Sailors share tales from HMS Queen Elizabeth past and present

Sailors from the modern-day HMS Queen Elizabeth with veterans from the previous ship of the same name met up to share tales in Portsmouth. Below, the original HMS Queen Elizabeth in 1914, and its new namesake in 2014. Main picture: Nicola Harper
Sailors from the modern-day HMS Queen Elizabeth with veterans from the previous ship of the same name met up to share tales in Portsmouth. Below, the original HMS Queen Elizabeth in 1914, and its new namesake in 2014. Main picture: Nicola Harper
HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth            Picture: PA

RICK JACKSON: The patriotism inspired by HMS Queen Elizabeth is wonderful

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ENJOYING a tot of rum and some Christmas lunch, sailors from the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier enjoyed a day with veterans from their namesake ship.

On the 100th anniversary of the original HMS Queen Elizabeth’s commissioning, four crew members from the modern-day ship spent some time with a group of retired servicemen.

A keen talking point during a tour of the HMS Hear My Story galleries at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard were some artefacts from the old ship brought by 87-year-old veteran David Waymouth.

He showed off a cocked hat and a pair of epaulettes worn by his father who served on the old ship as Flag Lieutenant to an Admiral on board.

Joining David for the tour were Phillip Callaghan, 88, Vic Merry, 90, Len Chivers, 90, and 96-year-old Joseph Batty-Peirson.

They were shown the museum’s photographs of their ship under construction and in action during the First World War.

Mr Chivers, from Portsmouth, who served on board from 1941 to 1942, said: ‘The museum staff and the present-day ship’s company made the event very special.

‘It was wonderful to talk to other veterans and to the sailors about life on board the new 
ship.

‘It’s tremendous that such a fine ship is being built in this country and I shall follow her progress with interest.’

The group later enjoyed lunch at the museum and a tot of rum on board HMS Victory.

Lieutenant Angela Armour, the education and training officer on board the current vessel who organised the event, said: ‘Today’s event celebrates 100 years since the commissioning of our namesake ship, the one and only other HMS Queen Elizabeth.

‘It is a great honour to be able to remember the great battleship, which survived both world wars, in the company of veterans who served on board.

‘Listening to their stories of reminiscence is so fascinating and seeing the ship’s artefacts in the museum has really brought it to life.

‘I would like to thank the museum for making the event possible and such a success.’

HMS Queen Elizabeth

THE first Queen Elizabeth was built in Portsmouth and launched in October 1913.

During the First World War she took part in the Dardanelles campaign and the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in 1918.

She saw action in the Mediterranean and Far East during the Second World War and was sold for demolition in 1948. The new Queen Elizabeth is due to arrive in Portsmouth in early 2017 and is expected to enter service by 2020.

Her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, is being assembled in Scotland and is more than 40 per cent complete. They are billed as the largest, most capable surface warships ever constructed in the UK.