News - Teamwork pays dividends as RNA event hailed a success

Norwich-based firm, The UK Holiday Group, transported more than 500 members of the Royal Naval Association (RNA) to a national memorial event last weekend in a fleet of 13 coaches.

The former naval services personnel travelled from across the UK and overseas to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to attend the dedication ceremony for a unique memorial.

Called the Naval Service Memorial, the glass sculpture was commissioned by the RNA, which described it as the nation’s first “all-inclusive memorial”.

Prince Michael of Kent performed the ceremony in front of 1,500 veterans on Sunday (15 June).

The UK Holiday Group sealed a deal earlier this year to provide bespoke holidays and group travel services to members of the Conference of Naval Associations (CONA) – a loose federation of like-minded naval associations, to which the RNA belongs.

Harold Burke, sales director at the UK Holiday Group, said: “This was a major national event and the transport logistics involved months of forward planning to cover the RNA conference, taking place in Coventry over the weekend, along with the memorial event.

“The level of expertise for handling events on this scale within our company, which is the parent of group travel specialist just for groups!, has paid dividends.

He added: “We had to ensure all the RNA standard bearers and stewards were at the memorial as a priority, in time for early morning meetings and rehearsals, and this was implemented with military-like precision by our teams on the ground.

“The weekend proved to be a huge success for our company, thanks to the tireless efforts and teamwork between our staff and the coach drivers, whose efforts were recognised by the RNA members who sang their praises throughout the weekend. 

“The feedback we received throughout the weekend also told us that our new CONA Holiday Service, saving members up to 60% on selected holidays, surpassed everyone’s expectations.” 

The memorial was dedicated to those who served, serve today and will serve tomorrow in the Royal Naval Service.  

It shows a limestone figure of a sailor, facing to the setting sun, with its head bowed in respect to shipmates. 

The figure stands by 13 glass panels, which are like “sails of coloured glass” representing the oceans around the world.

Captain Paul Quinn, General Secretary of the RNA, told the BBC that the navy wanted to create “something for everyone”.

He said there was a collection of smaller naval memorials.“[But] we didn't have anything for the naval service, which is the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, the Wrens and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary,” he said.

Members of naval associations can find more information on holiday offers by calling 0844 2642120 or email the CONA Holiday Service team at:   

For groups (10 or more people), call the just for groups! team on 01603 886740   (  

For details about The UK Holiday Group, call 01603 886 700,, or see the website