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Sailors past and present parade through London in national service

12 September 2023
More than 400 members of the Naval Family – serving personnel and veterans – marched past the Cenotaph on Whitehall at the Royal Naval Association’s Biennial Parade.

Serving sailors from HMS Collingwood and HMS Sultan, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and London Reservist unit HMS President joined veterans from a dozen Naval Associations including Association of Wrens, Association of Royal Yachtsmen, Submariners Association and the Merchant Navy Association, plus members of the Belgian Naval Association, parading through the capital.

Collingwood and Sultan each provided marching platoons of 65 sailors, plus senior ratings and Commanding Officers (Captains Tim Davey and Jo Deakin, respectively).

Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Martin Connell took the salute, the Royal Naval Volunteer Band Association provided music and Chaplain of the Fleet, the Venerable Andrew Hillier KHC, conducted the service.

In addition, Admiral Connell signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Royal Navy and the Royal Naval Association.

“The RNA is committed to supporting, implementing and promoting the ethos of and values of the Royal Navy. 

“I was delighted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding which recognises the special relationship between the Association and the Royal Navy that significantly supports many serving and former serving sailors and their families.”

The RNA is the largest collective group of Royal Naval veterans, serving personnel and their families, with more than 18,000 members spread around nearly 250 branches in the UK and overseas. 

It provides people with a link to the Royal Navy access to a life-long community of like-minded and supportive individuals.

“The parade is an important opportunity for the Royal Naval Family; serving, veterans and families from across the country and across the RN disciplines to pay their respects both to each other and those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Captain Bill Oliphant, RNA Chief Executive.

“Once you join the Navy you join a life-long community of like-minded and supportive Shipmates. ‘Once Navy Always Navy’.”

For more information on the RNA, visit

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