Fate brings former servicemen together

Gwynne Stephen Chinnock and George Green share their memories of serving aboard HMS Albion.

A touch of fate brought together two former servicemen who served aboard HMS Albion when the aircraft carrier was visited by the Queen in 1957.

Gwynne Stephen Chinnock MBE, of Honiton, and George Green, of Ottery St Mary, both witnessed the historic occasions, but only met each other last week.

They came together to share their memories of that day and of their time serving in the forces.

Mr Green, now 82, was 27 at the time of the Queen’s visit and was serving as an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy.

He was surprised to see Mr Chinnock’s story in a recent Midweek Herald.

“It is the first time we have met. We would not have met if it was not for the story in the Midweek Herald,” said Mr Green.

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Mr Chinnock added: “It is interesting, as we did not know each other at the time.

“There were so many squadrons on there.”

The Queen visited the Home Fleet at Invergordon and during the visit came on board HMS Albion on May 28.

Her majesty was greeted by the ship’s crew and the Royal Marines performed a guard of honour before she inspected the divisions with the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

Mr Green said: “We knew she was coming on board and I am sure people were looking forward to it.

“It was quite an experience.”

“The whole ship’s company was there to greet her,” he added. “She spent the whole day on the ship and in the evening we went to the hanger and had a big concert put on for us.”

Unknown to Mr Green at the time, Mr Chinnock was one of the musicians in the band and performed during the concert, which was watched by an audience of 1200 people.

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