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North Midlands Branch October 2011


Written by North Midlands Branch | Posted on 17th October 2011


The secretary welcomes everyone for attending our last meeting. The secretary apologises that our Chairman Ken Burkinshaw could not attend due to constant care of Maisie (more of this in welfare).

Today there is a draped chair in remembrance of our shipmate Clem Mills who crossed over to calmer waters. The Exhortation today was given by the whole Branch, then the Kohima spoken by Syd Willoughby. Rev Margaret Lunt then led us all in the sailors hymn “Eternal Father strong to save”. Also prayers of thanksgiving for the Coastal Forces Veterans Association, past and present, also for Clem Mills. Then all members spoke the Naval Collect.

Secretary’s Report

  1. Sad news. Clem Mills passed away on Sunday last. As we all knew he had lung cancer. His son said he had been responding to treatment well, but Sunday he was having trouble with his breathing and was rushed into hospital. There was a card to sign for his family which was passed around the room.
  2. Email from Ken our Chairman, Maisie needs constant care after her hip replacement. “I can’t see any way that I can get to our final meeting. I have looked after her for 62yrs and will not fail now “. I send on behalf of Maisie and me our heartfelt thanks for all the pleasure we have enjoyed with our shipmates and ladies, god bless them all and smooth sailing for the future.
  3. Reply back from the SYBC, there will be 11 members coming today to celebrate our last meeting / party. I believe 7 members attended and soon got into the 'swing' Sorry rum corner.
  4. Final newsletter from the East Lancashire branch. This informed us that the Memorial Torpedo has been repaired and will from now on be looked after by the Bury Council , also the Sea Cadets will continue to lay Wreaths in the future. From Len Mears DSM Secretary.
  5. Newsletter from the South London branch, read out.
  6. Email from Steve Tales. Alf is in hospital for at least another two weeks and may have to go into care. Apologises for not being able to bring Alf to our last meeting.
  7. a message from our Chairman, Wednesday that Sheila Bough had sent him a letter saying she would have like to attend the last meeting, but could not. She had also enclosed £15 for the members to spend on the last meeting. Which was very kind of her?

Treasurer Report

Syd Willoughby reported at the closing of our branch we have £300. Due to Syd this is a marvellous situation. But the Secretaries 'bill' for flowers, rum, and 'stamps', envelopes etc. was £85, plus the money subsidising today’s food £118 etc., has made a hole in this. I believe when all is completed we should have £90 something to send to the lifeboat association.

Welfare & Social Report

As we know we are having a party today and the South York’s Boat club will be arriving 12.30am. We have some good raffle prizes due to donation of the raffle money and Ted O’Brien’s donation. Suggest we raffle the whisky and rum off before SYBC arrives? Which we did. Ken Nicholson won the litre bottle of whisky, Stan Clayton won the rum. (Same old faces again) I think all the welfare has been talked about in the secretary’s report, except that I have tried to contact Phyllis Ward by phone without success. Hilda Anderson also tried without success. Also as we know from our last meeting Eric and Mona Hurst could not attend due to Mona having an operation. This has gone well but too soon to get out and about.

On a different note, Albert and Kath Littlewood here today are celebrating 'Today' their 66th Wedding Anniversary. Well done to you both, not many of these about.'That’s older than me' There was a card for everyone to sign as a thank you to Margaret and Peter for their hospitality during our meetings at the club. Syd Wiloughby presented Margaret with bouquet of flowers plus £40 raised in the raffle to help their new caravan needs. The Meal was £5 per head for members and family and friends. The rest to come out of funds. Thanks were expressed to Margaret Lunt for all her loyal work and attendances which has made our meetings that much better.

The day was made even more special by the arrival of the Sheffield Star reporter and photographer, who interviewed all our veterans and took loads of photos. We are to be contacted when these go to press. It’s all part of the Remembrance Month.

Any other Business

Party Time: We then had a lovely Buffet from Margaret our Stewardess complete with sweets. Singing from our lovely Sandra Armes and “Johnny Cash” Terry Armes. Then the Quiz!!. (If only I can remember the answers), The Bingo money plus a bit from the raffle ensured two games of bingo. Then a super raffle with bottles of wine, tins of Quality Streets and biscuits plus many more. Before we knew it, it was 2.30pm and time for us to give our final parting. Promises were made to try and arrange a coffee morning at the church at the end of March and maybe a lunch after that at the Consort Suite.

So from your secretary I would just like to say, it has been a privilege and a honour to know and be with you.

Clem Mills

Clem joined 8th July 1943 and left on 10th January 1947.

  • MTB 606 On Clem's first day on MTB 606 as a stoker he injured his hand and had to go to hospital, the boat went out and was sunk (all the engine room were killed)
  • MTB 725 Mine laying around Le Havre & Cap d’Antifer. In action where three E-boats were sunk. Took onboard survivors, one an E-boat ACE known as Charlie Muller.
  • MTB 5013 Transporting agents to Norway from Lerwick in the Shetlands.
  • MTB 384 First boat in Liberation of Jersey. Accepted surrender of German Batteries.
  • MTB 530 Part of a flotilla to visit Falmouth, Penzance, Gloucester, Swansea, Fishgaurd, Flint & Llandudno to celebrate the end of the war.
clem mills of coastal forces
Clem Mills our past Secretary/President in the centre, with Eric and Ken Burkinshaw our Chairman on the right.

Clem Mills Funeral Arrangements

Church Service

20th October 2011, 2.00pm St Mary's Church, Whitkirk, Leeds, LS15 9AN.

Cremation Afterwards

Lawnswood Crematorium 3.00pm. Then public house close by in Lawnswood at approx 3.30pm.