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Welcome to the Portland Branch of the Royal Naval Association


  • Chesil Beach Portland  (A bit of a rough day)

Our core values: Unity, Loyalty, Patriotism, Comradeship

Our Branch was formed on 8th March 1956. The Isle and Royal Manor of Portland has had a long association with the Royal Navy and the Fleet Air Arm. Portland Harbour and the surrounding sea areas were the main training base for the ships and aircraft of the Fleet throughout most of the the twentieth century. Even though the Navy has now moved its bases further afield, the area still has a large contingent of retired naval servicemen and women, who welcome the opportunity to meet up and ‘spin a yarn’ with old shipmates. We maintain close ties with ‘our’ namesake ship HMS Portland, and also the Sea Cadets at T.S. Penn

We have 117 members in our Branch. The Association has over 20,000 members across 300+ branches in the UK and overseas. We are one of the 34 Branches which make up the Number 4 Area (South West Flotilla) of the RNA.

We meet up on the first Wednesday of every month at 20:00 in the South Portland Conservative Club, Easton Square, Portland, Dorset, DT5 1BX.

All serving and former members of the armed forces and other like minded people are welcome. Details of types of membership and how to join can be found here.

Social Programme

We run a very active yearly programme which include weekend trips away, an annual dinner/dance, social evenings and attendance at events in the local area.  We also take part in an annual weekend of celebration at the No. 4 Area Reunion Rally held in Bideford.

Our Social Secretary does a sterling job to ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy throughout the year.

Charity Fundraising

Each year a local charity is nominated by our members. Funds accrued during the year from raffles and social functions are donated to this charity. A representative from the nominated charity is invited to attend one of the monthly meetings to receive the monies collected.

 Welfare Support

We have four Branch Welfare Officers. They are all volunteers who help the Branch to advise members and their dependants on personal matters, such as pensions, compensation, health and social security benefits and other subjects affecting their welfare. They can also help arrange assistance for our members and all others who serve in, or have served in our Naval Forces and their dependents who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress.

October

This Month in Portland’s Naval History

1805

Battle of Trafalgar. Vice-Admiral Viscount Nelson (HMS Victory) died after defeating the Franco-Spanish fleet of 33 sail of the line. Further reading.

1937

HMS Glasgow (Cruiser) ran aground in Weymouth Bay while exercising coming up to a buoy. The ships company were mustered aft to help get her off.

1948

HMS Illustrious liberty boat sank in a gale in Portland Harbour. 29 sailors lost their lives.

1957

USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine, tied up alongside USS Fulton (Submarine tender) at Portland. Nautilus had just completed a transit under the Arctic polar ice.

1998

HMS Osprey celebrated 40 years of naval aviation at RNAS Portland with an Open Day.