Rayleigh and Wickford MP and former Armed Forces Minister Mark Francois was delighted to be one of the guests at the Rayleigh branch of the Royal Naval Association’s (RNA) annual dinner at Saxon Hall, next to Southend Airport.
Mark, who served as an infantry officer in the Territorial Army during the Cold War, is nevertheless a long standing member of the RNA by virtue of his father, Reginald Francois’ service in the Royal Navy in World War Two (when he was on a minesweeper at D-Day).
Mark was, therefore, very pleased to join around 100 guests at the annual dinner and to have a chance to say a few words to the assembled company on recent developments in the Royal Navy, including the construction of two new 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers, the first of which, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was commissioned into Royal Naval service earlier this year.
Speaking about his attendance at the Naval Veterans event, Mark Francois said:
“I am always pleased to attend Rayleigh Royal Naval Association events, not least as they always remind me of my late father and his Naval Service in World War Two. The Rayleigh RNA, who have over 50 members, are a very lively bunch and they are always looking to recruit those with connections to the Senior Service. We had a really enjoyable dinner and if anyone is thinking of joining the RNA, they should visit their website to see more about what the RNA do and how to join.”