The Queen's Jubilee Anniversaries after Her Silver Jubilee.


 
However, although note that the full programme for the 1953 Coronation Fleet Review can be found at this URL Bits and Pieces Volume II or at the bottom of this page in the link DIAMOND_JUBILEE_AND_THE_ROYAL_NAVY, with specific reference to the assistance rendered to the Hampshire town of Petersfield by H.M.S. Mercury  on the occasion when both publicly celebrated Her Majesty's first Jubilee in the spirit of cooperation which lasted eventually for 53 years [1941 to 1993] when forced apart by the financial number crunchers, much to the navy's sadness and many regrets. Our union in June 1977 was a sheer delight and this story in-part covers that detailed cooperation.

A very special and in high demand Queen's Silver Jubilee Celebration OPERATION ORDER?

IMPORTANT NOTE

 

 This page includes HMS Mercury's involvement with the town of Petersfield to jointly celebrate Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee on Thursday 9th June 1977.  We provided some of the feature pieces but Petersfield provided a huge crowd and a wonderful venue, town, lake and heath.

Note the dimensions and the size of this op order which for the top picture is 12" top to bottom and 9" left to right.  For the  picture after "CNote the dimensions and the size of this op order which for the top picture is 12" top to bottom and 9" left to right.  For the  picture after "Crowds stay on despite rain" -  it is 2" in depth, and pretty heavy to lug about.  513 copies were issued. The weight of a copy is just over 4lbs. That is 2052 lbs in total = 931 kilo's or 0.9 of an imperial 'long ton'. Because of the sheer numbers issued it can hardly be classed as a collector item, but it is known that what have survived are now in Museums, and very few indeed are in private hands as my copy is. Many were issued to visiting nation's warships and lots to the mercantile fleet vessels. Upon issuing from a lone central point, each receiving authority's name was underlined in Part Zulu so that an accurate issue could take place with nobody missed out and no authority getting more copies than allocated. Mine is heavily underlined as FOF2 = Flag Officer 2. In the introduction and guidance notes signed by Admiral H C LEACH the C-in-C at article 12 it states underNote the dimensions and the size of this op order which for the top picture is 12" top to bottom and 9" left to right.  For the  picture after "Crowds stay on despite rain" -  it is 2" in depth, and pretty heavy to lug about.  513 copies were issued. The weight of a copy is just over 4lbs. That is 2052 lbs in total = 931 kilo's or 0.9 of an imperial 'long ton'. Because of the sheer numbers issued it can hardly be classed as a collector item, but it is known that what have survived are now in Museums, and very few indeed are in private hands as my copy is. Many were issued to visiting nation's warships and lots to the mercantile fleet vessels. Upon issuing from a lone central point, each receiving authority's name was underlined in Part Zulu so that an accurate issue could take place with nobody missed out and no authority getting more copies than allocated. Mine is heavily underlined as FOF2 = Flag Officer 2. In the introduction and guidance notes signed by Admiral H C LEACH the C-in-C at article 12 it states underNote the dimensions and the size of this op order which for the top picture is 12" top to bottom and 9" left to right.  For the  picture after "Crowds stay on despite rain" -  it is 2" in depth, and pretty heavy to lug about.  513 copies were issued. The weight of a copy is just over 4lbs. That is 2052 lbs in total = 931 kilo's or 0.9 of an imperial 'long ton'. Because of the sheer numbers issued it can hardly be classed as a collector item, but it is known that what have survived are now in Museums, and very few indeed are in private hands as my copy is. Many were issued to visiting nation's warships and lots to the mercantile fleet vessels. Upon issuing from a lone central point, each receiving authority's name was underlined in Part Zulu so that an accurate issue could take place with nobody missed out and no authority getting more copies than allocated. Mine is heavily underlined as FOF2 = Flag Officer 2. In the introduction and guidance notes signed by Admiral H C LEACH the C-in-C at article 12 it states under Orders  'These orders are for official use only.  They are given to non-service authorities to assist them in planning their participation in the Review and are not for publication. There are no instructions as to how they should be returned or destroyed at the end of the review, and there are no security markings.  My guess is that copies were retained to assist planners in the preparation of future Anniversary Naval Reviews [Golden and hopefully Diamond] and that nobody could have guessed that the Silver Jubilee would the first and last Naval Jubilee Review afforded to Her Majesty: both the Golden and Diamond were civil affairs, one conducted on Horseguards Parade  the Mall and in the Palace, the other wholly on the River Thames as a sail-by in small commercial boats.  This, coupled with the taking away of a Royal Yacht must have hurt her Majesty in a great way, but as always she was plucky and gracious enough not to show it. I suppose for the navy and their C-in-C her reign could be compared to the saying, coined for the weather, quote March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb unqote equating to everybody rushed to 1977 for her Silver celebrations when the navy was big enough and money flowed freely,  but come her Diamond Jubilee our navy had been cut to the bone, nobody wanted to know and she was left to her own devices - shameful - BLOODY SHAMEFUL!

Whilst not a well defined collectors piece because it is hardly scarce, it is nevertheless very special and history, especially naval history, will HONOUR 'this' book for all time to come and the reason I say that follows.

Before I begin the story of a Jubilee in which the Royal Navy were front and centre followed by others where they were no where to be seen, indeed, neither were other armed forces, I want to briefly  mention HMS Mercury who were tasked to run the main arena event at the nearby town of Petersfield in Hampshire and I was put forward to do the Petersfield Lake side commentary as the Master of Ceremonies, my last task before going off to sea on a long [half-world] sea cruise in the Cruiser 'Tiger' to show 'the flag' especially at this time of our monarch's Silver Jubilee. For the last forty two years that has been a mere memory without one scrap of paper to show for it, but quite recently in June 2020 and at my request,  a very kind archivist of the Petersfield Historic Society Matthew Eyre  has managed [after relaxations to the Covid-19 lockdown, to unlock the doors of the town's library giving him access to the few documents which might have been archived for posterity about this celebration.  What Matt produced was bang on the button.  Not only did he find the original newspaper story published at the time shown here as published in the East Hampshire Post of Thursday 7th June 1977

but then went further to retrieve quality photographs instead of leaving me with newsprint photographs which at best are always grainy with a poor resolution.  He went the final step to produce a quality enhanced newsprint by saving sections of the text in the jpeg above as photoprints, with a good resolution [600dpi and probably better] fully easing  my task to reproduce the article in a coherent image i..e., by marrying the quality pictures with the quality text, to make an easy and enjoyable read.

In the process Matt told me of his family naval connections telling me that his grandfather was a Chief Gunnery Instructor on Whale Island HMS Excellent, and that he had two uncles [his fathers brothers] who both served for pension time and one of them was a survivor of the battleship Barham,  sunk 25th November 1941 by a German UBoat in the Mediterranean. Barham was built in 1910 and was part of the Grand Fleet at Jutland, and saw much valuable service during in her long life. 

In an effort to conceal the sinking from the Germans and to protect British morale, the Board of Admiralty censored all news of Barham's sinking. After a delay of several weeks the War Office notified the next of kin, but they added a special request for secrecy: the notification letters included a warning not to discuss the loss of the ship with anyone but close relatives, stating it was "most essential that information of the event which led to the loss of your husband's life should not find its way to the enemy until such time as it is announced officially."  Following repeated claims by German radio, the Admiralty officially announced the loss on 27 January 1942 [almost two months after the sad event]  and explained that it was clear at the time that the enemy did not know she had been sunk, and its importance to make certain dispositions before the loss of the ship was made public. It was not until the Admiralty admitted that Barham had been sunk and described the circumstances before the loss of this ship was made public. It was not until the Admiralty admitted that Barham had been sunk and described the circumstances that the submarine commander  Hans Diedrich von Tiesenhausen knew he had sunk her with three torpedo's all hitting more or less the same part of Barham's hull causing it to capsize. Hitler awarded him the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on that day. Hans von Tiesenhausen died in Vancouver Canada at the ripe old age of 87 on the 17th August 2000.

Barham had a complement of 1349 men. 64% of her crew perished =  862 men and 36% were saved by two destroyers = 487men.  Judging by the explosion it is little wonder that any survived!
 See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdrISbwy_zI - NOTE. In all probability after clicking on this URL YOU TUBE  will ask you to sign in to your account. If you don't have one, proceed as follows 

And so to Matt's searches and researches viz the amalgamation of his processed text and his high resolution pictures, and all at no cost - what outstanding hospitality and generosity of spirit?

CROWDS STAY ON DESPITE RAIN AND BLUSTERY WEATHER

Soldiers and sailors continuing
with displays in the arena on
Petersfield Heath, despite being soaked to the skin,
won the admiration of spectators
attending
Following this was the cutlass-
swinging display by the young sailors
from H.M.S. Mercury, the naval school
of communications at Leydene.  It was
then that the rain began.

Petersfield Keep-Fit ladies with their "Queens of the Cards " float.
Behind ingenious variations on the
"carnival" theme, including a monster
"corgi" [courtesy of Winton Players].
were the youths groups entries
     
For the organizers who had put
months of preparation into the
festivities, the poor weather was a
disappointment, but the crowds stayed
on, gathered beneath umbrellas and
raincoats.
Regardless, the Mercury Displays
congtinued, with first a field gun run by
the Brickwoods team  - a dicey business
in the treacherous conditions - and then
marching by the H.M.S. Mercury
ceremonial guard, who had bayonets
fixed to their rifles for the occasion.
Heading these was the winning entry,
a monster cake with human "candles"
comprising Petersfield Cub Scouts.
Then came Sheet  Rangers "Our first
Gracious Queen Boadicea" with an
impressive tableau which included
chariot, thatched hut, and even a young
goat.
     
None of the events was cancelled,
although some had to be shortened or amended.  One of these was a planned
ascent in a hot air balloon by Town
Mayor Mrs. Elsa Bulmer.
Among those who braved the rain to
watch were several town counillors.
Petersfield M.P. Mr. Michael Mates,
Commander David Llewellyn, second-
in-command of H.M.S.Mercury and
Lt-Commander Michael Emmett who
coordinated the naval establishment's
assistance to the town. The event commentary was written and delivered by Warrant Offcer Godfrey Dykes of H.M.S. Mercury.


FIREWORKS

Travelling the hard way - on foot -
were the third - placed entry of 2nd
Petersfield Guides, who pulled their own
chariot.
     
Members of Petersfield Round Table,
marshalling the area, had to battle to
keep the balloon on the ground as it was
inflated in the strong, gusting winds. One
to suffer from this task was Richard
Watts, whose eyebrows and hair were
singed by the balloon's burning flame.


MARCHING

Soon the balloon was airborne, piloted
by Tom Sage, from Bristol.  He was
apprehensive about the conditions, but
Mrs. Bulmer agreed to make a short
flight in the tethered balloon, which was
allowed to rise to nearly 20 feet above the
ground before being hauled back and
deflated.

After a broadcast of a recording of the
Queen's speech, there followed an
impressive marching display by the Band
and Bugles of the 1st Battalion the Royal
Green Jackets led by Bugle Major
John Jackson and Bandmaster David
Little
CHEERING

Earlier the weather had been bright,
even warm, as the procession of floats,
led by the Green Jackets Band and the
Mercury Guard and field gun team, set
off along its traditional route from
Cranford Road.
Crowds packed the pavements,
cheering and waving flags at the
colourful moving tableaux, based on the
theme "Our Gracious Queens."
First float in the procession was the
Gammon and Smith entry which won the
trade and clubs section in the judging
by Mrs. Bulmer and Festival Director
Terry Walmsley.
Then came the second placed I.T.S.
Rubber entry followed by the
The crowds were the largest in The
Square and High Street, which became
the focal point later in the evening with
a disco, the penny farthing run by
Peter Hayman, and the aerial fireworks
display.

For safety reasons the fireworks had
to be set off from the former Timber
Company site, which made it less
spectacular than if a venue nearer to The
Square could have been found.

The roasted ox was rapidly consumed,
as was the castle - shaped iced cake
presented by H.M.S. Mercury, which
weighed  43lbs 8oz - for those of you
who attempted to guess its weight in a
bid to win a gateau!



Gradually the Square cleared, although
it was well after midnight before the last revellers had left.
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course it would be wonderful to know who these men were parading on the streets of Petersfield, and  performing on the Heath but today, forty three years on, it would be a tall order so best left alone.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 How can a monarch of Queen Elizabeth II's superlative calibre, the longest serving in our long and proud history, who has served us with great dignity, love and given continuous moral guidance through thick and thin, loved admired respected by countless millions in the UK and around the world, but denied the anniversaries which we all corporately and personally celebrate, each and every one, but pointedly those of silver, gold and diamond, and by her own Parliament, the same Parliament who brokered a deal to give the city of Edinburgh a special tourist attraction denying Her Majesty of the use of HER Royal Yacht Britannia, will see just one traditional British Naval Review in the whole of the 60 plus year reign. It is a travesty, and this book [operations order] manifestly records that occasion and we will see no more for our precious Queen!

If you have a copy, hold onto it, for in time to come it will command a healthy price tag.

Think on first to  this penned poem [?]

All the "Son et Lumiere Fireworks" ashore which are a great bore

Cannot possibly  compete with the pageants of Yore,

When the Monarch’s naval services all right and proper

Ready aye ready to deliver a whopper,

To REALLY show our love and respects to our Lady Sovereign Queen

Held by every man jack of  the fleet in high esteem,

To match the panache of the Royal Navy, who do it to perfection

Would, when given to civilians, be nought but a sad reflection,

By reducing our navy to numbers so low, shortages of an embarrassing score

Giving to others to perform our rightful role, always leads to something considered appallingly poor.

With an apology to Poets' Laureate past and present  and to the lovely people of HMS Mercury's adopted town which to this day, since 1993 when we were sadly uprooted and shifted over the harbour to the Gosport side, we miss you greatly.  Be assured that after 52 years associated with the Meon valley from 1941, Gosport has absolutely NOTHING to offer to replace your quality and overt friendships, and we were ripped out of Leydene ab invito.

 We, my family and I, and my thousands of peers colleagues and friends in the 1977 witnessed  a Jubilee celebration of unimaginable swank and pageantry, regrettably in "modern times" as a one-off, ergo, it was never again repeated, period.  As such, the Queens Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee were as for naught for the navy or for the country at large: all ceremonial State pageantry was from the Golden anniversary onwards devoid totally of a naval presence, save that the Diamond anniversary was a so-called "Thames sail-by", marine but certainly NOT NAVAL, [and my wife and I scrambled  for a Thames side seat to witness H.M., doing of all things] this 'sail-by' from Battersea Bridge to east of Tower Bridge.  Not only had H.M., been denied her personal Royal Yacht Britannia as her personal base under an anti-royal Labour Party front bench, but she had been denied the pageantry of naval ceremony favouring the Royal Family above all others.

In that 'Thames sail by' any body with a boat [of any description, sail, powered, rowing] got in on the act spoiling, literally the splendour and majesty of the occasion. It appeared to most of us as a social free-for-all.

The Monarch's Jubilee's  were a great favorite with the British public, and untold thousands were  expecting a repeat of the Silver Jubilee naval celebrations off Portsmouth.  It wasn't to be, and both the Golden and the Diamond celebration were delivered without even a semblance  of  a naval influence or involvement!

The Golden Jubilee in fairness was a splendid affair but almost devoid of any contingent from the armed forces: it was a 90% civilianised affair [except for the brilliance of the RAF and their fly-past including a low flying Concorde] sponsored by civilians, brilliantly organised and choreographed.  Like so many others we had pushed the boat out and had booked a two night stay in a hotel just outside the perimeter wall of Buckingham Palace quite close to the entrance to the Royal Mews.  It was a beautiful warm and sunny day and most people were suitably dressed and in celebration mood. It began with a set piece on Horse Guards Parade and then a drive down the Mall to the Palace, and as the float's passed, increasingly they were followed by ever more important vehicles  [for a one-off example only, an open top Rolls Royce carrying holders of the Victorian Cross] followed by Her Majesty and accompanying royal entourage. Most of the displays [floats] exited either via  Constitution Hill or Birdcage Walk finally witnessing the Royal party gain access into the Palace. Then came the traditional balcony wave which gave us a glimpse, for the first and last time of anything military, of a Household divisional band playing the National Anthem and I believe a version of the song 'Congratulations'.  It was pleasant but most of us on these precious occasions look for and enjoy pageantry and not a commercial carnival. That was followed by a truly spectacular fly past involving waves of military aircraft, Chinook and lots of other types of helicopters, but best of all a very low flying Concorde escorted by the RAF Red Arrows.  The day finished with an invited audience of media figures, VIP's and show business stars attending a Royal reception in the Palace gardens to which we were not privy. 

 Ten years after being present in central London, in the Mall quite near to Queen Victoria's Memorial for the Golden Jubilee anniversary, we witnessed the Diamond Jubilee anniversary which in appalling dull and down pour weather was essentially a 'sail-by [as it was billed] of a barge loaned by a rich entrepreneur to the Port of London authority responsible for river traffic on the Thames, which was decked-out as the central royal barge.  It would sail from Battersea Bridge landing stage to a landing stage  just further east than Tower Bridge at St Catherine's Dock and there Her Majesty and other Royals would disembark and travel back to the Palace by road. It was a great disappointment because of the weather and the Queen stayed well inside out of view whilst Prince Philip did try his best to avoid the downpours to deliver hefty waves to those on both banks which so the news said later played host to scores of thousands of expectant people.  We were on the south bank near to Festive Hall which fortunately had opened its toilet facilities otherwise I don't know how we would have managed. There, fortuitously, we found a good viewing position with decent seats and shortly afterwards this couple arrived and bagged the remaining seats. Very soon we learned that he was a squadron leader in the RAF and that he and his wife had vouched to save seats for fellow officers and their wives/partners. We soon gelled and found them to be good fun, a laugh, which helped to ward off the rain with by now everything utterly wet through and miserable.  Knowing the timing of the 'sail-by' and that as soon as the Queens barge had passed our position nothing would happen on the south bank, so what next? Our hotel was in central London.  Then I had a bright idea. When in the navy I had often stayed in the UJC at Waterloo, and whilst in business post navy, working in London, I had sometimes had a cause to stay overnight, and better to pay £100 [whatever] for B&B than to pay outlandishly ridiculous prices in town north of the river in a hotel: so I kept up my subscription now as a civilian ex navy.  

Suddenly I remembered my UJC Life Membership after 50 years of paying an annual fee, for most of those a humble and insignificant sum, but now no more fees due for the rest of my life. Part of that Membership was to be allowed to  use the club with invited guests. Then I remembered that my wallet was locked in my bedroom safe in my central London bedroom.  Commissioned officers/ex officers are not allowed membership or weren't at that time. Brainwave, I temporarily left the group and hotfooted it to the end of Waterloo Bridge and the club and told the doorkeeper where my card was and that I was a life member.  As quick as a pursued hare he had left seeking authority and a few minutes later beckoned me into a side entrance leading to the office suite. There I was quizzed at length and my answers pleased them for I was given carte blanche to collect my friends and to enjoy the clubs facilities with pleasure.

As I got back to the Festival Hall environs the group still there, were debating what to do next including getting off home which was RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.  What about a nice drink to warm the cockles hoping to salvage something from the miserable and yes, in pageantry terms, a most disappointing day. Hesitant at first but the men soon got around to agreeing, but wondered about where to go? Don't worry about that we will use my club.  With eye brow's still raised we walked the short distance to Waterloo East station to be greeted with "Good afternoon Sir" [again] and if I can assist don't hesitate to ask me to do so". Well, I think the six of them were taken aback [three crabfat officers and ladies] and so was my lady wife Beryl, but we soon got down to a few serious drinks, each of us digging deep as our round came around. Fortunately none of us were to drive, Beryl and I to tube it to our hotel and the fly-boys to train it to deepest darkest Oxfordshire. It was a smashing end to an iffy day, and after sharing a bottle of wine with my dear wife and an excellent dinner,  I turned in feeling good about 'my club' but oh so sorry for the way the Queen was made to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. I would add here for those of you who are historically skeptics and class conscious, that the UJC today [and at the time of the Diamond Jubilee in 2012] is a very well appointed and a good quality London hotel offering services which in full commercial terms would command at the very least a 30 to 40% additional premium in other parts of central London, having an outstanding set of public services, and much of the City of Westminster in easy walking distance of the Club.

Back in 1909 see http://www.godfreydykes.info/The_FLEET_visits_the_Thames_en_masse.html the navy used the Thames for a Fleet Review a spectacular beyond belief and never again attempted, and during its assembly only the the whole length of the Thames from well east of Greenwich to the Houses of Parliament was out of bounds for for river tiffic  - the same was true when the Fleet sailed. The vessels would have caused a great deal of turbulence churning up the river with deep draughts and thrashing giant propellers. In 2012, 106 years later the Thames was shut from Battersea Bridge down to just east of Tower Bridge passing under twelve bridges and its full width was used for a water carnival with the Queen in the middle of the river and all heading east in full carnival mood stopping and disbanding having passed under Tower Bridge, all churning up the river as they progressed along, in all, in excess of 1000 crafts/vessels. I don't think it struck the same chord as did the navy in 1909 and the weather didn't help the carnival to be a joyous affair, this on top of not one glimmer of pageantry to be seen?  

One of the comments regularly voiced was that at the Silver Jubilee, the medal celebrating it was rationed and each ship/establishment got very few, leaving the final decision to who had been selected to each commanding officer. It was the result of a Government edict and not by a Royal Command. However, come the Golden and then Diamond Jubilee's every serving member of the armed forces fittingly received a medal and rightly so.

This file, amongst other things tells one about the arrangement for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee DIAMOND_JUBILEE_AND_THE_ROYAL_NAVY at the end of which you will be able to view the 1953 Coronation Fleet Review the largest fleet spectacular ever.

Click here for the URL of the Silver Jubilee  http://www.godfreydykes.info/Bits%20and%20Pieces%20Volume%20III.htm and read Story Line No19.