THE Woking Royal Naval Association is in danger of closing if it does not attract new members, the branch secretary has said.

Keith Tarling told the News & Mail that the Woking RNA, which began 40 years ago, has lost eight of its members this year and has had to scale back its activities.

It meets on the third Tuesday of every month and is planning a 40th anniversary meal in May, but hasn’t enough members for activities such as navy-related day trips.

Keith said former members of the Royal Navy are automatically members, but many of those are elderly or have died, including Bill Blount, who was a Royal Marines gunner in Singapore in 1945 and a member of the Guard of Honour for Earl Mountbatten when he accepted the formal surrender of the Japanese Imperial Army at Singapore on 12 September.

On the 75th anniversary of VJ Day in 2020, Woking RNA staged a parade outside Bill’s home in Pyrford because the 95-year-old had mobility problems and was unable to attend commemorative events elsewhere.

Bill, whose funeral was last month, was one of several RNA members who have died recently while others have moved out of the area.

Keith said anyone who has served in the army or RAF or is simply interested in the navy can become associate members of the RNA.

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