see the occasional Editors Temporary Message stating what will be corrected or completed at a later date.
October 02, 2016
Visit to the NMA
The re-dedication of the Engineers' Memorial took place on a lovely sunny day at the National Memorial Arboretum.
RNEBS President, David Woollard, opened the proceedings before introducing Captain J.J. Price who gave a poignant address. The Reverend Paul Bentley, himself an ex-artificer, then conducted the re-dedication ceremony.
The attendees then retired for lunch and afterwards Cdr John Arthur took a number of people on a tour of the NMA. Pictures and the Order of Service can be seen in the Gallery. The President and and Capt J.J. Price's addresses will be published in the next edition of the Bulletin.
August 27, 2016
Engineers Memorial Update
Cliff Fiander and David Woollard visited the National Memorial Arboretum on Wednesday 24th August and are pleased to report excellent, top quality progress on the re-imagining of the front face. The team have been considering the shallow and sometimes difficult to read script on the front of our memorial.
It was decided to redo the front face inscription and to take advantage of the opportunity to clarify who the RNEBS engineers are. Thus it is now clear to all that this fine memorial is dedicated to Artificers. The rear face is also now shaved clean and it is the intention to have the society crest engraved there, subject to cost and time.
The Society have contracted mason Nick Johnson to remove the original lettering from both sides of the memorial and to recarve the new text;
ROYAL NAVY ARTIFICERS
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES
IN THE SERVICE
OF THEIR COUNTRY
All of the work should all be finished and cleaned for our 5th anniversary visit on 2nd October 2016.
March 12, 2016
Mesothelioma Lump Sum Update
Recently the Ministry of Defence announced on 16 December 2015 that legislative provision would be made to enable veterans who had been diagnosed on or after that date with diffuse mesothelioma, as a result of exposure to asbestos that is attributable or due to their military service prior to 6 April 2005, to have the option of receiving a lump sum of £140,000 under the War Pensions Scheme, to be paid on or from 11 April 2016. At that time, officials were also directed to review the options to support those diagnosed before 16 December 2015.
Following this review, Mark Lancaster MP, Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, confirmed on 29 February 2016 that the option of receiving a lump sum of £140,000 will be extended to existing War Pensions Scheme recipients and those who have yet to have a claim accepted, both having been diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos that is attributable or due to their military service prior to 6 April 2005. Subject to the approval of the necessary legislative changes, lump sums of £140,000 will be able to be paid on or from 11 April 2016.
For those who elect to take it, the lump sum option replaces the War Disablement Pension and Supplementary Allowances, and War Widow(er)'s Pension and associated allowances. Payments made to that point would be deducted from the lump sum, which also may be reduced to take into account other compensation already received for the same condition. For those with mobility needs, arrangements can be made for the Ministry of Defence to make payments to Motability on their behalf, which will be deducted from the lump sum.
Those whose claim is accepted before 11 April 2016 will be paid the War Disablement Pension and Supplementary Allowances until the lump sum can be paid. Claimants who would prefer the current arrangements can receive the War Disablement Pension and Supplementary Allowances, to be followed by a War Widow(er)'s Pension if applicable.
Defence Business Service Veterans UK will write to all existing War Pensions Scheme claimants diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma to explain that they have the option of the current payment arrangements or the new lump sum. The Veterans Welfare Service will be on hand to help claimants understand the lump sum option.
New claims can be made under the War Pensions Scheme by applying at:
This site includes advice on "How can I make a claim?". The claim form can be completed electronically, printed and signed and then sent to Veterans UK. The Veterans UK helpline number is 0808 1914 2 18.
Produced by Service Personnel Support, Ministry of Defence, London SW1A 2HB 29 February 2016
December 17, 2015
Mesothelioma Campaign Update
Below is a copy of the e-mail sent out by the British Legion on 17 December 2015 and the reply from the General Secretary for the Society.
Subject: Mesothelioma Campaign Update
It is with much pleasure that I write to inform you that legislation will be amended in April 2016 to enable all veterans diagnosed with Mesothelioma as a result of Service the choice between receiving a traditional War Pension or £140,000 in lump sum compensation, regardless of age at diagnosis. The average civilian compensation award under the Government’s Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme is around £122,000.
Whilst the law won’t be amended until April, the Ministry of Defence have indicated that payments will be backdated to the date of the Government’s announcement, which was at yesterday’s meeting of the Central Advisory Committee. From 16 December, all veterans diagnosed with Mesothelioma who submit a claim to Veterans UK will receive a traditional War Pension as normal for the period up until April 2016. After that date, should the claimant decide they would prefer to receive a lump sum payment, Veterans UK will arrange for this to happen, with the value of any War Pension already received being deducted from the final lump sum award. We understand that independent advice will be offered to all veteran Mesothelioma claimants to help them decide which payment option is right for them, given that War Pensions include survivors benefits.
The Legion has long maintained that veterans should be compensated fairly for their suffering, and we commend the Government for taking steps to address this important issue. Whilst we welcome yesterday’s announcement, we do remain disappointed that around 60 veterans who are currently in receipt of a War Disablement Pension for Mesothelioma will be unable to apply for the new lump sum compensation award. This is on account of successive governments’ longstanding opposition to retrospection. The Legion has informed officials of our disappointment and has suggested that that this particular group of veterans should be considered worthy of ‘special’ status within the terms of the Armed Forces Covenant, in light of both their limited life expectancy and the severity of their pain and suffering. We are pleased that the Government has indicated that it will review this matter, and we will continue to monitor developments closely.
The Legion has also expressed concern that the £140,000 lump sum payment will not be uprated annually in line with the War Disablement Pension Scheme, within which this payment will sit. Instead, we understand that the value of the payment will be reviewed periodically in line with lump sums payable under other public sector compensation schemes. Over time, this could mean that the value of the lump sum option is eroded compared to a traditional War Disablement Pension, which would once again disadvantage those veterans who are unmarried, widowed or divorced. We will be continuing discussions with MOD officials in this regard, and will keep you updated on discussions.
The Legion estimates that the Government’s recent announcement will benefit veterans diagnosed with Mesothelioma by tens of millions of pounds over the lifetime of this issue, which I am sure you will agree is a sizeable sum in the present financial climate. My colleagues and I thank you wholeheartedly for your support, without which we could not have demonstrated the breadth of opposition to the previous, unfair arrangement. Thank you.
If you have any outstanding questions or concerns regarding the recent announcement, please do feel free to share them with me as I would be happy to raise them with officials in our follow up discussions.
With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,
Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager
The General Secretary's reply.
Subject: Re: Mesothelioma Campaign Update
Many congratulations on a most successful campaign. Your work and that of the British Legion has ensured that our members, many of whom are at significant risk of contracting this pernicious disease, can be sure they will be treated honourably and will receive a level of compensation equal to that of civilians.
Although as an organisation we were late into the fray, many of our members, with your guidance, were able to raise the issue with their MP and so add to the general pressure on the government for change.
A great achievement after a lot of hard work for which I would like to thank you on behalf of those of our members who may never be able to do so.
Commander Cliff Fiander Royal Navy
Royal Naval Engineers' Benevolent Society
December 11, 2015
Electrical Branch 70th Anniversary
In 2016 The Weapon Engineering Training Group at the Maritime Warfare School, HMS COLLINGWOOD are planning an event to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the formation of the Electrical Branch in 1946.
Details of the event and the involvement of the Society have yet to be determined but will be communicated to members as soon as they are available. In the meantime if members have any questions or comments they should contact the General Secretary Cliff Fiander on 01225 434083 or at
November 15, 2015
Plymouth Naval History on the Move
Our Naval History collection of books, journals, images and ephemera is on the move! From this weekend you'll be able to access this fascinating collection at Devonport Library.
On Sunday 15 November the library will be open from 10am to 2pm. You'll be able to browse the collection and see the exhibition of manuscript logbooks, as well as other rare naval books, images and artefacts. To celebrate its new home we've put together a programme of events to highlight the collection.
Find out how to research your naval ancestors on Wednesday 18 November, with expert staff on hand to help from 10am to midday. Graham Naylor will be giving a talk on Researching your naval ancestors on Friday 20 November at 2pm. It's free, but booking is recommended.
On Saturday 21 November our regular rhyme time for babies and toddlers will have a nautical theme. It runs from 11am to 11.30am.
Can you help?
During the move we unearthed a few treasures including a number of mystery images and we're looking for help in identifying and decoding these. You can view the images in the library and online.
There's still much more to discover and we're looking for volunteers who can help us with the collection. Email us if you would like to find out more. The collection is moving to Devonport ahead of the relocation of the Central Library and eventually being homed in the History Centre in 2020.
March 16, 2013
Transfer of RNEBS WWI Memorial Board to HMS DRAKE
The memorial board has been in the top floor room at 113 North Hill for many years and it was felt that it deserved to be displayed in a Naval environment and seen and appreciated by a much wider audience. The Warrant Officers and Senior Rates Mess HMS DRAKE is now the custodian of the board where it is displayed to great effect in the Starling Room. The Society has added a contemporary presentation plaque to ensure both that the history will always be known and that the continued existence of the Society is broadcast to all.
The board is of solid oak construction and measures approximately 2m x 1.5m. It is finely carved, with an ornate framing to the panels. The text states:
This Building is dedicated to the Immortal Memory of the Members of the
Devonport Branch of the Royal Naval Engineers Benevolent Society who served
in the Great War 1914-1918 and were killed in action or died as a result thereof.
It records the names of Engineer Lieutenants, Commissioned Engineers, Warrant Engineers, Chief Engine-Room Artificers and Engine-Room Artificers.
The attached acrylic plaque bears an engraved photograph of 113 North Hill, Plymouth, together with the following engraved text: Royal Naval Engineers Benevolent Society The building referred to on this memorial board is the headquarters of the RNEBS at 113 North Hill, Plymouth (formerly 2 Alton Terrace), from where the Society still functions today. The building, funded by members voluntary subscriptions, cost £665 in 1919. This memorial Board is presented to the Warrant Officers and Senior Rates Mess HMS DRAKE as a reminder to all personnel of the sacrifice made by our Artificer forebears and as an invitation to all members of the Engineering Branch of the Royal Navy to contribute to and benefit from the continued work of the RNEBS.