6-8 October 2006

 The events of the afternoon gave the people of Holsworthy the opportunity to pay tribute to and salute the Tetcott Veterans.... 

The afternoon commenced with a parade which, under the command of Parade Marshall Raymond Hawkins, formed up in Holsworthy Town Square at 2.30pm.  Headed by Holsworthy Town Band and the standards of the Royal British Legion and Royal Naval Association, the Tetcott veterans led the parade of some 150 individuals.   With a large representation from the Royal British Legion and Royal Naval Association accompanied by members of the Royal Air Force Association, Army Cadets and St John’s Ambulance plus Holsworthy’s Mayor, members of Holsworthy Town Council the Portreeve and members of the Court Leet, Holsworthy had, indeed, taken the veterans of HMS Tetcott to their hearts.

Setting off from the square, the parade made its way to Holsworthy War Memorial applauded the length of the march by townspeople, friends and family.  Arriving at the War Memorial, with standards brought to the front, a brief memorial service was concluded with two minutes silence giving everyone present the opportunity to remember those who, through their sacrifice, ensured our freedom.

As a further mark of remembrance, three wreaths were laid at the foot of the memorial – a poppy wreaths by Tetcott veterans Bob Stowell and Jim Adams a wreath of mediterranean flowers by Sir Richard Rycroft and Mr Robert Davenport (sons of Cmdr Richard Rycroft and R/Adm Dudley Davenport) on behalf of the families of former veterans, and a poppy wreath by Liz Squires and Harold Cox on behalf of the town of Holsworthy and village of Tetcott.

On the command ‘left turn’ the parade turned away from the memorial and marched away, with ‘eyes left’ as they filed passed Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh who took the salute on the steps of the War Memorial.

Click HERE to read an extract from a newspaper article written by Mr Richard Brown about the parade.

Back in the square, the veterans were officially welcomed to the town of  Holsworthy by the Mayor – Mrs Elizabeth Squires – before all retiring to Holsworthy Market Hall which had been renamed ‘Royal Navy Command Headquarters’ for the purpose of the veteran’s visit!

The hall had been transformed by Shawn and Janet, with hundreds of photographs and numerous artifacts depicting the history of HMS Tetcott and of her crew – all of which proved of immense interest to all the guests, prompting yet more memories and stories from the veterans.  After refreshments kindly provided by Holsworthy Royal British Legion Women’s Section, the book ‘Tetcott – the thrill of the chase’ was officially launched with an address by Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh, followed by the presentation of a signed copy of the book to each veteran and family.

 The day was rounded off with a celebratory dinner for nearly seventy guests, held in the White Hart Hotel, who had transformed the dinning room into the ‘Ward Room’ for the evening.  Under the control of Commander Charles Crichton, toasts were proposed and rum supplied in true navy fashion.  As a final parting gift, the veterans were presented with a framed photograph of that morning’s gathering at Tetcott, accompanied by another of the ship – bringing to an end a very long day but memorable day for all.

Sunday saw all those who were staying in the area meet once again in the Market Hall for a final chance to reminisce and to say “Au revoir” - until we meet again