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HMS Northumberland Rededicated, and New Bowyers' Award Presented

With the enthusiastic encouragement of the Ship's Commanding Officer, Cdr Ally Pollard, on 6 July the Master presented the inaugural annual award of the Bowyers' John Dudley Trophy, to the junior rating who had made the best contribution to the life of the Ship in the preceding year. The happy and popular recipient, winning on behalf of her Mess Deck 2K, was Leading Chef Flo Maddock-Greene. Along with the trophy went a cheque for £500 for the Mess Deck to spend on its amenities, and a plaque for the 2K Mess Deck Door nominating it as the holder of the Bowyers' John Dudley Trophy for the year. Bowyer Liveryman and former CO of HMS Northumberland Capt Paddy Allen had kindly gifted the trophy, and the Bowyers' Company funded the plaque and the annual cheque.

John Dudley had become the first Duke of Northumberland in 1551, six years after being Lord Admiral of Henry VIII's fleet at the Battle of the Solent in 1545. That was the battle in which the 'Mary Rose' famously sank, and from which in the 1980s numerous longbows were recovered from the silt, giving us our best insight into just how big and powerful the medieval longbows were. Longbows were of course a shipboard weapon as well as an infantry weapon, and the Master portrayed the Battle of the Solent as the connecting link between longbows and Northumberland. His Grace the 12th Duke of Nortumberland was present for the ceremony and was visibly approving of the new John Dudley Trophy.

The occasion was the formal rededication of HMS Northumberland after its recent refit, a ceremony which Cdr Pollard had insisted be held in Newcastle, in the presence of the Duke of Northumberland. The day had started at 13.30 with a formal parade on shore alongside the Ship, with Commodore Robert Bellfield, Commander Devonport Flotilla as Reviewing Officer together with His Grace the Duke, and a short rededication service conducted by the Chaplain of the Fleet. This was followed by the presentation of the Bowyers' award for junior ratings and a new award for senior ratings presented by Lady Anne Kerr. Later, at 19.00, there followed a civic reception on board for all the Mayors of Northumberland towns and cities, with tours of the Ship, and ending in a delightful Sunset Ceremony. The Master was accompanied for the day by his wife Enid and the Upper Warden Elect, David Laxton.

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