The Royal Naval Association

Having left the RN a couple of weeks back, I don’t feel ready to just forget my 22 years in the mob. Not wanting to join the RNR I was thinking about the Royal Naval Association. Upon further investigation, I.E. reading the RNA web site and the pages in Navy News I get the impression that I might not be old enough (40). It seems that everyone in the RNA was involved in the Second World War in some way or another.
So the question to the older members of RR who are also members of the RNA is, is it worth while joining the RNA or will I feel like a Nozzer all over again?
Contributor Mode


I am a member of both the SA and RNA and yes at 40 you will be younger than most. That will be strongly outweighed by the fact that you have all this modern knowledge of the Navy of how and why it operates as it does now. You will be the fountain of knowledge of all things new. Even when in the Plod the banter attitudes and fun is nothing like being with half a dozen matelots putting the world to rights.

My mistake was taking so long to join.

Nutty RP-2
I joined the RNA in 76 when i joined up RP and went to my first meeting two weeks ago in Looe and was pleasantly suprised at the mixture of people there yes there was WW2poeple there but it was well balanced to think i had been paying £1.50 per month since 76 for membership and the annual subscription is only 10 quid
I've been an associate member ever since the RNXS was disbanded and the RNA decided, very reluctantly, to allow RNXS'ers to join (1993), I think because they were short of funds at the time... but the only RNA meeting/event I've ever been to was in February this year, in Spain! :lol:
I will give my experience of a Secretary of an RNA Branch.

When I joined the local branch i enjoyed the comradrie, one of the things we did at each meeting was everyone had to stand up & talk about their life in the RN.
As you say the majority are WW2 but the stories were fantastic.

As the years progressed i ended up as branch sec, there were a lot of things happening that were pushed through conference due to lack branches attending mainly due to cost & time. I attended an area conference were i spoke up about declining numbers & the fact that the backbone of the Assoc was built on WW2 vets who sadly won't be around for much longer so the RNA had to plan for the future & use things such as postal ballots so each branch was able to vote.

The northern/scottish branches were not informed of a change in the motion for the subs increase & it was passed by less than a third of the branches country wide.

I was told to sit down & stop rocking the boat, for thinking about the future,
my local branch was unhappy as several members said they were going to leave. As a result our branch decommisioned & we formed our own little group within the FNA. We ended up getting more info than ever recieved from RNA HQ & became involved with local schools doing WW2 history projects.

Sadly we lost 6 members in as many months so we called it a day & no longer exist.

Then 2 years ago a proposal for exactly what i was asking for came up but because it can from RNA HQ it was seen as a great idea.

Am i bitter - yes simply because things could have progressed sooner & a lot of "old boys" would still be RNA members.

I still find that branches continue to be unhappy with the way things are run by RNA HQ with jobs going to ex-officers without advertising to branches & there is a general feeling of disillutionment between Branch - Area & HQ.

Each branch is full of good oppos & meeting are enjoyable but try not to get involved in the politics of the RNA.
Thanks for the replies.
I'm still not sure.
Bit of a mixed bag of responses so i'll give it some more thought and decide later. :thumright:
Chochead I agree at the branch I am in we have about 100 members but a lot are WW2, we have a lot of younger ones coming in but not as many as we would like, we have a tot at the monthly meetings and one when it is your birthday month, this is beside any time anyone splices the mainbrace. It has been brought up that we need to think of the time when us oldies pass over the bar.
Im in no rush to pass over the bar im not even 50 yet, but i had a good time getting to 21,my first ship was Hermes so it has a special place in my heart,and i know chock ead was on one of the carriers
RP1986 said:
Thanks for the replies.
I'm still not sure.
Bit of a mixed bag of responses so i'll give it some more thought and decide later. :thumright:

I think its where you live in the uk reflects on the attendance of ex service people . Best thing initially is to join the RBL theres usually one
in most places . In my nearest branch its all ex RAF and Army but you still get the laughs and cameraderie .Social life is quite good too.
If there's a local RNA join it ---however a lot of guys are now opting for more specialised associations and reunions . My own case as an ex Submariner I have a great time with the Sub's Association. Meetings monthly and various attending parades through the year .
Age is not a problem and we even have serving members at meetings.

:nemo: :nemo:


Lantern Swinger
Warning, non-naval type responding!

The problem with the RNA is the majority of members are WW2 and NS veterans, sadly a dying breed as time marches inexorably on. The association is crying out for new blood, but people are seemingly put off by the image of old men discussing how the navy was better in their day and a chorus of "you don't know you've been born." The one thing that sets you apart is your shared comradeship, and any branch would jump at the chance to recruit some new blood

To RP1986, I've authored a few of the RNA sites, (hopefully you've found them informative - if not let us know what you'd like to see on them!)


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