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The 80th Anniversary of the Commissioning of HISC for COPP HQ

As many of you know, HISC has a plentiful history - including our sailing club being used by the Royal Navy in WW2 as the base for COPP (Combined Operations Pilotage Parties).

These were dedicated teams trained in covert operations, reconnoitring beaches selected for landings on enemy occupied territory throughout the world.

We have been notified of a recent find of an original invitation to a COPPist member of staff which is of great interest to HISC. It shows a member of staff being invited to a gathering on 4th February 1945 to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the commissioning of the HISC site becoming COPP HQ.

Further to information held by Belinda Cook’s family and other sources, we know that planning activities were underway at HISC in 1942 and are pleased to now be able to record the actual commissioning date of 4th February 1943. - Belinda and Léonie
HISC Historical Archives

HISC was officially commissioned as COPP HQ on 4th February 1943.

Hayling Island Sailing Club was an ideal base for the COPPs as it was close to naval bases in Portsmouth and was fairly secluded with only one way on and off the island! The sailing club had an assault course built for training during its time as COPP HQ and Hayling Island even hosted a Normandy D-Day Training event.

More information about the history of Hayling Island Sailing Club and the COPPs can be found on the COPP Survey website, with thanks to them for the information listed above.

To commemorate the 80th anniversary, a White Ensign will be raised in recognition of the anniversary on Saturday 4th February.

If you would like to attend, please could we request that participants and guests gather by the flagpole for 8:50am.

Proceedings are as follows:

Participants and guests gather by the flagpole for 8:50am. The ceremonial party will be in the centre of the road to the east of the mast.

The Ceremony

0855 - A short address

0900 The “Still” is sounded on the Bosun’s Call

The White Ensign is raised.

During this period it is requested that the assembled guests remain silent.

Once the Ensign is close up, the “Carry On” is sounded.

Guests disperse and retire to HISC.

General Notes

There is parking available at HISC. Please ring the intercom and let them know you are here for the ceremony.

Participants are welcome from 8-8:30am to assemble in the building to use the facilities. Breakfast is available to purchase from the servery from 8am.

The area to the right (looking at HISC) of the flagpole is to be cordoned off to allow participants and guests an area to stand - please note, traffic may be redirected because of this event.

There will be a presence of an attendant (in a high vis jacket) to direct any traffic and protect those gathering.

When entering Hayling Island Sailing Club, please take some time to visit the COPP memorabilia on the wall to your left on your way into the hall/lobby.