Eastbourne Branch of the Royal Naval Association recently welcomed Rear Admiral John Kingwell CBE as their new branch president.

Branch Chairman of Eastbourne RNA, Shipmate John Wicking and other branch members greeted Admiral Kingwell at one of the branch’s monthly meetings which take place on the first Tuesday of every month at the Fishermans Club, Royal Parade, Eastbourne.

John had a distinguished 36-year naval career before retiring in December 2020. A Warfare Officer he had four sea commands: Sussex University Royal Naval University Unit and its attached patrol vessel HMS PURSUER, the Type 23 frigate HMS ARGYLL and the Assault Ship HMS ALBION. As Commander United Kingdom Task Group he commanded the Response Force Task Group off of Libya in 2011, about which he has published a book called Maritime Strike.

John lives in Bexhill on Sea and has long established links with Eastbourne and East Sussex. A former Sea Cadet himself he is the President of Newhaven/Seaford and of Hastings Sea Cadets Units and keeps his motorboat at Sovereign Harbour – which he first visited in 2003 as the Captain of HMS PURSUER. When he was a junior officer he often instructed at Hastings Sea Cadets and worked closely with the Eastbourne Unit.

John said: “I am honoured to have become the President of Eastbourne RNA. Over the years I have had the very real pleasure of hosting many RNA branches onboard various ships. It is a community of like-minded and supportive individuals and is the natural home of serving and retired Royal Naval, Royal Marine, Reservist, RFA and Merchant Navy personnel. Importantly, this community includes families and friends of the naval community and anyone who supports our Naval Service. I look forward to working with Eastbourne RNA and welcoming anyone with naval connections to the branch and as part of this strengthening the branch’s links with our nearby Sea Cadet Units”.

Branch Chairman John Wicking said, ”Eastbourne RNA is delighted to have such a distinguished naval officer as its President. Admiral John brings a wealth of naval experience together with local connections linking the Sea Cadet Corps, serving personnel and veterans – the very community that the RNA aims to serve” For more information about the Eastbourne RNA, please contact eastbournernapr@gmail.com.

Photo: Rear Admiral John Kingwell CBE with Branch Chairman S/m John Wicking.

The RNA is the biggest collective group of Royal Naval veterans, serving personnel and their families, with over 18,000 members and over 240 branches in the UK and overseas.      


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