Testimonial: Royal Navy Rating

“My husband joined the Navy in 1962 at 15, training at HMS Ganges. He’d not experienced a good home life and the RN was his first family – this was his first experience of feeling that he belonged; and experienced camaraderie, trust and loyalty – hence the sentimental value his uniform has for him. 

I spoke with Rachel several times, resulting in making a cushion for David, plus 6 cushions and an apron for our children. David’s cushion was made from his No. 1 jacket with his name he embroidered aged 15 at HMS Ganges. The children’s cushions and apron were made from his 1960s matelot white fronts, blue striped collars and No.8 shirts.

It was kept a secret and on Christmas Day 2018, with all the family gathered, I told the history of David’s Navy days. I then presented him and the children with their ‘heirlooms’ wrapped in Christmas paper. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. 

The family feel very emotional and proud to have ‘a bit of their Dads history and story’ as a family heirloom. The cushions and apron are not just items made from a 1960’s matelot’s uniform. They’ve been made creatively with great care, thought, individual detail and respect. Re-stitching the story of a young sailor, David. They tell part of the history of the Royal Navy, of uniform made of the best materials and stitching available. They tell the story of a boy who joined the Royal Navy aged 15.

We may think our own life is very ordinary, but these cushions are very symbolic and show that our own story is unique, important and in fact extra-ordinary. I cannot thank Rachel and her team enough for making me feel comfortable and confident in handing over David’s treasured uniform to be given a meaningful purpose and story for our future generations. 

Thank you x”

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