READER LETTER: ‘A final reunion for the HMS Arethusa’
HMS Arethusa, a Leander Class Frigate launched in 1963, was commissioned into the Royal Navy in November 1965 and, after 24 years of active service worldwide, was decommissioned in March 1989 and placed on the disposal list.
She was the eighth ship to bear this name.
This ship, one of 26 Leander Class Frigates built for the Royal Navy, was the last warship built on the Isle of Wight at the shipyards of John Samuel White and Son at Cowes, just above the chain ferry.
In 1989 following de-commissioning, a group of former RN personnel who had served in her got together to form the HMS Arethusa Association. The Association has held 26 reunion gatherings in various parts of the UK, all of which have been attended by 80 to 100 former crew, families and guests.
Also represented in the Association were members of the 7th HMS Arethusa, a Cruiser in commission from 1935 to 1950, with meritorious service in the Second World War.
In October 2015, HMS Arethusa Association is to hold its 27th, and final, reunion, on the Isle of Wight, to commemorate 50 years of service by the ship and the Association. Following this, the Association will disband and carry on as a social group for those members remaining.
We know that some members of the various crews over the 24 years of her service were native to this area, and therefore we hope that we may discover more lost crew members and that they may consider attending this, our final reunion.
Full details can be obtained from Isle of Wight Tours Ltd, 3 New Road, Lake, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 9JN or phone 01983 405116
The Honorary Secretary
Isle of Wight