With over 20,000 members across 300+ branches in the UK and overseas, we are a family of current and former Naval Service personnel, relatives and supporters of our country's Royal Navy.
Whether we are catching up with friends at our regular social events, fundraising, advising on welfare and employment matters, or just providing an arm around the shoulder, our natural willingness to help others stems from the tradition and camaraderie that only Naval Service life can instil. Everything we do is inextricably linked to our core values :
Our core values
Shared backgrounds and equality in rank. We share the same bonds, the same mindset, and even the same language (Jackspeak!). We are all equal. We are the heart and soul of the RNA.
To each other and our dependants. We will always support and look out for each other. Our loyalty is to all our shipmates, our local communities, the personnel and dependants of the Naval Service, along with other charities or organisations with naval connections.
We are proud to serve and proud to represent our country and the Naval Service. Our pride in serving our country never leaves us. Nor do we forget those who have fallen for our country or who fight now. We are deeply honoured to represent them on both a national and international level.
Friends in fun, fellowship and need. Your shipmates will always be here for you, whether it's about a job, ideas for a fun day out or just an arm around the shoulder. We will never leave you or your dependants in despair.
History of the City of Edinburgh Branch
The Royal Naval Association had a Branch and Club at 20 Ainslie Place in Edinburgh in the 50's and 60's. The club closed down and the Branch disbanded sometime in the late 60s. In 1994, whilst a loft was being cleared out in an Edinburgh house, the old Branch Standard of the City of Edinburgh Branch was discovered. The Standard was handed over to the Rosyth and West Fife Branch Royal Naval Association so that they could make arrangements to have the old Standard Laid Up in a cathedral or church, the normal routine for the disposal of unused or disbanded Branch Standards.
The late Shipmate Donald Simpson, the then Secretary of the Rosyth & West Fife Branch, decided he would see if it was possible to re-form the Branch prior to making the arrangements for the laying up of the City of Edinburgh Branch Standard. Adverts were placed in local papers calling for ex Royal Navy personnel who were interested in forming an RNA Branch in Edinburgh to attend an initial meeting in the Royal Scots Club in Abercrombie Place. Some 40 to 50 people attended this initial meeting. From this meeting it was decided that the City of Edinburgh Branch Royal Naval Association would be reformed. The re-commissioning meeting was held in the Royal Scots Club on 15th March 1995. The Branch Standard was then re-dedicated at a service in St Giles Cathedral followed by a civic reception in the City Chambers on the 9th March 1996. The Branch membership currently stands at 23 full and associate members.
Shipmate Donald Simpson went on to help with the founding of new RNA Branches in Glasgow, Perth, Stirling and Inverness.
The Branch celebrated its 25th Anniversary of reforming on Sunday 15th March 2020 and to mark the occasion, Dennis Miles, the Chairman of the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historic Trust, approved the long-term loan to the Branch of the Ships bell from the closed down QHM Rosyth. The bell had been in storage since the closure.
On Sunday the 15th March the branch held a church service of celebration at the Canongate kirk, the parish church of Canongate in Edinburgh’s Old Town and a congregation of the Church of Scotland. The parish includes the Palace of Holyrood house, the Scottish Parliament, and Edinburgh Castle so it has strong military connections. During the Service the Reverend Neil Garner performed the blessing of our ships bell. We were joined in our Church service by Frank Ross, the Right Honourable Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Graeme Dey MSP, Minister for Veterans. Charlie Wallace. Scottish Veterans Commissioner, Bill Oliphant General Secretary RNA, Nigel Huxtable Assistant General Secretary RNA, Keith Ridley National Chairman RNA and Dennis Miles Chairman of Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historic Trust. As well as these dignitaries we had the National Standard, Scottish Area Standard, No11 Area Standard and Branch Standards from City of Glasgow, Rosyth & West Fife, Forth Valley, Leighton & Linslade, RNA Riders Branch and inverness Branches as well as the British Legion Scotland Branch Standards join with our own Branch standard for the Service.
The Canongate Kirk will be the custodians of the ships bell on behalf of the Branch and it will be housed within the Naval section of the Kirk. The Canongate Kirk does not have a church bell so will therefore make good use of the bell during services throughout the year. It is wonderful to see the bell back home in Scotland and having been brought back from hidden in a storeroom to full use once more.
Following the church service, the congregation retired to Whitefoord House, the Scottish Veterans Residence where a fantastic buffet and reception were laid on. The lord provost in his capacity of ‘Admiral of the Forth’ welcomed everyone and congratulated the Branch in achieving its 25th Anniversary. During the reception presentations were made on behalf of the Branch by the Branches two life members. Shipmate Kath Taylor presented Susie Hamilton of Whitefoord House a print of HMS Edinburgh passing under the Forth Bridge on behalf of the Branch for all the work she carries out during the year acting as the liaison with the branch in regard to the Naval Veterans living in Whitefoord House and for all the hard work ensuring that the buffet and reception was a great success. Shipmate Bob Cumming presented Reverend Neil Gardner of the Canongate Kirk a copy of the same print on behalf of the Branch in thanks for the Service of Celebration and the blessing and agreement to house the ships bell on behalf of the Branch in the Canongate Kirk