The RNCDA Memorial Bells
5 Bells Tradition Video
A short video which explains the tradition and meaning of sounding 5 Bells to a Navy Diver who has passed away. It goes on to cover the decision by the RNCDA to commission the memorial bell which now has its permanent home at the incredibly moving garden of remembrance, right beside the same lake at Horsea Island, where Navy Divers still train to this day.
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Memorial Garden Dedication at Horsea Island 7/10/2016 just one short year after the Bell Commissioning, an amazing feat and the result is simply stunning and incredibly moving. Besides permanently housing the memorial bell the garden contains a name plaque of every Royal Navy Clearance Diver who has passed away a place to sit and reflect and views over the lake itself.
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The RNCDA “Travelling” Bell
After the success of the RNCDA memorial bell project, it was agreed by the committee to commission a smaller “travelling” bell which could to be rung at funerals and/or memorial services of former Royal Navy Clearance Divers.
5 bells would be rung after a short eulogy was read to the congregation which would explain the traditions and importance of that signal to the Naval Diving Community.
The Bell was lovingly cast by the same foundry that produced the memorial bell (above) John Taylor & Co in Loughborough (who have been making bells since 1784) it was also tuned to the same note (D) to signify the link between the two bells.
The handle was designed to replicate a Siebe Gorman short sword (non magnetic diver’s knife) handle.
Although todays diver often has the ability to talk to the surface,
all Navy Divers to this day are still taught lifeline signals,
Equipment fails and when you are on your own on the seabed,
in the pitch black and with zero visibility
the rope tied to your shoulder is literally your lifeline.
There are many signals, some give directions, some are routine,
others are reserved for emergency’s
But the one that holds the most meaning for us is 5 Bells,
this means “I have Found, Started or Completed work”
Over the years 5 Bells has been adopted as our salute to a fallen diver,
“5 Bells my friend, stand down, your work is done”
And so, with respect, and love,
we now sound the last 5 bells for our brother
Royal Navy Clearance Diver
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Thank You so much.