HMS SOBERTON – Commemoration & Ton Class Reunion

The village of Soberton celebrated the 60th Anniversary of HMS SOBERTON’s commissioning and rededicated her bell, which hangs in St Peter’s church, on Sea Sunday, 8th July 2018, at 11.00.

The service was conducted by two Lay Preachers one being David Childs CBE (the instigator of the National Memorial Arboretum) who is himself a former Ton class man.  David gave a riveting sermon which included several dits from his sea time. A former CO of the Soberton, one of two who rose to become the First Sea Lord, Sir Jock Slater GCB LVO DL also took part in the service.

A message from Commander Justin Wood, last CO of Soberton was read in which he recalled that Ton sailors were the last of a special breed that took the uncomfortable conditions aboard as a ‘Rite of Passage’.

After the service the parish offered a glass of Pimms to attendees and the Ton men were treated to a tot courtesy of Captain McEwen RN Rtd. before we all adjourned to the White Lion ( ) which is about 25 yards from the church gate. Landlord Allan Marks is a former NAAFI manager who knew the form. He laid on a cash barbecue on the village green opposite his pub.

It was an excellent day. We were made very welcome by all the parishioners and village residents. Many dits were spun as usual over the odd pint or three. Our thanks to Captain McEwen for inviting us.

Ships Badge & Bell,  Ships Funnel Badge, Attendees. Second group photo courtesy of Sue Johnson