Midshipman's Blog

24 May 2024


Vice Admiral Sir Clive CC Johnstone KBE CB - A tribute.


Like all who knew him, the Reunion Committee were shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news of Vice Admiral Sir Clive Johnstone’s sudden passing on the 12 May 2024.


Clive was able to attend day one of the 2022 Reunion and was great company as always. He was enthusiastic about catching up with his old shipmates and spinning dits going all the way back to Blake Division in September 1985 and from his stellar career thereafter.


Those in our group who were closest to Clive will want to remember him in their own personal way, but many of us may also want to make some contribution to the organisation that Clive led as National President for a year before his sudden passing, the Royal British Legion.  Camaraderie is a huge part of their remit and Clive recognised those same bonds forged during our time in the RN are maintained within our own group of BRNC 85ers.  When we all get together, it’s always great fun and the intervening years just seem to fall away.


If you would like to donate to RBL in Clive’s memory, then we will co-ordinate a collection and in due course, once the dust settles, pass whatever we have on to RBL with a suitable tribute from those who knew him best. Hopefully they will include it in whatever they plan to do themselves to remember Clive.


We have sent out an email to all contacts with details of how to contribute - although with the new website set up, we have struggled a bit with some of the contact data transferring across. If you have not had an email from us this week, get in touch and we will update your details.


Yours aye,

Kev, Keith, Simon, TC and Wiggy

9 Oct 2022


The 2020 (2022) Reunion has finally been completed, a mere 2 years adrift.
60 people attended over the weekend, and it was another successful gathering of the BRNC 85 cohort. Highlights included CDS Tony Radakin taking some time out from his day job to attend. It was great to hear about his role, the future for the RN and about the war in Ukraine. He’s a very busy man and it was great to see him there.
In keeping with the changed circumstances, we also heard from several of our shipmates who shared their own special memories of HM The Queen after our Mess Dinner. It was a fitting way to say farewell to our former Commander in Chief.
Now though, it is time to move on and look ahead.
The Britannia Association have confirmed that 20 September 2025 has been allocated to us for our next reunion.  Almost everyone felt that the turn out would be boosted by the milestone of reaching our 40th anniversary in 2025. Doesn’t bear thinking about, but yes, it will be FORTY years ago….. The challenge to us all is to make that happen and reconnect or encourage those who have yet to join us and pass on the message that they really are dipping out. We want to try and make 2025 the event that brings 100 or more of us back together. We were after all one of the largest entries into BRNC since WWII.
There were several people last month who mentioned folk they were still in touch with but who did not seem to be on our contact list, or even realise that the BRNC85 alumni were active.  So please get in touch with them before you forget and convince them to sign up if you can!  
In terms of Admin and Logistics, we have funding to keep the BRNC85 website online for another few years, please point that out to people as the best way of initially getting in touch and keeping up to date with news.
We have also conducted a trawl for new committee members and have several volunteers to maintain the momentum. The Flagship will be handing over to a refreshed planning committee over the next few months, but we will make sure there is consistency and support for them as the transition occurs. To this end Wiggy Bennett, Tony Carruthers and Kev Hood will stay on until 2025 as that system of continuity worked well in the past. We will update you on the new “volunteers” shortly.
A reminder too that the BRNC email account,  brnc85@hotmail.com – remains active and will stay live for the duration. We are about to do a check through the database of contacts gathered over the past 15 years, and from folk in the run up to the latest event and try to update this and get in touch with everyone (standfast those who were there last month) to ensure we have current details on record. If you no longer wish to remain on the contact list, please also let us know.
In parallel, Kev Hood has also started a Linked In Group, just search for BRNC 85. We encourage everyone to join in the hope that it broadens out the search for former 85ers. The BRNC website though will remain up and running as the flaming datum for all things reunion.
Please continue to contribute to keeping the BRNC85 website current by submitting dits or your photos past and present. We have created a new album on the site for last month’s Reunion, and it would be great to have some updated content. It is very easy to upload phots from your phone directly onto the website.
Thank you once again for your continued support and we look forward to seeing a hundred or more of you in 2025.
Carry On
The Flagship.

Reunion 22 - Endex

28 September 22


Many thanks to all of you who attended over the weekend and participated in another excellent BRNC 85 reunion.
Firstly, some thanks are required to the organisations that helped the Flagship deliver the event.
Sara and Liza at the Britannia Association ensured all serials held in the College went off without a hitch. Thanks so much for doing such a great job at keeping us Alumni engaged with all things BRNC.
Thank you to the Captain of the College, Sarah Oakley for allowing us to enjoy being back in our old haunts and being able to use the Wardroom in what has been a difficult month for the Royal Navy.
Thank you also to the Association of Royal Navy Officers (ARNO) for sponsoring the port at our Mess Dinner.
We are also very grateful to Tim Johnston and Matt Reed for their time and their boats – all river activities successfully and smoothly completed.
A massive BZ to Midshipman “Tic Toc” Radakin for his speech. We all think he got it absolutely right. It was great to hear about his role, the future for the RN and to hear first hand about the current events in Ukraine. 
And again, well done to all of those who shared their own special memories of HM The Queen. That was a fitting way to say farewell to our former Commander in Chief.
Secondly – we need to look ahead.  Almost everyone felt that the turn out would be boosted by the milestone of reaching our 40th anniversary in 2025. The challenge to us all is to make that happen and reconnect or encourage those who have yet to join us and pass the message on that they really are dipping out. We have funding to keep the BRNC85 website online for another few years, please point that out to people as the best way of getting onboard and keeping in touch.
Next – to make all this happen, we do need volunteers to keep the momentum up and the camaraderie going. The Flagship will be handing over to a new planning committee over the next few months, but we will make sure there is consistency and support for them as the transition occurs. Volunteers – please contact us via the email address brnc85@hotmail.com – this too will stay live for the duration.
Please also contribute to keeping the BRNC85 website current by submitting your photos of the weekend. We have created a new album on the site, and it would be great to have some updated content to convince those who keep missing out that it really is worth the effort!
Feedback – if there is something we could have done better or you felt was missing from the weekend, just let us know.
Finally, if you wish to continue to support the work of the Britannia Association – we would recommend and encourage you to consider membership. Without their help, these events would not happen.
The Britannia Association Britannia Association, BRNC, Dartmouth, Royal Navy
ARNO too would welcome you as a new member, they are a terrific charity and through their charitable arm, the Royal Navy Officers’ Charity (RNOC) provide grants and support to serving and former officers and their families. We know from first-hand experience just how much their support matters when dealing with the challenges that life brings.
ARNO | The Association of Royal Navy Officers
Thank you once again for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you all in 2025. A general Main Broadcast Pipe will go out to the whole contact database updating them too on the weekend’s events.
The Safeguard Rule is no longer in force.
Carry On
The Flagship.

Update 8/22

19 September 22


Originally, we had intended to send out the Shortcast to everyone tomorrow. However, we feel that having witnessed today’s events it was only fitting that we use this opportunity to pay tribute to the awe-inspiring performance of our Armed Forces.

Today The Royal Navy, The Royal Marines, The Army and The Royal Air Force turned in an outstanding performance.  They have done us all proud and it was an emotional experience seeing the RN take centre stage and give Her Majesty the Queen, our former Commander in Chief, the send off she so richly deserves. BZ to everyone involved, but particularly the RN gun carriage crew and those excellent pall bearers, what a responsibility, carried out to perfection.

The Shortcast is now uploaded under the relevant Tab.  We have appointed a “Duty Mid” for each evolution, those are your main points of contact if you have any questions about being in the right place, at the right time, in the right rig.

After events of the last couple of weeks, I am sure we are all looking forward to catching up with old shipmates and also reflecting on our own collective recollections and sharing an opportunity to pay our respects and give thanks for a lifetime of service.

Please note – as per the Shortcast and the changed tone for our Mess Dinner, we intend to offer those attending a chance to share a dit or two with us all. Sadly, we may not have time for everyone – so please let us know if you wish to speak, and give us a quick precis of your dit beforehand. That way we know who will speak and in what order following on from Tony’s speech.

We look forward to seeing you all from Friday onwards.

Yours aye,

The Flagship

Update 7/22

13 September 22


A further update given all the momentous events that are happening at present.

We were asked to check our arrangements again and to make sure we were not standing into danger and creating a difficult situation for BRNC and those attending our planned reunion given some changes to official periods of mourning.

It was right to double check, and both the Chief of Defence Staff’s Office and BRNC have responded positively, given our renewed focus, and the reunion remains on track.

We have now closed the list for attendance, we have had a couple of late withdrawals, but numbers are around 60 – and in even better news, most of you have paid up.

If you have not already done so, we do need to know how everyone intends to make their way into BRNC for every event within the college. See our last email for what information we need from you. Please reply today to this email with your response if that remains an outstanding action!

It would be useful to have photo ID with you as well.

A revised Shortcast will be out, errrrr, shortly.  Timings for events are all now confirmed. For those of you who have asked, it does not look like you can attend both the sailing exped and the College Tour as these will have an element of running concurrently, so decisions required there.  The College Tours are confirmed as 1430.

Sailing – we have access to limited berths, and it may depend on the weather somewhat. For those who have volunteered for some sea time, we hope everyone will be accommodated but cannot guarantee that until nearer the time. Stand by!

The beer and pizza event on Sunday will need all those attending to pre-order their pizza. Stand by for a menu to be sent directly to all those who positively RSVP’d for that final serial of the weekend.

It’s all coming together, and we are all looking forward to catching up in 11 days’ time.

Yours aye,

The Flagship


Dear Shipmates, 

We are all no doubt saddened by the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and our Commander-in-Chief for the whole of our naval careers. 

We have been in contact with the College and, despite the fact that they are closed to all visitors until Monday 26th they have given us the opportunity to either postpone the reunion, or go ahead with a somewhat more sombre tone.  Your committee are unanimous in our perspective that Her Majesty would be one for carrying on, therefore the reunion events are planned to go ahead. 

In order to mark Her Majesty's extraordinary service to our country we intend that the Dinner be a focus not only for reconnecting with old oppos, but also reflecting on Her Majesty's life and the themes of Duty, Commitment and Steadfastness. 

The timings will be as per the Longcast, however we propose that at the start of the meal we observe a minute's silence and toast Her Majesty.  The dinner will then commence as normal and we will drink a loyal toast to His Majesty King Charles III in the traditional manner, along with absent friends and then ourselves!  After the speeches there will be an opportunity for you to share any reminiscences of Her Majesty with the gathered throng.  In order to be sensitive to those still serving we will be clear of the College by 2359. 

There are still a small number of you who have not yet paid your deposit and therefore remain TBC.  We have to confirm numbers by 1200 Monday 12 and pay for dinner by 1600 13 Sep in order for the event to proceed.  Therefore, all attendees need to be paid up fully by 1200 13 Sep.  Please pay your balance to Wiggy by then.  

The bank details have been included in previous emails.  


Right - Pin your ears back, Switch on, Clutch In.  You need to take action: 

In order for the administration of the weekend to go smoothly, and more importantly for you to gain access to the college you are required to provide the following information for each of the events inside the college that you are attending: 

Title/Rank.  Name.  If entering the grounds in own/oppo's car - details (Reg, make, model, colour).  Whether intending to walk into the college.  Whether intending to arrive by taxi. 

Therefore, if you are attending the College Tour, Dinner and Church you need to provide the details for each.  We will need this confirmation by 1200 on Monday 12th as well. 

We hope that you will all be able to attend as planned and look forward to catching up over what will be a slightly different Reunion weekend to what we had planned. 

Yours aye, 

The Flagship 


21 August 2022

Ahoy, Just over a month to run and numbers are holding steady at around 65 - the last Main Broadcast pipe encouraged a few more to join us.  Everyone by now should have had a series of emails asking you to RSVP to the events we have planned over the weekend. If you have not already done so, please respond to all of these. Again, check your spam/junk folders - they should all be there somewhere. Please reply to each event with a  yes, no, or maybe. That then allows us to feed back accurate numbers to the College and to those managing the activities over the 3 days. We reckon there are around 15 people who have not replied to the main event, the Mess Dinner, and 20-25 who have not replied to some or all of the other events.  If you cannot find the RSVP emails, let us know and we can resend them. We have now confirmed costs for the weekend too. If you have already paid your deposit, thanks, have a well earned make and mend. If you have not, report to the Duty Mid in your white webbing and stand by with the Brasso. However, it's too late for the deposit, it is now time to pay the full amount.   The final costs are £135 for the full event Fri/Sat or £95 for the Mess Dinner on Saturday only.    Please can everyone pay in full by 10 September. We need to pay the Royal Castle and the College prior to the events taking place. Payment details are included in the email;  If anyone is still struggling for accommodation - let the Flagship know ASAP as we may have an option for you to consider.  It's all good so far, and everyone seems to be looking forward to what promises to be a great weekend.  Carry on!

The Flagship  ( Now officially at 1 weeks notice for sea)

3 August 2022


All those attending the 2022 Reunion should have received a number of individual RSVP emails for the main events over the weekend this evening. Again, please check your spam folders......

Still to come are RSVPs for the sailing and the golf - stand by.... over?

Please respond to all of these invites even if only planning to attend for the dinner itself, that way we have technology to blame when it all goes wrong and we need to submit our Reasons in Writing to the Captain of the College.

Many thanks for all your enthusiasm and your support!

The Flagship

26 July 2022


A reminder to all who have confirmed their attendance to pay deposits to the WR Mess Treasurer in accordance with our last Main Broadcast pipe of 24 June 2022.

We are about to issue invites to the events scheduled for the reunion weekend as we now have less than 2 months to run..... Please continue to check your spam and junk folders as some folk continue to report missing emails - they'll be in there somewhere! 

Carrying On.

The Flagship.

24 Jun 2022


Three months to go, and it's all coming together like a badly executed  PLX re-scrub leadership task.....

All those who have let us know that they are attending should have had an email with details of costs and arrangements for the deposit so we can finalise the numbers with both the Friday RPC and the College. 

It's never too late!  If you have changed your plans and want to join us, just let us know.


The Flagship

3 May 2022


Planning is going well but we are still hearing of people who don't seem to have received the updates despite being on the contact database. 

If you are in touch with any of your 85 shipmates, make sure to mention the Reunion this year and ask them if they have seen the Flagship Updates - 2 sent so far. 

If not, ask them to complete the Contact the Flasghsip option on this website or email us at the BRNC85@hotmail.com address and we can add in another email address.


The Flagship

24 March 2022


Ladies and Gentleman, we have reached the 6 months to run stage and we can confirm we remain on track to see as many of you as possible over the weekend of 23,24, 25 September this year.

This is a prompt to encourage those on our contact database who have yet to respond to let us know of your intentions for September.

Thanks to those who have already replied. Let us know too if you cannot make it or wish to be removed from the contact list, just so we know who not to pursue in future.

Planning is proceeding at pace now and as it stands, we have around 50 people signed up, plenty of room for some more!

If you have already replied, please don’t feel the need to respond again unless your circumstances have changed. Apologies to those who have also replied to say they cannot make it, but rather than filter those people out at this stage, we are just sending this update around the whole network again.

Please continue to contact your own 85 era networks and ensure folk know we are finally going ahead after 2 years of marking time.

All the best,

The Flagship

6 Feb 2022

Do You Hear There!!

Main Broadcast Pipe sent out this evening regarding planning for this years (YES) this years reunion. Check your inbox and your spam folders and get in touch if you have not received this initial message.

Planning is underway and we are getting our act together (first time for everything) in order to deliver a memorable event - we think we've all earned it!


The Flagship

7 September 2021

Do You Hear There?

Confirmation received from the Commander of the College today that our date of 24 September 2022 has been approved.  

The countdown clock is rapidly approaching the 12 month mark, and I am sure we are all very much looking forward to it.

Yours Aye,

The Flagship

17 August 2021

Next month marks the 36th anniversary for the majority of us linked to BRNC85 in terms of our first experiences of the college. All these years later, there are still a select few of us in uniform, but the numbers are dwindling.

Vice Admiral Paul Bennett took the salute and conducted the Passing Out Parade at BRNC this month. As he said himself, what a great way to finish off his career. As he prepares to leave the RN, we thought Wiggy’s speech to the new Young Officers and their families last week is an ideal opportunity to remind ourselves of what BRNC meant to us all.  Here are the edited highlights.

36 years ago, almost to the day, I stood on this parade ground nervous, unsure of the choices I had made and certainly not convinced that I could meet the exacting demands of joining the Royal Navy.  Nine months later I was taking charge of a division on the parade ground; 15 years further on I was in command of a destroyer and 36 years later, I stand in front of you at the end of my career having just completed 3 years working with NATO in the United States.  BRNC Dartmouth has been a consistent element in everything I have done and, as I prepare to leave the Royal Navy, this spectacular event poignantly bookmarks my career – the start and finish. 

But whilst it is a great responsibility, it is also definitely a privilege.  You will find that the Royal Navy is respected wherever you go – you stand on the shoulders of the many thousands of talented service men and women that have gone before you - a rich history behind you and an exciting future ahead of you.  Your job is to maintain and where we can improve our Service for our successors. Through your performance here, you have proved entirely up to the challenge.  
But on a more personal basis, one of the greatest privileges of being in the Royal Navy is the people with whom you serve. Extraordinary men and women, ratings and officers, who bond together in units, as the ultimate team.  To a man or woman, they are people that you can rely upon in a crisis.  The RN ethos of Commitment, Courage, Discipline, Respect, Integrity and Loyalty – the values which you have learned at Dartmouth, are those things that every man and women live by on the sea, under the water and in the air.  They are the fundamental building blocks of delivering maritime power in difficult circumstances.  But they are also the basis of life-forming relationships.  

Some of those around you today will remain your best friends.  All around you are shipmates who will be a constant presence throughout your Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary careers.  Some of you will become Admirals, some of you will serve for 36 years, many for less, but the bond between you, based on your experiences at Dartmouth will remain forever.    

Fitting words indeed, well said Wiggy.
And on a final note, and as if to prove how accurate some of the comments above are, we had a great response to our request for website funding. Thank you all who made a contribution and we have enough in the kitty now for a further 5 years (and more) keeping the BRNC85 website running, so no need for any further volunteers.

We have some very generous former shipmates.

Yours Aye,

The Flagship

10 August 2021

Firstly, we hope you are all keeping well and enjoying the summer. It is nice to see life getting back to normal(ish).
Nothing much to report from the Flagship, we remain on track to achieve at least a VSAT at our reunion next year, and, just to be sure you all have it in the diary, it is the weekend of 24 September 2022. I say again….. 2022!  We don’t want to hear of any uber keen Cunningham types turning up this year and being sorely disappointed.
While we have your attention, the funding arrangements that we have to keep the BRNC85 website running both as a reunion planning tool and a repository of all things BRNC85 -  photo galleries, dits, personal profiles etc, is about to run out. It will cost us around £325 to renew for another 5 years, a sum we feel is well worth it.  A couple of our shipmates have been responsible for funding the site since it was first created over 10 years ago.  To those generous individuals, we thank you for your support. Now however, it seems like the right time to have a bit of a wardroom whip round and see what we can muster. We have some funding in our account, but not much.  Any contributions will be gratefully received and if we attract a bit extra, it will be carried over into the 2022 reunion slush fund.
If this is something you feel you can help us with, please contact us either via the website using the “Contact the Flagship” tab, or via the usual BRNC85@hotmail.com we will then provide the relevant bank details for payment.
In the meantime, please continue to visit the site and add to or update the content as we start the run in towards September 2022.
Yours Aye,
The Flagship

April 23 2021

Thank you all those who responded to our initial email over Easter about the options for our reunion.

As you might have expected, opinions were very much in favour of leaving it for another year and hoping that by our planned date in September 2022, the world will have returned to something more recognisable as “normal” for all of us.  Despite there being some relaxations now across the UK, there are still too many uncertainties to plan anything on the scale of our reunion given we are now only 6 or 7 months from our proposed 2021 dates.

The difficulties too in international travel, the prospects of a resurgence of the virus in the autumn and the speed at which events can change significantly across the world (India, Ontario etc) mean that the safest option is to wait until 2022.  We have updated the college this week regarding our plans.

We will endeavour to update the website again, now we have made this decision, and will post updates via our “Main Broadcast” email whenever there is something to report.

Please keep us updated if your contact details change in the meantime, and we hope very much to see you in Dartmouth on 24th September 2022. 

Keith, Kev, Neil and Tony

14 October 2020

Prize Winners Update.....

We have it on good authority that now the rubber cheque from the wardroom mess treasurer has bounced into the correct account, prizes should be despatched to the lucky winners this week. 

Enjoy (responsibly - obviously).

All the best

The Flagship


4 October 2020

Reunion Quiz – The Results  and Prize Winners
Thanks to all of you who have been in touch, either to offer poor excuses for failing to submit a set of answers – reasons in writing all round – or to submit your answers and demonstrate that for many the memories of BRNC are alive and well.

The results are in, and importantly the scores have been exhaustively checked and re-checked to ensure there is no bias or favour given. Despite some slight issues in the admirals/ships/stamps question, where HMS VICTORY was missed out and HMS NELSON incorrectly substituted (which many pointed out) we reckon that a total score of 62 was possible.

In first place, and the winner of a bottle of Pickerings Naval Strength Gin is………

Midshipman Steve Kinsey (Blake Division) with a very fine score of 56.

A respectable second place, and the winner of a bottle of Britannia Gin goes to……..

Midshipman Mark Slade (St Vincent Division) with a creditable score of 47.

In third place and winner of the paper that has travelled almost  the furthest, is…….

Midshipman Woodley (Blake Division) – 39 points, who also wins a bottle of Britannia Gin and, for a bonus point, has to come up with a cheap method to ensure it arrives in the USA and gets through quarantine intact.

Well done the prize winners.

Stoking up the Divisional rivalry, the Division with the most enthusiasm for participation is BLAKE (hurrah) and the Division which limped over the line with only one solitary submission was CUNNINGHAM! (Booo).  On that basis, and as Soapy Watson would have been furious that one of his Division has wasted precious time taking part in such a frivolous activity when they could have been bulling their parade boots, revising Rule of the Road or flashing light, sadly we believe it only fair that Admiral Bennett provides the Committee with his Reasons in Writing for why he bothered at all.

The Grice Award for Cheating, goes to Mid Ince (Hawke Division) for owning up to wholesale cheating but then attaching his cribbed paper a week late and in a Mac format unknown an undecipherable to the Committee. This means that his own personal assurance that he got 100% is taken with a pinch of salt and instead Mid Ince receives the Pickering Wooden Spoon.

And finally, (Royal Marine Drum roll if you please….. )

The Committees award for best caption, and the recipient of a bottle of Naval Strength Gin goes to….

Mid Nelson (Blake) for this winner for the RAS Photo

This year darlings we're wearing white. It says I can fight or I can wave it around to surrender”.

Pete, you can collect your prize when you pitch up to the reunion next year (fingers crossed) and in the meantime Gricey is sorting something less appetising out via Interflora…..

The Quiz and the Answers are now on this site under the Reunion Quiz 2020 Tab.

The Flagship


25 Sept 2020

Morning All,

Reminder email sent out today as quiz deadline approaches.

We have only seen a steady trickle of quiz answers coming in to the flagship so far - so thanks to those who have taken the challenge to date.

Let's try putting it another way.  NBCD wise, we want to be using a series of softwood wedges and splinter boxes to stem the torrent of responses in danger of flooding HQ1.  We've barely even needed to sign out the key to the Aft NBCD locker as yet......

Remember, we even have some prizes to give away so surely it's worth a punt?


The Flagship

22 September 2020

We have our first completed paper, well within the deadline and it's a first for Blake! 

There's a saying that we did'nt hear very often......

We don't want to embarass anyone at this early stage for being keen as mustard, but the address on the paper is Cabin A75.

Marking is yet to happen so we cannot as yet offer any hint as the current score to beat!


The Flagship


21 September 2020

Quiz Update.

Thanks to those who have obviously started working through the Reunion Quiz and to those who have sent us positive feedback.

In answer to a query from  "Anonymous of Emsworth" no, you cannot have an easier version for WE's.


The Flagship

18 September 2020
Firstly, we sincerely hope that you and your families are well and that the current ongoing situation is not impacting too much on day to day life. It has been a tough year and the decision to cancel our reunion, taken back at the beginning of June, has disappointingly proved to be the right one.

However, we could not let the occasion pass without some form of celebration, no matter how low key, so we thought you might enjoy some nostalgia and a chance to turn back the clock 35 years and see how you get on with our BRNC 1985 Quiz. It’s the ideal way to refresh your memories in lieu of the multitude of increasingly exaggerated dits we would all be spinning this weekend if things had gone to plan.

We have, thanks to our friends at Pickerings Gin, even managed to secure some prizes too. Let’s face it, after the year we have had, we need very little excuse to crack open a bottle and given their range includes “Naval Strength” and “Britannia”, it seemed appropriate. They are the official gin of the former Royal Yacht as well as being a corporate sponsor to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  We also hope the offer of some half decent prizes will encourage wider participation and rekindle a little bit of that inter divisional rivalry. Yes, it’s still going on even after all these years…….

There have been a few issues with emails sent from the main broadcast system of the BRNC 85 website disappearing into spam folders, particularly when there is an attachment – so this email is a precursor to a separate one which will follow shortly and include the quiz as a word attachment. If you don’t receive Email 2 of 2, check your spam.  We will also add a downloadable version too to the website itself and update the comms pages there as well.

On the long-range planning for next year, we have not yet confirmed our plans with the college so the two weekend options we had pencilled in remain, that’s 17-19 September 2021 or 15-17 October 2021.

Right, that’s it for now.  Enjoy the quiz, please submit your answers via the usual Flagship email address by and we will be back in touch in the first week of October to update you all on the results, give you the answers and let you know who were the prize winners. 

Carry on.
Gricey, Kev, Keith & TC

3 Jun 2020

Do you hear there.... 

We are sorry to bring you the disappointing news that the Reunion this year has been postponed and we have all, in effect, been “Back Termed”. 

Let’s face it, it is hardly unexpected news given our collective record at BRNC of slack and piecemeal compliance with good order and naval discipline, a failure to follow rules in general and a concerted lack of effort all round!  BUFFS!

In all seriousness, we have had a discussion with the college this past week and there is still just too much uncertainty on what they will be able to offer us and how much the rules on social gatherings, social distancing and travel will still be in operation.  Also, for those who have not heard already, the Senior Gunroom ceiling is (like most of Blake Division) adrift from the rest of the fabric of the College, so it is currently out of commission. This would mean relocating our mess dinner to the Wardroom and the current Commander is, understandably, not keen to take on too many functions which would mean his members are excluded from their own mess.  It also means a fairly significant reduction too in the numbers they can cater for, certainly nowhere near the 100 we were hoping for.

So, all in all, now seems like the logical time to make our decision given we only 3 have months to run.  Those who have already booked accommodation can decide what they wish to do, you may want to wait it out and some suggested having a quieter weekend in Dartmouth!  If people want to take a chance on the weekend and hold their own smaller informal gatherings, then please do carry on.  There will be no central support or official liaison with the College and so it will be very much a case of “acting independently”.  If it helps with your decision making, we know too that the Dartmouth Regatta this year (late August) has  been cancelled too. This is perhaps a measure of the uncertainty about the town and facilities being able to open for business and cope with an influx of visitors.  Bars, hotels, self-catering accommodation, restaurants etc are unlikely to be operating at anything approaching pre-lockdown normality - in our view a nyway.

Fear not!  For we have already pencilled in a couple of weekends with the College for a potential 2021 35th (+1) Reunion Rescrub – these are the 17-19 September and 15-17 October – dinner in the college being the focus of the weekend on the Saturday evening.  As soon as we know either way, we will of course let you all know.

The website will remain up and running for the duration, so we will continue to add news items  as and when appropriate. Please do feel free to update the content with your own dits, news etc.

We hope everyone from the BRNC 85 community continues to keep well and safe and we look forward to reconvening the existing Committee (volunteers, one pace forward, march!) sometime later in the year.

One Year to Run - On Track By Headmark

If you have not recieved an email today (22 Sep) then it probably means we don't have up to date contact details for you on the system. 

As the countdown commences for next years' event, please keep up to date by visiting the website and contacting the Flagship with any updates, suggestions or additional contact details for anyone not in direct comms with the Flasghip.

34 Years this week the September 85 contingent arrived on the parade ground. Anyone fancy a pint up at the NAAFI Pavilion Bar to celebrate?

The Flagship

051700ZAug 2019


Two months since the original Testing Comms broadcast was sent out and we have had 45 responses.  It's good, but we can do better.

We will be sending out another reminder, having made a fair few amendments to the contact data base, but again please prompt former shipmates and spread the word. 

In the meantime we have been updating the Website to reflect the 2020 plans. This has included a refresh of the College Lingo page. If you spot that there are words/phrases that you fondly (?) recall from your first term and which have not been included, please let us know. We are happy to accept contributions.

The Flagship
231545Z Jul 2019

We have now succesfully tested the comms set up and thanks to those who have replied.

If you have not already done so, please let us know your current email address and/or respond to the initial "Testing Comms" email.

Please do pass on the email to anyone you know from our era who may not have been able to attend the previous reunions and who will not therefore be on our contact list.


The Flagship