Veterans relish the opportunity to tell tales of navy days

Old comrades share lighter moments during The HMS Morecambe Bay Association  annual meeting in Sarisbury. (left to right), Pete Shepherd, Fred Bates, Tom Lawrence, Rod Pearson, Doug Turk, Graham Noad, Dave Breakwell, Andy Andrew.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143511-4)
Old comrades share lighter moments during The HMS Morecambe Bay Association annual meeting in Sarisbury. (left to right), Pete Shepherd, Fred Bates, Tom Lawrence, Rod Pearson, Doug Turk, Graham Noad, Dave Breakwell, Andy Andrew.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143511-4)

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THEY served together in far-flung places all around the world.

And today these veterans enjoy spending valuable time together to share old stories.

More than a dozen members of the HMS Morecambe Bay Association gathered at a social club in Sarisbury Green.

Many of them served together and now enjoy any chance to catch up.

Doug Turk, 83, one of the veterans who attends the meetings, said: ‘In our day sailors generally stayed on their ships for two-and-a-half years without ever coming home.

‘During that time you really made good friends with the people you served alongside.

‘So for us it is important to keep that going and keep in touch.’

Mr Turk finished his time in the navy as a Leading Telegraphist.

Morecambe Bay was a Bay-class anti-aircraft frigate in commission from 1949 until 1956.

She saw active service in the Korean War and was sold to Portugal in 1961.

Retired Petty Officer Fred Bates, 81, said: ‘In the main those of us here served together and we all really enjoy the chance to catch up.

‘Many of us are getting old now.

‘It is important that we do these things for lots of reasons – to keep in touch, to remember our friends and remember the things we did.’

The association includes veterans from other Bay-class ships including HMS St Brides Bay, Widemouth Bay, Burghead Bay and Bigbury Bay.