Memories of HMS Collingwood?

There is nothing like a letter to the editor, or an article in the local paper to arouse comment, controversy, criticism, and co-operation and in the case of a recent letter I sent to this and other local newspapers, confirmation and contact.

The HMS Collingwood Association is trying to reunite those who served at the massive shore establishment in Hampshire. Readers will remember the letter because I made reference to the fact that ‘Hitler tried to sink the Shore Base!’ The letters were not only read, but cut out and sent to relatives in other parts of the country and even across the world.

So who are we looking for? Anybody who served at HMS Collingwood from its first day in 1940 to the present day, all trades and professions who were behind those Pearly Gates and would like to make another visit to see how things have changed. To witness today’s training methods. A visit and meet up with a past shipmate? And plans for the future? A visit back to HMS Collingwood to that huge Parade Ground for ‘something special.’

If any readers who served at HMS Collingwood and would like details of the association, write now to the membership secretary, Peter Lacey, Heathfield, Lapford, Crediton, Devon. EX17 6PZ or email him

Who are you looking for? What story do you have to tell? (One which can be printed in the association’s magazine.) The bombing? The King’s visit? The Queen’s visit? The training? Your messmates? Rehearsing and attending a parade in London? Food? The instructors? Your other ships?

I am ready for another deluge of emails or mail and prepared for more success stories after publication. Please mention this newspaper because I have been asked by editors for ‘the local story’ element from my letters.

And as I promised before, bring this letter with you to a reunion and I will buy you a tot! We have a very strong committee working for you, but we need you to contact us first.

Once again, thank you, local newspapers – ‘the powerful press’.

Mike Crowe


HMS Collingwood Association