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 Glasgow in 2014, attracted almost 100 people. At our 2010 reunion in Plymouth we were joined by Mr John Cannon, his wife Edith and their family. John was a 16 year old boy sailor on HMS Courageous in 1939 when it was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic south west of Ireland and was blown over the side but survived, unlike so many of his crew mates. It was our honour and privilege to welcome John and his family to the reunion as our guests.
For those of you who served in Courageous or have an affiliation with her please have a look at the membership and reunion pages as they will be of special interest to you.
The 2016 reunion in Derby is already in the planning stages and we look forward to meeting again.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.
The HMS Courageous Association recently purchased a memorial bench to be placed within the National Memorial Arboretum. The initial proposal was put forward by Roger Pescodd and, after discussion, 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:
Some photographs were recently taken by Bungy Williamson on our behalf and they are shown below.
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.
The following map was provided by Nobby of the Derby Branch Submariners Association who also gave the bench a clean for us. We are very grateful for the pictures, map and cleaning.
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 D-Day Interim Reunion is now arranged! Thanks to hard work by Pittk in Guz the reunion will take place on Friday 5th & Saturday 6th June 2015 and the programme includes the following:
FRIDAY 5TH JUNE 2015
1530 & 1630 - Pre booked visits to the boat (limited numbers so book early)
1930 for 2000 - Dinner in the Senior Rates Mess HMS Drake at which wives and partners will be welcome. Cost of meal payable in advance using the booking form available through the link at the end of this article, (menu & cost are shown in the booking form). Dress for this event will be “smart with tie”. Top table will have a seating plan but other tables will be help yourself and choose your own seat.
SATURDAY 6TH JUNE 2015
0930 & 1030 - Pre booked visits to the boat (limited numbers so book early)
1200 - 1800 - Stag Do, Weston Mills Social Club. Entry fee of £2-00 payable at the door.
A buffet will be available during the stag do at a cost of £5-00 per head (payable in advance using the booking form available through the link at the end of this article) .
A raffle will take place during the stag do.
Courageous branded items and booklets will be on sale during the stag do.
At the end of the stag do there will be a DIY run ashore to sample the delights of Guz, your choice, nothing organised, hit the town wherever and however you like.
1. No accommodation is included. Any person requiring accommodation will need to arrange it themselves.
2. All those wishing to attend a tour of the boat must complete the booking form, including all details requested in that form. Failure to do so will mean that no entry will be permitted.
3. Car parking is limited so there may be a need to share cars or to park outside the dockyard. Movement on foot from the dockyard gate to the basin in which the boat is located is not permitted. Details of transport will be promulgated nearer the date.
4. Photo ID MUST be carried by all persons visiting the boat.
5. Cameras MUST NOT be taken into the dockyard.
6. All those wishing to attend the Friday evening meal at HMS Drake or the buffet at Weston Mills must book and pay using the booking form here.
NEW ITEMS FOR SALE IN SHOP PAGE
Polo Shirts, Pens, and Umbrellas are now available in the shop.
The Association has always sold branded goods through the Association online shop. The range has been limited as we have previously had to purchase the stock in advance. We also had to store the goods and then deal with the packing and postage. We have now started to purchase and store new items once again and, while we are adding to the items available there are other items available through our partner outlet. We have teamed up with Forever Jack and they have created a whole range of goods branded with the HMS Courageous crest and other relevant crests and badges. The purchases are made through a dedicated page in the Forever Jack website and 10% of all sales income is paid to the Association. This arrangement has allowed us to offer a much wider range of goods for sale. We hope you will take advantage of the much better selection of goods available and, by purchasing your selected items, contribute to Association funds.
To view the objects for sale and to purchase your selected items please click on the image below.
If you served in Courageous and would like to register your details with The Association you may do so HERE
Many photographs have been taken of Courageous and her crew over the years. You can view some by clicking on the camera.
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.
The Courageous book is still for sale in the on line shop. Not only is the book a good read it is well illustrated with a wealth of photographs and is created in an easy to follow time line format giving the full story of Courageous from build to decommissioning.
JUST CLICK ON THE BOOK ABOVE TO GO TO THE ONLINE SHOP.