It is with great sadness that we write of the death, on the morning of 30th November, after a 9 month illness of our crew mate and member, Paul Swords.
Paul had been suffering with cancer since about February and finally lost his battle on this day. I'm sure that you will know what a close group we were at our Reunions etc, right back to when we were on the boat, and I am also sure that all members of the Association would like to send their condolences to Paul's family and loved ones.
Patty has stated that she would like as many of Paul's oppos as possible to come to the funeral and afterwards at the United Services Club, Gold Street Podington, Wellingborough.
Paul's Funeral is to be held at St Katherines Church Irchester on the 13th Dec. at 1430.
A great reunion was had at the Hallmark Hotel Mickleover Court Derby over the weekend of 15th, 16th and 17th April 2016. The 94 guests who sat down to the Saturday evening dinner were offered excellent service from an amazing team at the hotel. The accommodation was outstanding and the bar was extremely well used into the early hours on both nights.
Members said that it was the best venue used for many years and we look forward to returning in 2018 and again in 2020.
THE HMS COURAGEOUS ASSOCIATION BENCH AT THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM
Some time ago, at the suggestion of our late treasurer, Roger Pescodd, the HMS Courageous Association Committee purchased a memorial bench to be placed within the National Memorial Arboretum. The decision was taken to purchase the bench as a permanent memorial to those of our crew mates who have crossed the bar. The bench, made of hardwood is regularly maintained by the arboretum staff and includes a plaque which contains the ship’s crest and the following inscription, which we felt was apt for those such as Ray Hutchins who was lost at sea, and, of course, for our predecessors who were lost in the sinking of the aircraft carrier:
Recently, whilst in Derby meeting with the reunion hotel, Chas Cooke and Steve Crowley visited the Arboretum to view the bench. It is fairly easy to find and only a few minutes walk from the main entrance. We also found that the Arboretum as a whole is a great place to visit and walk round and proveds a fitting memorial to the many service it commemorates. , Should you wish to visit the arboretum and make use of the bench the address of the arboretum is Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire, DE13 7AR. The bench is located in the Royal Naval Wood and overlooks the Armed Forces Memorial. The bench reference number which, if given to staff, will enable them to direct you is B - 550.
Welcome to the web site of the HMS Courageous Association. Originally known as The HMS Courageous Society, the name having been changed by a members vote at the 2010 reunion in Plymouth, The Association has now been in existence for 15 years
Founded in 2000 by Chas Cooke, in a moment of madness and a desire to try and have the leaving do he was denied due to a pierhead jump in 1978, a search for old crew members willing to meet in a pub and have a beer rather got out of hand. Rather than the 5 or 6 mates that he had intended to seek out who would be willing to have a good evening session in a bar somewhere, it soon became apparent that there were so many more men who wanted to meet old friends and crew mates and, at the inaugural reunion at the Britannia Hotel, New Street in Birmingham, 146 men shared a weekend of memories while doing their best, and but for about half a barrel, succeeding in drinking the hotel dry.
So The Association began and, despite economic downturns, the scattering of ex crew members around the globe and other more pressing commitments, the reunions go on, now every other year, and our members, accompanied in many cases by their wives and partners, continue to enjoy meeting each other at our weekend long get togethers. The last, in Barrow in Glasgow in 2014, attracted over 100 people. In 2015, following a request for an “interim” reunion approximtely 45 of us met in the SR’s mess at HMS Drake for a dinner and social evening.
This web site is currently being redeveloped and what you see at the moment is the first stage of that improvement. Over the next few months we hope to completely change the web site to give those visiting a much better experience
We would like, in future to try (again) to bring you an interactive tour of the boat as she is today, in Devonport dockyard.
We will do our best to bring you updates on the boat as a display and any work going on to improve her. Many of those who have visited have provided feedback saying how impressed they have been with the work carried out by the volunteers. What most visitors don’t realise is, that if it weren’t for those volunteers, the boat would probably be unfit for display. The MOD have invested very little in the way of finance into the boat and it is only on the rare occasion that the volunteers receive assistance from the dockyard or serving personnel. It is unknown just how many hours the volunteers have put into producing a first class exhibit but it must run into thousands, and that does not include the time they spend showing visitors around the boat. It is a great pity that access to the boat is not easier but that will not change as long as the boat remains within the perimeter of the working yard.
If you visit the boat and have any feedback which you would like us to add to the site or pass on to the volunteers in Plymouth please let us know by e mailing us at:
We hope you enjoy the rest of the web site and we very much look forward to your next visit.
H.M.S. Courageous was in active service for 21 years and was a cold war warrior. She served in the South Atlantic during the Falklands Campaign as well as carrying out a large number of classified patrols around the world. Much of the work she did is still classed as too sensitive to release into the public domain so there appear to be gaps in her history. We are now trying hard to fill those gaps but, in the meantime, we hope that what you do find on the web site will be interesting and entertaining.
If anyone has photographs which could be used on the web site please e-mail them to me at
Chas Cooke (Website Manager)
HMS Courageous 1975-1978
The content of this web site is the intellectual property © of The HMS Courageous Association (The Association). The pictures contained within the site may be copied for personal use only. Commercial use of the photographs, pictures, images or content of this web site may only take place with the written permission of The Association. Permission for commercial use or reproduction other than for personal use should be sought by contacting The Association using the details supplied in the Contact page of this web site.