Welcome to Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS)

Recent Events and News (send to qarnns@hotmail.com) 

MDHU Derriford recently organised a Leadership Development course (Ex DARTMOOR LEADER) in order to prepare personnel for their Command courses. While the course has traditionally focused on preparing Royal Navy personnel, it has also been well supported by RAF personnel recently assimilated into the Unit.

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                                                                                            LNN Martin – LH Admin, chef, fixer

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LNN Parke summing up her options………………..and resigning herself to them


The final Leadership Task was an RN v RAF evolution – you don’t need to know the result…


Cdr Jones, CO MDHU Derriford joined in for the 4 mile squad run around Burrator Reservoir.


The QARNNS finest making final preparations for the Nav Ex

Message from Lt Col Palmer at DMS Whittington:

We are currently running a civil-military cooperation project, the Whittington Tapestry, which will result in the creation of a unique piece of multi-media artwork commemorating the past,present and future of the military site at Whittington (previously Whittington Barracks; now Defence Medical Services Whittington). I am wondering if there are any QARNNS Association members who would wish to get involved. As well as craft workshops we also have work (tapestry, knitting) which can be carried out at home for those who are more distant or are unable to travel. If you would be so kind as to get in touch, I can provide more details. joanne.palmer613@mod.uk 





Defence School of Healthcare Education (DSHE) Phase Two trainees have recently completed the Walking with the Wounded Cumbrian Challenge and have raised a staggering £4000 for the charity.

WWTW write up


Lt De St Croix Bissex and CPONN Mason at the International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes (Joint Services Hosanna House Group)

The Pilgrimage, begun as an act of reconciliation between French and German troops after WWII, is instigated each year by the French Minister of Defence and comes in the form of an invitation from the French Chief of the Defence Staff to the British Chief of the Defence Staff to engage in an act of international fraternity and celebration.

A rallying call  Garden Party Program


Branch Manager Update


Blood from Argus’ sailors helps fight tide of Ebola in Sierra Leone

A recent Navy News article has highlighted the work our operationally deployed QARNNS are currently doing, see the link!


Read about November Ceremonies 2014 on the Remembrance page

Nov 14 (2)

Liberation flag

RN Fencing - read about LNN Parry’s exploits on Guernsey in the AT & Sports page.

MDHU Derriford QARNNS at Shore Leave Haslar

In Nov a group of QARNNS from MDHU Derriford helped out at Shore Leave Haslar before travelling on to London to participate in the November Ceremonies.

MDHUD QARNNS at Shore Leave Haslar

QARNNS scranning LNN McNally

 Opening of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey

Lt Cdr Alison Warburton attended the Opening Ceremony for the Field of Remembrance on 6 Nov in her position as a member of the Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP). See  link  (Page 2).

Birmingham City University Faculty of Healths Graduation, March 2014

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Staff and Students from the Defence School of Healthcare Education (DSHE) took their place alongside their civilian counterparts to share in the occasion of Birmingham City University, Faculty of Health’s graduation, which took place on 10 March 2014 at Symphony Hall.  Those graduating included undergraduate pre-registration Nurses, Allied Healthcare Professionals and post-registration students from across healthcare professions within the Defence Medical Services, including Reservists. The photograph shows Capt(Q) I Kennedy QHNS HNNS along with Lt(Q) Cornhill, student support officer (RN), with LNNs Martin and Davis who both graduated with first class honours degrees.  There followed a graduation reception which was hosted at Birmingham’s new city library, where graduates, their friends and family were joined by DSHE staff and dignitaries from the Defence Medical Services including the Dean and the Directors of Royal Navy and Army Nursing to partake in refreshments and enjoy a specially commissioned graduation cake (designed by staff at DSHE).

MDHU PORTSMOUTH Plant Poppies at the Tower of London

Picture by LNN Walls

This year the Tower of London is uniquely commemorating the outbreak of the First World War. Between the 18th July and 5th August 2014 over 800,000 beautifully handcrafted ceramic poppies will be planted within the Tower’s moat; each one representing a British or Colonial Military life lost during WW1. These will stay in place until 11th November 2014 when the final poppy will be symbolically planted.

On the 5th August 2014 the Tower’s moat will be engulfed with 888,246 ceramic poppies, each one available to buy for £25. This project aims to raise over £15 million (if all poppies are sold) to be shared equally between carefully selected Service charities such as; Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, RBL, COBSEO, and SSAFA. Registration to buy a poppy can be done soon at: hrp.org.uk.

On Wednesday 30th July 2014 a Tri-Service team of 13 Military nurses from MDHU PORTSMOUTH, led by LNN Lizzie Meatyard and bravely driven through London rush hour by LT Lloyd Cantillon, had the privilege of helping with this huge project. The Repunzel-like sea of poppies flowing from the Tower’s windows and oozing across the moat was absolutely jaw dropping. The final creation will     depict ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’.

Humbled by knowledge that each poppy the team handled was a symbol of a life lost, and with an abundance of support from swarms of tourists looking on from beyond the walls, the team were inspired to relentlessly dig and plant as fast (and of course carefully!) as they possibly could.  The day was a ‘once in a life time’ experience enjoyed by all.

If You too would like to submit a team to support this fantastic cause, please contact poppyvolunteer@hrp.org.uk ASAP for further         details.


PONN Nick Ward and Pte Monica Kachibekete getting stuck in! Summer 2014 065Summer 2014 066  LNN Ellie Walls all goggled up!

Armed Forces Day 2014 at MDHU Portsmouth

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PONN Bobbie Johnson (Rtd) and LNN Meatyard AFD 14

LNN Meatyard with Gazelle    PONN Keating-Brown in RN Gazelle (640x480)

On Saturday 28 June 2014 thousands of people across the UK celebrated the men and women of the Armed Forces community, past and present, at hundreds of events marking the sixth annual Armed Forces Day.

MDHU Portsmouth, situated at Queen Alexandra’s Hospital Cosham, celebrated in style. The Tri-Service Armed Forces Day Committee, headed up by PONN Paul Keating-Brown, focused on the theme ‘Military Nursing: Past and Present’.

The Royal Navy team led by LNN Lizzie Meatyard had all hands on deck making it a day to remember! Assisted by the QARNNS Archive, information of ‘QARNNS in History’ was on display contrasted by modern day QARNNS media. Navy News and the Portsmouth AFCO provided plenty of freebees, and a cosy TV area playing Royal Navy DVD’s was provided by Lt Dewey’s team at CNR. There was even a Royal Navy Gazelle delivered from HMS SULTAN for photo opportunities! Not to mention Lt Cdr Shaun Roster who kindly attended from Vector Aerospace to meet and greet the Public, answering any tricky aviation questions that came our way. The day drew to a close with a fleet of QARNNS hand delivering free copies of Navy News to patients on the wards throughout the Hospital.

Overall the day was a great success, with visits from the Commanding Officer of MDHU Portsmouth CDR Danny Follington, OC Nursing MDHU Portsmouth CDR Lisa Taylor, and Chief Executives Ursula Ward and Peter Mellor.


 The Coltman Honour Walk 2014

Ready, steady GO

Pit stop on the Peak

Lt Lloyd Cantillon  at the 5th Peak  LNN's Walls, Hill,  Macintyre & Meatyard

Casualty Ted

On 21 June 2014 twenty-one Military Nurses from MDHU Portsmouth, Queen Alexandra Hospital, took part in the Coltman Honour Walk raising money for The Royal British Legion.

The Tri-Service group carried two furry patients in Neil Robertson stretchers over five peaks of the Malvern Hills, to honour the most highly decorated soldier in British Military history. The walk is named after Bill Coltman VC, DCM & Bar, MM & Bar.

Prior to the walk Lt Lloyd Cantillon and Cpl Colodia Muzvidziwa attended a local nursery ‘Jumping Jacks’ where the casualties, namely the teddy bears, were dressed by the children and safely bandaged up for their bumpy ride ahead. The 12km course across five peaks was not for the faint hearted! completed in under three hours with a buzz of high morale throughout.

LNN Lyndsey Robinson, who organised the group to take part in the walk, said: “The reason I have chosen to get a team to partake in this event is because it is an honour to be a member of the Armed Forces and I feel it is our duty to honour those past and present. It is also an opportunity to raise Military awareness within the hospital and to provide an event which will enhance team cohesion.

“The chosen charity is The Royal British Legion as my granddad, who passed in 2008, was serving in the Royal Navy and was part of the Military during the D-Day landings. The Royal British Legion Charity was held close to my granddads heart and he often supported them by donating money. I would like to follow in his footsteps and donate as much money as possible from this event.”


 Florence Nightingale Memorial Service 2014



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The 2014 Service to commemorate the life and work of Florence Nightingale was held at Westminster Abbey at 6.30pm on Wednesday 7th May 2014. This annual Service celebrates nursing and midwifery and all staff working in these services.

Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, Royal Patron of The Florence Nightingale Foundation also attended the Service and was presented a bouquet of flowers by Gideon Rowland, aged 10, son of the Lamp carrier Gloria Rowland.

Over 2000 nurses, midwives, healthcare professionals and guests attended the service with a good turn out from the QARNNS.

For more details on the event follow link:   Florence Nightingale Foundation Website


Petty Officer Emily McCullough

Awarded the Sun ‘Millie’ Award on 12 Dec 2013

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Many congratulations to Petty Officer Emily McCullough who was recently named as the most outstanding Marine or Sailor after a tour in Afghanistan.

The Sun Military Awards was televised by ITV as ‘A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards’ on 16 Dec 2013. Created by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and sponsored by The Sun newspaper; the annual awards ceremony honours members of the British Armed Forces and civilians involved with the Forces.

Commander Mary Weall QARNNS (Retired) was delighted to watch the QARNNS so well represented at the awards and notified the QARNNS Website, expressing ‘well done everyone!’

A clip can be watched at:  http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/story/2013-12-11/navy-nurse-up-for-a-millie/


RNRM Charity Press Release 27 SEP 2013

A partner fit for the modern Navy

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On the 27th September 2013, as HMS Duncan, the navy’s newest warship, prepared for her commissioning ceremony, the Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steel and the Chairman of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, Vice Admiral Sir Richard Ibbotson, signed a Partnering Agreement to formally document the unique and ongoing relationship shared between the Royal Navy and its charity of choice.

The Partnering Agreement was described as an agreement which offers the RNRMC a platform from which to engage in effective co-operation and with shared use of resources to best effect.  To read more on the Partnering Agreement please follow the below link:

RNRM Charity Press Release 27 SEP 2013


Ruth Carter Award 2013

Presented to PONN Mathew Daley

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PONN Mathew Daley of RCDM Birmingham was recently presented the Ruth Carter Award 2013 by Captain Inga Kennedy, QHNS.   The Ruth Carter award is prestigiously afforded to praise outstanding personal effort and achievement within the QARNNS.   Thanks to PONN Daley’s conscientious and assiduous efforts towards Equipment Care within RCDM Intensive care Unit, nursing staff now have a credible and impressive training package that has ultimately helped to enhance health care delivery.  Please follow the below link to read the nomination citation:  

PONN Mathew Daley Nomination Citation


Armed Forces Day MDHU Derriford

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Plymouth’s Armed Forces Day was a national event held on 29th June 2013, bringing visitors together to celebrate and pay tribute to serving personnel, veterans and their families.

The day was filled with family activities, stalls and displays on land, sea and air. MDHU Derrifords stall was represented by QARNNS, MA’s, PMRAFNS and RAMC personnel. The day gave insight to the public of the work carried out by the Nursing and Medical Branches of the Armed Forces at home and away on deployments.   To read a review by LNN L Bisset please follow the link: 

Nursing Through the Ages

The QARNNS Symposium 2013

The QARNNS symposium was held on 24th and 25th June at The Institute of Naval Medicine, Alerstoke. It was a fantastic opportunity to reunite and update on current events and news with many interesting and thought provoking lectures. 

Please follow the below link to read a review by NN (Student) Elizabeth Crofts: 

QARNNS Symposium Article

Armed Forces Day

On 29th June 2013 Lt Sarah Thompson (DMRC Headley Court) represented QARNNS as an invited guest at the Armed Forces event in Cleethorpes.

The day started with a parade through the town of Cleethorpes. An honour guard led by the ship’s company from HMS Grimsby was followed by the Royal Marine band of HMS Collingwood, a veterans’ parade and all the local cadet units marching. The North East Lincolnshire Pipe Band led a parade of military vehicles. For the veterans who were unable to walk there was an open topped bus to carry them around the town. The salute was taken by Lt Cdr Ottewell (Commanding Officer HMS Grimsby), Gen(retd) Jolliffe and AVM(retd) Miller. As the parade arrived at the town centre there was a fly past from the Battle of Britain memorial flight.

The main focus of the day was the blessing and opening of a Remembrance Gate on the sea front. The gate contains the crests of most of the Naval branches, including QARNNS. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Queen, the three armed services, the local MP and the local council.

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The Coronation Festival Buckingham Palace 2013

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Lt Cdr Kennedy and LNN Walls recently attended the preview of the Coronation Festival, held at Buckingham Palace on the 11th of June 2013. The event celebrated 60 years of design, innovation and excellence since the Queen’s coronation; showcasing displays and stalls from the Royal Household Warrant Holders Association between 11th – 14th of July.

For LNN Ellie Walls account of the day please follow the link:

Coronation Festival Buckingham Palace 2013


Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust Celebration Awards

At the recent Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust Celebration Awards ceremony LNN LAURA CHAMPION was proudly presented the ‘Clinical Team of the Year’ on behalf of Stonehouse ward and , MDHU DERRIFORD. Having worked within Stonehouse Ward for three and a half years as both a student and a qualified nurse, LNN CHAMPION is a highly valued member to the ward and representative of the QARNNS.

At present eleven Royal Naval personnel work on Stonehouse Ward within Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. Stonehouse is a fantastically challenging, busy and rapid paced acute surgical area.

The award ceremony followed a champagne reception and a superb three course dinner held at the Plymouth Pavilions on Friday 8th June.  Richard Crompton, The Chairman for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, presented the award stating:

“Both teams have worked exceptionally hard this year to the benefit of patients. Both wards care for complex surgical patients, acutely ill emergency patients and they have also cared for other medical admissions during this winter, adding complexity to the care environment. There is a positive ‘can do’ attitude from all staff to help cope with the varying pressures to the benefit of the patients. Both teams are led by exemplary nurse leaders who work tirelessly above and beyond what is expected to ensure excellent patient care. They are two excellent teams who work well together as one unit”.

LNN CHAMPION was then invited up to the stage to collect the award in very high spirits, caught on camera by the official photographer giving the Ward Manager a kiss, which has since been given the caption ‘Every nice girl loves a sailor’!