7 - 8 June 2008

Organised on a far more informal basis than the reunion of 2006, the 'Return to Tetcott' still holds some very special memories for all those who took part.  As well as welcoming new friends to the weekend it also gave many the opportunity to remember those who had sadly 'crossed the bar'.

From Left to Right:  George Drewitt (HMS Aldenham & Brocklesby), Harold Cox (Tetcott Representative), John West, Norman Docker, Bob Stowell, Sir William Molesworth-St Aubyn and Dr Trevor May - missing from photograph Ken Belcher and Joe Wilson

The weekend began with an informal gathering of old friends at Holsworthy Musuem where we were pleased to welcome 'new' veteran John West (who had served aboard Tetcott from 1943 until May 1945) and his son.   Joined once again by Commander Crichton RN OBE, an enjoyable day was spent recalling both the events of two years previous and also of some 65 years ago.  It was also a day in which we paid tribute an old friend and shipmate - Neill Taylor, who had 'crossed the bar' just three months after the 2006 reunion - we were honoured to welcome Neill's family who had returned back to Holsworthy for the 2008 reunion.

The day continued in a relaxed manner with many new stories coming to light and, with the majority of those present having now read the book, much discussion about episodes described and also the sharing of memories with veterans familes.  The afternoon was spent in Holsworthy Market Hall, where the displays of photographs originally produced for the 2006 reunion were once more on show, and we were pleased to be joined by many friends from both Holsworthy and Tetcott.  Click HERE to read about a visit from Geoffrey Cox MP to meet the Tetcott veterans and their families. 

To round off a perfect day we met in the White Hart Hotel once again - the venue for our first 'Ward Room' dinner - where an enjoyable evening was spent with good food, wine and much laughter.

Sunday morning saw the veterans and their families return to Tetcott, and to a special church service - led by Dr Trevor May - to give thanks to the ship, her veterans and to pray for the safe return of all those currently in the armed forces and away from home.  The service held very special meaning to Dr May who, on researching his own father's passage in a convoy in 1942, had discovered that it was the very same convoy as that which was escorted by HS Tetcott, his thanks to the crew for the safe passage of his father was both heartfelt and emotional.

Returning to the Manor grounds, which were bathed in the June sun, the congregation gathered around the village war memorial where, after a reading of the Exhortation, a poppy wreath was laid by Bob Stowell and Norman Docker - both of whom had joined the ship on commissioning in 1941.

Returning to Holsworthy, we retired to the White Hart Hotel for refreshments before spending a relaxed couple of hours in the company of one another.  Finally, after saying our farewells, and with heavy hearts, the gathering drifted apart, leaving Holsworthy and returning home, taking with them the memories of another wonderfully moving, poignant and emotional weekend in the company of friends.

'Faythe hath no fear'