Remembering the Telegraphist Air Gunners
 Fleet Air Arm Gunners Remembered in 65th Anniversary Service   TAG's Remembered REMEMBERED - Servicemen and members of the Telegraphist Air Gunners Association at the Fleet Air Arm War Memorial in Lee- on-the-Solent Published in the Portsmouth News ( By Joe Nimmo On Monday 16 May 2011 07:11 More   than   100   of   the   remaining   servicemen   known    as   TAGs    –    joine d    friends,    family    and serving   navy   officers   at   the   Fleet   Air   Arm   War Memorial in Lee-on-the-Solent yesterday. They   travelled   from   as   far   away   as   Scotland   to remember   the   Royal   Navy   men   who   flew   in   the back   of   aircraft   and   communicated   with   the ships,   using   Morse   Code,   while   defending   the plane with its rear gun. More   than   3,000   TAGs   were   trained   and   flew   in Fleet   Air   Arm   aircraft   from   1922   to   1950,   but the    association    was    formally    disbanded    last year   as   most   surviving   members   are   now   in their 80s.   Former petty officer Arthur Wells, 87, travelled from Nottingham and laid a  wreath during the memorial service. He said: ‘This occasion becomes more poignant with each year that passes. ‘It   has   been   a   real   privilege   to   know   these   people   and   manage   to   keep   in   touch   for   more than 60 years. ‘There   are   few   associations   which   enjoy   such   a   close   relationship   as   we   do   –   it   really   is   like a family. ‘We look after one another and it is very sad to see our numbers shrinking every year.’ During   the   ceremony   the   names   of   11   TAGs   who   died   over   the   last   year   were   read   out. These   were   Ken   Davies,   Thomas   Evans,   Roy   Gibbs,   Dennis   ‘Nobby’   Hall,   Jimmy   Hind,   John McFarthing, Ron Porter, Jim Smart, Alf Snellgrove, Roland Spiller and Peter Taylor. Afterwards   lunch   was   served   at   HMS   Collingwood,   and   86-year-old   Bill   Jones,   of   Pagham   in West   Sussex,   said   even   without   the   association,   they   will   keep   holding   memorial   services for as possible. He   said:   ‘In   the   last   12   months   we   have   lost   the   association’s   secretary,   treasurer   and   the   editor   of   our   magazine   –   so   it   would have been hard to continue. ‘We decided not to hand the running over to our younger honorary members, and opted to wind it up instead. ‘But the memorial services will continue for as long as we are willing to come.’ The   service   was   conducted   by   the   Rev   Peter   Sutton,   Vicar   of   St   Faith’s,   Lee-on-the-Solent,   who   was   assisted   by   the   Rev   Ralph Barber from HMS Sultan. Val Sayer is the widow of association president Les Sayer, and organised Sunday’s gathering. She   said:   ‘It   was   beautiful.   So   many   people   make   such   an   effort   to   come   here   every   year,   it   is   always   a   wonderful   gathering   of old friends. ‘I feel honoured to be a part of it.’
REMEMBERED Servicemen and members of the Telegraphist Air Gunners Association at the Fleet Air Arm War memorial in Lee-on-the-Solent
Arthur Wells
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