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Items from The News, Navy News and Warship World are reproduced by kind permission of David Brown, Sarah Fletcher and Steve Bush respectively.  Click on the thumbnails to enlarge them.


17 Aug 18 - Recent tweets

 

HMS Bangor (MCM1 Crew 2) and HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 2) have arrived in Gibraltar en route back to their respective bases at Faslane and Portsmouth after their three-year deployments on Operation KIPION in the Gulf.

 

HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 3), presumably with HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 3), has tweeted her arrival in Bahrain to join HMS Blyth (MCM1 Crew 5) and HMS Ledbury (MCM2 Crew 6) on Operation KIPION.

 

Click on the linked dates for photos and videos. 

 

HMS Brocklesby

 

17 Aug 2018 - The ‘Brocklesby Bumblebees’ sitting pretty after winning the inaugural COMUKMCMFOR Football Championship with HMS Shoreham, HMS Blyth and HMS Ledbury.  Thanks to HMS Ledbury for organising the event!

 

17 Aug 2018 - Congratulations to Brocklesby’s newly promoted LET(ME) Tom Howe.  BZ!

 

15 Aug 2018 - Thank you RFA Cardigan Bay, our Afloat Support Base, for the ammunition top-up!  Great boat-handling from your Seaboat Coxns this afternoon.

 

 

14 Aug 2018 - The Leading Hands' Mess enjoys a stand easy properbrew on deployment in the Gulf.  Many thanks to Yorkshire Tea for supporting HMS Brocklesby at sea, where "everything's done proper!"

 

HMS Ledbury

 

17 Aug 2018 - Our Dep Weapons Engineer, PO Rob Knott has just joined the 1,000lb club at the US NAVCENT gym, lifting 1,115 lb total in squat, deadlift and bench press.  BZ!  First RN MCM to do so. 

 

HMS Shoreham

 

17 Aug 2018 - After 5,700 nautical miles, HMS Shoreham has arrived in Bahrain, home for the next few years.  It's a little warmer here than Faslane!

 

BFBS Gibraltar

 

17 Aug 2018 - There's two visitors in the dockyard ... Welcome to Gib HMS Bangor and HMS Middleton! 

 

 

UK in Malta

 

10 Aug 2018 - Always a pleasure to welcome the Royal Navy to Malta with HMS Bangor and HMS Middleton in the wonderful Grand Harbour today.

 

   

 

 

Iain Cameron

 

15 Aug 2018 - HMS Ramsey M-110 passing Cloch Point Gourock inbound for Faslane.

 


16 Aug 18 - New wideband sonar for Sandown class minehunters

 

HM Naval Base Clyde has published this article on its Facebook page.  It features MCDOA member Kev Giles. 

NO SHIP can hunt mines in the ocean depth better than HMS Grimsby [MCM1 Crew 7] after she became the first ship to receive revolutionary sonar.


HMS Grimsby
(RN photo)

The Faslane-based warship is the first of seven in her class to be fitted with next-generation Sonar 2093 – allowing her crew to find mines and underwater explosives more easily and at greater distances. The improved sonar uses frequency modulation – similar to an FM radio – which reduces background clutter and allows it to ‘see’ further.  It means it is more likely to detect physical objects, rather than picking up stray sounds beneath the waves.

Lieutenant Commander Kevin Giles, a mine warfare specialist at the RN’s headquarters in Portsmouth, said: “This is a unique system, there is nothing as advanced in service worldwide. This capability will enable the Royal Navy to maintain its positon as a world-leader in mine counter measures.

“The picture the sonar provides the operator is much clearer, the detection range is much greater.”

The existing Sonar 2093 dates back to the 1980s. Not only is it ageing, but sourcing spare parts for the tech is proving increasingly difficult and will soon border on the impossible – hence the need to replace it.

The upgraded system – Sonar 2093 CSP (Capability Sustainment Programme) – exploits the same principles as Sonar 2193, fitted to Hunt-class minehunters for a decade.  On those ships, the transmitter and receiver are flat and fixed to the hull. On Sandown-class vessels – all based at HM Naval Base Clyde – the technology is in a towed body, a device about one-metre in diameter which is lowered beneath the ship.  This lowerable sonar means Sandown-class ships can locate mines at much greater depths as it penetrates temperature layers in the ocean – layers which normally block sound waves.

Integrating the sonar into the towed body has posed engineers a significant challenge compared with the hull-mounted Sonar 2193 on the Hunt-class.  After half a dozen years’ work by experts at Thales UK, the first set was fitted to HMS Grimsby during her recent refit in Rosyth and following trials has been declared operational.

“It just requires a few days to get used to the new sonar – operators used to working on Hunts picked it up straight away. And in the longer term, it means there should be just one trainer for both classes of ship,” Lieutenant Commander Giles added.

The UK government is investing £45M in upgrading all seven Sandown-class vessels with the new sonar system which will be installed between now and 2023.

 


13 Aug 18 - HMS Ramsey taken over by MCM1 Crew 1

 

According to this tweet from HMS Ramsey, MCM1 Crew 1 (ex-HMS Penzance) has taken over the ship from MCM1 Crew 8.

 

Lt Cdr Lee Vessey (CO MCM1 Crew 1) with Lt Cdr Peter Ware (CO MCM1 Crew 8)

(RN photo)

 


10 Aug 18 - A kind gesture

 

Derek Shea's late father David was serving with Carl Massey on the Portsmouth and Medway Bomb & Mine Disposal Team when they were involved in the salvage of a crashed Yak-28 jet fighter from Lake Haval in West Berlin in 1966.  The incident is described in Ginge Fullen's latest CD Chronicle and Derek contacted me after spotting the entry for 19 Jul 18 on the MCDOA website.

 

I was able to put Derek in touch with Ginge and was delighted to receive this message as a result:

 

"Ginge / Rob,

 

Book arrived today.  Many thanks.

 

I have read through the Berlin incident and discovered many more snippets of previously unknown information.  There are also previously unseen photographs of my Dad which I am thrilled to see.  Thank you so much for this

 

I am so pleased to have a permanent record of my Dad’s involvement in this remarkable episode and will treasure it greatly.  I look forward to reading the rest of it in due course.  I’ve already spotted a few names from my Dad’s time in the Branch... John Dadd, Harry Neave and Jasper Peters to name just a few.   

 

I’ve found the relevant entry in my Dad’s log, quite an understated entry for what was a remarkable job.  I assume this was in line with the branch ethos and the nature of the job at hand. 

 

 

Incidentally, I’ve made a donation to Project Vernon by way of thanks but have not yet paid for Ginge's book.  I am more than happy to donate £20 towards print costs and a contribution to good causes as you see fit.  Please let me know the best way to get the monies to you.

 

Again, thank you.  I am delighted to have the book.

 

Kindest Regards.

 

Yours Aye,

 

Derek Shea"

 


9 Aug 18 - Tribute to CPO(D) Stephen 'Nellie' Nilsson

 

I am grateful for this contribution from my old LMCDO '76 course mate Bernie Bruen MBE DSC who relieved me on the Plymouth CD Team in 1982:

 

"Dear Rob,

 

My thanks to Dave Cherry for alerting me to Nellie's recent retirement after long and faithful service to the Branch.  We were in the Plymouth team together and a jolly good and enthusiastic shipmate he was too - as we all know.  Here's a picture of Nellie, taken at the end of a photo shoot in 1983 when I was writing a paper to try and get some decent working gear for the Team instead of the oilskins and No.8s that we were illustrating as the current available clothing.

 

Nellie Nilsson (right) on PCDT in 1983

 

The boys dressed in a series of inappropriate rigs as we were expected to wear in our various tasks, putting on their most pissed-off expressions in the process.  We even had a photo of the oilskin coat and trousers standing up on their own - they were that stiff.  When it came to photos of the rigs we were suggesting as replacements, they looked a lot happier.

 

As the shoot ended, Nellie grabbed one of the flash-reflector parasols and posed with (name forgotten, I am sorry to say) for this fabulous shot that captures the essence of Clearance divers and their fun approach to life. 

 

Glad to say that from these humble beginnings the Branch now has all the right stuff; but I will always treasure this photo of Nellie.

 

Yours aye,

 

Bernie"

 

Nellie Nilsson at Horsea in more recent times

 


8 Aug 18 - News from HMS Shoreham

 

According to these tweets, HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 3) has weathered a monsoon in the Indian Ocean, shipped her new funnel badges and is now ready for maritime security operations with COMUKMCMFOR in the Gulf in place of HMS Bangor (MCM1 Crew 2):

 

8 Aug 2018

 

 

7 Aug 2018 (including video)

 

 

 


7 Aug 18 - Latest LS&GC awards

 

Congratulations to PO(D) John OBrien on being gazetted for the award of the first clasp to his Naval Long Service & Good Conduct medal and to PO(D) Adam Barlow, PO(MW) David Carbery and PO(MW) David 'John Boy' Walton on being gazetted for the award of the LS&GC medal.

 


6 Aug 18 - HMS Ramsey visits Inverness

 

HM Naval Base Cylde has reported the following recent activities of HMS Ramsey (MCM1 Crew 8):

 

ROYAL Navy Sandown Class mine hunter HMS Ramsey visited Inverness recently to help cement affiliations with groups and organisations in the city.

 

HMS Ramsey arriving at Inverness

(RN photo)

 

From August 1 to 3 the ship was alongside Longman Quay, lowering the gangplank to welcome dozens of young visitors from Moray Sea Cadets TS Findhorn, Inverness Sea Cadets from TS Briton, 1st Avoch Sea Scouts and 18th Inverness Muirtown Sea Scouts.  The Royal Navy crew also hosted members of the Inverness Branch of the Royal Naval Association and paid a visit to Deputy Provost of Inverness, Councillor Bet McAllister, at the City’s Town House.

 

     

 

     

 

CO of HMS Ramsey, Lt Cdr Pete Ware, meeting Deputy Provost of Inverness, Cllr Bet McAllister

(RN photos)

 

Part of the Scots-based First Mine Counter Measures Squadron (MCM1), HMS Ramsey has most recently been operating as part of a NATO mine clearance task force in the Baltic Sea.  The minehunter joined SNMCMG1 – Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 1 - a task force dedicated to clearing mines in the region in May this year.  After a stop-over in Copenhagen, where the crew had the chance to witness the Crown Prince’s 50th birthday celebrations, the ship got stuck into a mass casualty exercise at sea.  Ramsey was one of the first responders, sending their first aid team to another task force ship playing the part of a stricken vessel.  The crew also participated in gunnery exercises and practiced manoeuvres at speed with other vessels in the group.

 


5 Aug 18 - HMS Ledbury taken over by Crew 6

 

According to this tweet from HMS Ledbury, MCM2 Crew 6 has arrived in theatre and taken over the ship from MCM2 Crew 5 on Operation KIPION in the Gulf where the temperature is 48 deg C.

 

 


4 Aug 18 - Death of former CPO(D) Fred 'Tug' Wilson

 

I have received this sad news from Terry Settle MBE QGM BEM:

 

"Hi Rob,

 

It saddens me to inform you of the death of Tug (Fred) Wilson of DEODS fame who crossed over the bar this morning peacefully in his sleep.

 

Tug was admitted to Chatham Maritime Hospital some three months ago having falling at home.  He had fractured his spine but, during the intense medical examination, it was found he was riddled with cancer.  He was treated and cared for in the Macmillan ward but was transferred from the Maritime to Charing House care home last Wednesday where I was in attendance for his arrival.  His immediate next of kin is his sister Jean.

 

Tug was an avid member of the RNA, being a long time chairman of the Chatham division and at one time I believe Kent.  I do know that Tug wanted to leave his body to be used for medical science so I very much doubt there will be any gathering for a funeral.  I will keep you informed however, on where family and friends will meet to celebrate his life.  I expect that Chatham RNA will take charge of this arrangement.

 

Regards,

 

Terry Settle"

 

I am sure that all members of our community will join me in extending our condolences to Tug's family and close friends.

 


From Perry Mason:

 

"Rob,

 

It deeply saddens me to hear of Tug's passing.  Tim Curd had contacted me a few weeks ago and had given an update on his condition.

 

Tug and I go back a long time,  He was a character in the branch and totally dedicated to DEODS.   I remember him on one of the DEODS divexes in Scotland. Tony Lumbard was in the water and just before he arrived back on the surface at the beach we were working from, Tug was standing there waist deep in water holding a silver tray and a large whisky ready to give to Tony as soon as he surfaced.  To say the least Tony was extremely grateful.

 

I hope that Tony is now returning the gesture and standing in heaven holding a silver tray with a large whisky welcoming Tug back to the fold and that Lorna, his wife who passed away in 1993, is standing by his side.  

 

Rest in peace, Tug, mate.  You are gone but will never be forgotten.

 

Perry"

 


From MCDOA member Steve Gobey:

 

"Hi Rob

 

Sad to see the news of Tug’s passing.  I have happy memories of serving with him whilst on the staff at DEODS in the late seventies, particularly when we escaped on our deep diving work ups.  ‘Father Famine’, as John Meakin used to call him, was anything but and would keep us well supplied with superb pot mess and fluffy scrambled egg morning rolls.  He always came with two diving bags - one full of wetsuits so that he never had to put on a damp one!

 

BZ Tug.  RIP.  

 

Very best wishes,

 

Steve

 

P.S. Good to see LEDBURY still going strong in the Gulf.  48 degrees reminds me of my BRECON time out there!"

 


3 Aug 18 - FDU2 participates in RIMPAC

 

The Royal Navy website contains this article describing the participation of members of Portsmouth-based Fleet Diving Unit 2 (FDU2) in the 26th RIMPAC which started on 27 June and finished on 2 August.  FDU2 performed VSW MCM (Very Shallow Water Mine Countermeasures) operations off San Diego and the article features LS(D) Will Bowman.  He also features in this video on YouTube.

 

Diving teams being launched from the stern gate of the assault ship USS Harper's Ferry

(US Navy photo)

 

LS(D) Will Bowman of FDU2

(US Navy photo)

 

RIMPAC began in 1971 and is a two-yearly exercise involving navies with a vested interest in the security of the RIM of the PACific region.  This year, it included 46 ships, five submarines, around 200 helicopters, jets and other aircraft, and 25,000 military personnel spread across 2,500 miles of the eastern Pacific from Hawaii to Southern California. 

 


2 Aug 18 - New boss for NDG

 

The Royal Navy website contains this article reporting the supersession of MCDOA member Tony Hampshire by Chris Stephenson as CO of the Faslane-based Northern Diving Group (NDG).  Tony has commanded the group for the past 30 months and is bound for an exchange job with the Royal Canadian Navy.

 

Tony Hampshire handing over to Chris Stephenson

(RN photo)

 

I am sure all members of our community will join me in wishing Tony and Chris every success in their new roles.

 


1 Aug 18 - HMS Shoreham VERTREP

 

This striking photograph, taken from HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 3), was contained in this tweet from HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 3) and shows her conducting a winching serial with HMS Argyll's Wildcat helicopter (callsign 'Highlander').

 

 


31 Jul 18 - MCMVs rendezvous in Djibouti

 

According to this tweet, HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 3) and HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 3) have rendezvoused with the homecoming HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 2) and HMS Bangor (MCM1 Crew 2) in Djibouti and relieved them of their Operation KIPION duties.  They will now continue their passage to Bahrain.

 

 

 

 


29 Jul 18 - From our foreign correspondent

 

Mick Edwards, National President of the Royal Australian Navy Clearance Divers' Association (RANCDA), is seen here on 25 July presenting a CD lapel pin to the Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead AM RAN, his classmate on the 1990 RAN MCDO course.  Rear Adm Mead has taken the unprecedented step of declaring himself the 'Professional head of Clearance Diving' in the RAN.

 

 

Mick Edwards underwent MW training in the UK in 1991 before serving as Ops Officer of HMS Atherstone.  He was also XO in place of MCDOA member Andy Woollven for a while.  He left the RAN as a Lt Cdr in 2004 after being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services in the Iraq war and later became Capt Michael Edwards, a qualified master mariner and pilot in the Merchant Navy.  His MCDO 'high achiever' status doesn't stop there.  Twenty years ago, he founded the Bakkheia vineyard in the Geographe Wine Region of Western Australia and produced his first highly-prized vintage in 2006.  I can testify to the excellence of his product (see entry for 15 Apr 18 in News Archive 62).

 

 


28 Jul 18 - Brocklesby and Shoreham reach Jeddah

 

According to this tweet from Portsmouth-based HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 3), it looks as though she and Faslane-based HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 3) have called into Jeddah on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.  The two ships are on passage to the Gulf to relieve HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 2) and HMS Bangor (MCM1 Crew 2), respectively, on Operation KIPION.

 

HMS Brocklesby's 5-a-side team after winning a tournament at the British Consulate in Jeddah

 


27 Jul 18 - MWA Dit Session

 

Your humble webmaster spent an enjoyable evening last night in the company of a few fellow members of the Mine Warfare Association (MWA) at a monthly southern area 'Dit Session' held at The Crown in Fareham.  Can you tell it was warm?

 

Dixie Dean, George Turnbull, Sean 'Taff' Slee, Rob Hoole, John Gunter and Peter 'Taff' Reader

at The Crown in Fareham last night

 

There was much merry lamp swinging but also some solemn thoughts of recent departures such as ex-CPO(MW) Neil 'Ruthers' Rutherford who crossed the bar yesterday afternoon in Aberdeen after a short illness.  Our sincere condolences to his family and friends. 

 


26 Jul 18 - Times obituary for Lt Cdr Brian Frank Dutton DSO QGM RN

 

The Times published this obituary for the late MCDOA member Brian Dutton today (see entry for 18 Jun 18 and ensuing links).

 

 


25 Jul 18 - Unmanned minesweeping system undergoes trials off Weymouth

 

I am grateful to MCDOA member Norman Brookhouse for drawing my attention to this article on the Dorset Echo website reporting the trials of ARCIMS (ATLAS Remote Combined Influence Minesweeping System) off Weymouth.  The system comprises the mother ship 'Hussar' towing coil auxiliary boats (CABs) fitted with influence sweeping devices.  Also see entry for 5 May 18 in News Archive 62.

 

ARCIMS deployed

(Royal Navy image)

 

The article features MCDOA member Dave Stanbury (OIC of the Maritime Autonomous Systems Trials Team (MASTT)) and MCDOA past-Chairman Mark Atkinson.

 


24 Jul 18 - Australian CPO(CD) decorated for Thai cave rescue

 

The Australian Navy Daily website contains this article reporting the presentation of the Australian Bravery Medal (BM) and the medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) to CPO(CD) Troy 'Stiffman' Eather for his courage during the recent rescue of the young Thai football team and their coach from the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand.

 

CPO(CD) Troy Eather BM OAM being presented with his Bravery Medal and Order of Australia

Medal by General the Honorable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General

of the Commonwealth of Australia
 (Navy Daily image) 

 

CPO (CD) Troy Eather BM OAM with Chief of Navy, Vice Adm Michael Noonan AO RAN, at

Government House in Canberra after the presentation of CPO Eather’s Bravery Medal

and Order of Australia Medal

(Navy Daily image)

 

CPO(CD) Andrew Welsh, WO Paul Knight, Chief of Navy, Vice Adm Michael Noonan AO RAN,

 CPO(CD) Troy Eather BM OAM, Capt T Warren Bairstow CSC RAN, Lt Cdr Ryan Carmichael RAN

and CPO(CD) Glen Petersen at Government House in Canberra

(Navy Daily image)

 

I am sure that all members of our community will join me in extending our heartiest congratulations to CPO(CD) Eather, known to his mates as 'Stiffy'.

 


23 Jul 18 - HMS Middleton in Oman

 

According to this tweet, the rambling club of HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 2) has completed the treacherous Muttrah Geotrek whilst on a stand down in Muscat, Oman.  The trek took the participants to 150 metres above sea level in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.

 

 

 

 


22 Jul 18 - Brocklesby and Shoreham hosted by Egyptians

 

According to this tweet from Portsmouth-based HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 3), she and Faslane-based HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 3) have refuelled while being hosted by the Egyptian Navy at Safaga at the northen end of the Red Sea.  The ships are on passage to the Gulf to relieve HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 2) and HMS Bangor (MCM1 Crew 2), respectively, on Operation KIPION.

 

Egyptian Navy officer flanked by Lt Cdr Adrian Visram (CO HMS Shoreham)

and Lt Cdr Paul Irving (CO HMS Brocklesby)

 

HMS Brocklesby and HMS Shoreham leaving Safaga

 


21 Jul 18 - Ledbury runs for charity

 

According to this tweet, the homecoming ship's company of HMS Ledbury (MCM2 Crew 5) has run a massive 6,435 km combined (greater than the distance from Bahrain to Portsmouth) and raised an impressive £1.500 for the RN & RM Charity (RNRMC) and Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association (DSA).  The final gruelling 181 km leg was run on the Bahrain International Circuit (home of motorsport in the Middle East).

 

 

Congratulations to all concerned.  MCM2 Crew 6 is due to take over HMS Ledbury from MCM2 Crew 5 in Bahrain at the end of the month.

 


20 Jul 18 - Death and funeral arrangements for LS(MW) Dave Stevens

 

 

MCDOA member Dave Stanbury, OIC of the Maritime Autonomous System Trials Team (MASTT), has sent me this announcement:

 

"Rob,

 

It is with regret that I must inform you of the death of LS(MW) David ‘Dave’ Stevens who passed over the bar on the night of Thursday 5 July 2018.  Dave’s ex-wife Janet has informed MASTT (Dave’s last posting before leaving the RN) that he will be laid to rest on Friday 27th July, 1300 at Knottingley cemetery, Wakefield, WF11 0DL. 

 

Dave's family would welcome service personnel attending, to wear uniform, should they wish.  After the ceremony there will be a wake, with food, etc laid on, at Knottingley Town Hall.

 

In order to gauge numbers in the short time before the funeral, Janet asks for attending personnel to contact:

 

CPO(MW) ‘Foggy’ Foggin

 

Tel: 07775040198

 

Your contact will help with numbers for catering, etc.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Yours,

 

Dave Stanbury"

 


19 Jul 18 - A new diver chronicle from Ginge Fullen

 

I must thank CD branch legend Eamon 'Ginge' Fullen QGM for sending me the third in his excellent series of illustrated chronicles of veteran Royal Navy divers in which he has captured so many memories. The latest features Carl Massey and perhaps his most fascinating memory is of helping to salvage parts of a crashed Soviet Yak-28 jet fighter from Lake Haval in West Berlin in 1966 during the Cold War (see entries for 2 Dec 15 in News Archive 52 and 4 Jan 16 in News Archive 53).

 

All three volumes should soon be available for sale from the RNCDA website's online shop via www.rncda.com.

 

Carl Massey:

 

     

 

Yorky Wilkinson:

 

     

 

Jim Cannon:

 

     

 


18 Jul 18 - Funeral of Lt Cdr Anthony George Lumbard RN

 

A fair few members of the RN clearance diver cloth gathered at Slindon near Arundel today to pay their final respects to MCDOA member Tony Lumbard (see entry for 1 Jul 18).

 

     

 

The church was packed and attendees from the RN minewarfare & diving community included fellow MCDOA member John O'Driscoll MBE plus Albert Chapman, Mick Fellows MBE DSC BEM with his wife Irene, Peter Fuller, Vic Humphrey BEM, Colin Kidman QGM, Bob Oulds QGM, Terry Settle MBE QGM BEM and Tug Wilson.

 

Left to right: Rob Hoole, Albert Chapman, John O'Driscoll, Peter Fuller, Tug Wilson,

Terry Settle, Bob Oulds, Mick Fellows, Colin Kidman and Vic Humphrey

 

The Order of Service can be read by clicking on this image:

 

 

We were joined afterwards at Tony and Brenda's house by Maj Bob Bruce RM with whom we shared several mutual friends.

 

 

     

 

Albert Chapman, who had travelled from Scotland, said a few words honouring Tony before we had a photo taken with his widow Brenda.

 

 

     

 

 

Lt Cdr Anthony George Lumbard RN

(30 Jun 1932 - 28 Jun 2018)

 


From Tony Lumbard's daughter Sally Hales:

 

"Dear Rob,

 

On behalf of the whole family, I wanted to thank you and all the divers who came to my father’s funeral mass on Wednesday and to say how much we appreciated and enjoyed your presence there.

 

Please pass on our sincere thanks.

 

Best wishes,

 

Sally"

 


17 Jul 18 - Gentlemen Who Lunch

 

Today found the MCDOA's 'Not Quite the Last of the Summer Wine' trio of Barlow, Holloway and Hoole visiting the Crown & Anchor in Dell Quay (home of the famous Dell Quay Dory) and the Anchor Bleu in Bosham where Barlow attracted the attention of one of the local law enforcement team.  There wasn't quite the blazing sunshine we have been enjoying of late but it was still pleasant enough to wear shorts.  Long may it continue.

 

 

     

 


16 Jul 18 - Arrangements for the funeral of ex-CD Gary 'Jan' Sewell

 

Jan Sewell's funeral will take place at Great Grimsby Crematorium, Weelsby Ave, Grimsby, DN32 0BA at 1420 on Thursday 2 August  

 

Afterwards, the family welcomes everyone to celebrate his life at: The Spiders Web Pub, 180 Carr Lane, Grimsby, DN32 8LN.

 

Any floral tributes to be sent to: Linconlshire Co-op Grimsby Funeral Home, 246 Corporation Rd, Grimsby, DN31 2PZ  

 

Donations in lieu of flowers to: Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary, Church Lane, Huttoft, Alford, Lincolnshire, LN13 9RB.

 


15 Jul 18 - Death of ex-CD Gary 'Jan' Sewell

 

 

I regret to report the death yesterday of ex-CD Gary 'Jan'' Sewell after a battle with cancer lasting several months.  MCDOA member Paul Guiver BEM is talking to his wife Kim and daughter Zoe who are understandably devastated so please restrict calls to them unless you are personal friends.

 

Paul has already passed on several messages of support and received this response from Zoe:

 

“Please send thanks to all his friends for thinking of him and their kind words xx. 

 

I will keep you informed to share the [funeral] arrangement information xx.”

 

I served with Jan on the Plymouth Clearance Diving Team circa 1980 and our paths have crossed several times since then.  He was a battler to the end and we were chatting normally only a couple of weeks ago.  He will be much missed.

 

 

 

Paul has sent me this image of himself standing left of Jan on the Fleet CD Team in 1986 when the OIC was MCDOA member David 'Doc' O'Connell MBE:

 

 

Jan lived near Cleethorpes and I will publish funeral arrangements when available.  In the meantime, I am sure that all members of our community will join me in extending our deep condolences to Jan's wife Kim and their family.

 


13 Jul 18 - Appeal for family of deceased Thai ex-SEAL diver Saman Gunan

 

I have received this appeal from Tony Sexton of the RNCDA:

 

"Afternoon Rob,

 

I wonder if you could possibly publicise to your members an appeal we are running?

 

We are running a collection to raise some funds for the family of Petty Officer Saman Gunan of the Thailand Navy, who tragically lost his life whilst helping to save the 12 schoolboys and their coach in the Tham Luang cave complex.  

 

The collection went live yesterday and we are already well on the way to our target (But we would love to smash that target!).

 

www.rncda.com/cave-rescue-collection/

 

This is the post on a lot of Royal Navy Clearance Divers' Facebook pages today:  

 

This heroic Navy Diver Saman Gunan gave his life to save those boys trapped in the cave,  I am proud to be former Royal Navy Diver myself but the thought of what he went through in those dark, cold, passages fills me with both dread and huge admiration. 

 

The Royal Navy Clearance Divers Association have launched an appeal to raise a small amount to help his family in these most difficult of times and to show that his selfless act did not go unnoticed.  5 Bells Sir,  Stand Down your work is done.

 

Please give a little now and share this post to help his family.  

 

The collection was the idea of RNCDA member John Stoddart and has been set up by RNCDA Events secretary Glyn Holgate  

 

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give me a call

 

Kind Regards,

 

Tony Sexton

 

Webadmin & Membership Secretary

Royal Navy Clearance Divers Association"  

 


12 Jul 18 - Brocklesby and Shoreham reach eastern Mediterranean

 

According to their recent tweets, Portsmouth-based HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 3) and Faslane-based HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 3) have undergone ranging at NATO FORACS near Souda Bay in Crete during their passage to the Gulf to relieve HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 2) and HMS Bangor (MCM1 Crew 2), respectively, on Operation KIPION.

 

Click on the linked dates to see associated images and videos.

 

HMS Brocklesby

 

12 July 2018 - Great to welcome COMPORFLOT on board for a short visit.  He kindly presented AB(MW) Craig John with HMS Brocklesby's sailor of the year award.  BZ!

 

 

12 July 2018 - After extensive equipment trials in Souda, BROC is ready for anything!  Thank you Greek Navy for hosting us and thanks to NATO FORACS for putting us through our paces.

 

 

 HMS Shoreham

 

11 July 2018 - HMS Shoreham proving our mine hunting capability at the NATO FORACS Range in Greece.

 


11 Jul 18

 

Gentlemen Who Lunch

 

Barlow was indisposed yesterday but Holloway and Hoole, the other two members of the MCDOA's 'Not Quite the Last of the Summer Wine' trio, enjoyed a lunchtime reunion with Andrew ‘Charlie’ Watts at The Royal Oak in Langstone, Hampshire.

 

       

 

As an LSA serving at HMS Cochrane in Rosyth, Charlie was given one hour's notice to deploy to the Falklands with the five converted minesweeping trawlers of the 11th MCM Squadron in 1982.  Martyn Holloway was the Commanding Officer of HMS Cordella and the squadron's Senior Officer (see 'The Forgotten Few of the Falklands' in the website's Dit Box).

 

Holloway, Watts and Hoole at The Royal Oak in Langstone

 

Quite coincidentally, it turned out that Charlie and I had served together in the frigate HMS Minerva during her nine-month West Indies deployment in 1975.

 


Tweets from HMS Ledbury and HMS Shoreham

 

In the meantime, I hope there is nothing sinister about the black border surrounding this image...

 

HMS Ledbury

 

11 July 2018 - 'It's coming home!'  The crew of HMS Ledbury wish the England football team the best of luck in the semi-finals this evening!

 

 

10 July 2018 - "How does a Ship float?"  CO of HMS Ledbury, Lt Cdr Charles Collins, gladly explains and gives a live Skype tour of the Ship to kids and parents at Crofton Hammond Infant School in Fareham.

 

HMS Shoreham

 

11 July 2018 - It's coming home!'  The crew of HMS Shoreham wish the England football team the best of luck in the semi-finals tonight!

 

 


10 Jul 18 - SDU1 detonates wartime bomb off Teignmouth

 

The BBC News website contains this article and the Plymouth Herald website this article, including video, of today's detonation by members of Plymouth-based Southern Diving Unit 1 (SDU1) of a German Second World War unexploded SC 1200 bomb found by scuba divers off Teignmouth in Devon. 

 

(Image: Chris Cunningham)

 

     

(Images: Maritime & Coastguard Agency)

 


(Royal Navy video)

 


9 Jul 18 - HMS Soberton commemoration

 

HMS Soberton in her Fishery Protection Squadron guise

 

Admiral Sir Jock Slater GCB LVO DL (former First Sea Lord), Captain Roger Readwin RN (Captain MFP & MCDOA President), past COs, ex-ship's company and Ton Class Association members met at St Peter's Church in Soberton yesterday for a service commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the commissioning of HMS Soberton and the re-dedication of her bell which hangs in the church.  The service was followed by a gathering in the nearby White Lion pub.

 

 

 

Also present was MCDOA member Martyn Holloway, the Senior Officer of the five converted minesweeping trawlers comprising the 11th MCM Squadron which deployed to the Falklands in 1982.  HMS Soberton's ship's company manned HMS Northella, one of the trawlers.  Marine artist Adrian Thompson produced this painting of HMS Northella which hangs in The Admiralty in Trafalgar Square, officially London's most central pub (see entry for 7 Dec 15 in News Archive 52).

 

 

Adrian has since painted a stunning picture of two of the trawlers passing sweeps and has kindly signed prints that are now available for sale in aid of Project Vernon, the campaign to erect a minewarfare & diving monument at Gunwharf Quays previously occupied by HMS Vernon (see entry for 3 May 18 in News Archive 62). 

 


8 Jul 18 - More news from Brocklesby

 

HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 3) has tweeted the following:

 

8 July 2018 - What a team! 4 new AB First Class ratings for BROC along with our fantastic ME department, recipients of a Herbert Lott Prize in recognition of their hard work preparing BROC for deployment.

 

 

 


5 Jul 18 - Brocklesby, Shoreham and Enterprise at Malta

 

As seen in the following tweets, Portsmouth-based HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 3) and Faslane-based HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 3) have called into Malta during their passage to the Gulf to relieve HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 2) and HMS Bangor (MCM1 Crew 2), respectively, on Operation KIPIONHMS Enterprise has also called in.  She has just completed a year in the Mediterranean as flagship of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) with MCDOA member Justin Haines embarked as the Commander and is now on her way back to the UK.

 

Click on the linked dates to see associated images and videos.

 

HMS Shoreham

 

4 July 2018 - HMS Shoreham & HMS Brocklesby have sailed into the historic Grand Harbour of Valletta, Malta, & visit the European Capital of Culture 2018.  Naval history and fantastic architecture abound.

 

Malta Ship Photos

 

3 July 2018 - M 33 HMS BROCKLESBY and M 112 HMS SHOREHAM berthed at the Grand Harbour, Malta - 02.07.2018.

 

3 July 2018 - M 112 HMS SHOREHAM berthed at the Grand Harbour, Malta - 02.07.2018.

 

3 July 2018 - M 33 HMS BROCKLESBY berthed at the Grand Harbour, Malta - 02.07.2018.

 

Modern Royal Navy

 

5 July 2018 - Nothing better than winning a World Cup 2018 match and seeing the RoyalNavy back in numbers in Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta via Emmanuel L @ModernNavy pictured HMS BROCKLESBY (2 July), HMS ECHO (3 July), HMS ENTERPRISE (28 June) and HMS SHOREHAM (2 July). 

 

 

 

 


4 Jul 18 - Arrangements for the funeral of Lt Cdr Anthony George Lumbard RN

 

A funeral mass will be held for MCDOA member Tony Lumbard at 1000 on Wednesday 18 July at St Richard's Church, Slindon near Arundel in West Sussex (see entry for 1 Jul 18).  The post code is BN18 0RH.

 

Flowers and donations to The Royal Star & Garter Homes can be arranged through Dillistone & Wraights funeral directors, 14 The Square, Barnham, PO22 0HB.  Tel 01243 782011.

 


3 Jul 18 - Gentlemen Who Lunch

 

Today found the MCDOA's ‘Not Quite the Last of the Summer Wine’ trio of Barlow, Holloway and Hoole (accompanied by Doug Barlow's wife Jill and Rob Hoole's neighbour Lez) in the garden of the Lord Raglan in Emsworth where we bumped into John ‘Rattler’ Morgan and his wife Ann.  Rattler served with our trio as a CPO(MW) at HMS VERNON back in the day and he joined us for this photo.

 

 


2 Jul 18 - Latest LS&GC awards

 

Congratulations to WO1(D) A E 'Kocker' Knowles and WO1(D) N Smith on being gazetted for the award of the 2nd Clasp to the Naval Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, to PO(MW) P M Wilson on being gazetted for the award of the LS&GC Medal and to CPO(MW) M A Dugan RNR on being gazetted for the award of the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal.

 


1 Jul 18 - Death of Lt Cdr Anthony George Lumbard RN

 

I regret to announce the death of MCDOA member Tony Lumbard who passed away peacefully at home on Thursday 28 June surrounded by his family.  He was 86.

 

Tony qualified on the 1964 LMCDO course at HMS Vernon.

 

LMCDO '64 with Tony Lumbard standing third from left, the late Colin Churcher MBE

standing fourth from left, Peter Waddington standing fifth from left, the late Brian

Braidwood sitting far left and Peter Hicks sitting centre

 

He subsequently served in the inshore minehunter HMS Dingley, at HMS Osprey, with the Far East CD Team at HMS Terror in Singapore, as OIC of the Faslane CD Team at HMS Neptune, in Command of HMS Lewiston based at HMS Vernon, as OIC AEDU (Admiralty Experimental Diving Unit) at HMS Vernon, on the staff of CINCFLEET and on the staff at HMS Vernon.  His final job in the Royal Navy was as OIC of DEODS (Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal School) at Chattenden in Kent from which he was given a ceremonial send-off in a red-wing Land Rover in 1984.  If I can find the photos, I will post them.

 

Tony Lumbard (second right) leaving DEODS as OIC in 1984 with fellow

MCDOA member Tim Curd (standing centre background),

John Meakin, Perry Mason and Tug Wilson

 

Tony's daughter Sally sent me this more recent photo of Tony four years ago.

 

Tony Lumbard in 2014

 

I am sure all members of our community will join me in extending our sincere condolences to Tony's wife Brenda and their family.

 

Tony llived in West Sussex.  The date of his funeral has yet to be decided but I will publish details when available.

 


From former FCPO(D) Ray Ramsay:

 

"Dear Rob,

 

I was saddened by the news that Tony has passed away.  I first met him whilst serving in the FEFCDT.  He took over from John Coggins as “Boss 2”.  

 

Tony was one of the “old school” worked hard and played hard.  A great character who will be missed by many.  

 

Unfortunately I am unable to attend his funeral, please pass on my condolences to his family.

 

Best Regards,

 

Ray"

 


30 Jun 18 - SDU1 deals with ordnance in Exmouth

 

The Exmouth Journal website contains this article describing a call-out for members of Plymouth-based Southern Diving Unit 1 (SDU1) to deal with a First World War artillery shell found at a home in Exmouth.

 

 


29 Jun 18 - HMS Ramsey at Kieler Woche (Kiel Week)

 

The following article was published by HMS Ramsey (MCM1 Crew 8) on the Standing NATO MCM Group 1 (SNMCMG1) Facebook page on 25 June:

 

The first half of 2018 is coming to an end!  Last week the group enjoyed a midweek of festivities in Kiel.

 

SNMCMG1 at Kiel

(Photo: Bundeswehr)

 

In its 136th year, Kieler Woche still plays a virtuoso performance on the keyboard of festivity: as the largest summer festival in Northern Europe.  From the 16th June to 24th June, more than three million visitors from all over the world come to the maritime festival and dive in to the multi-facetted life of Kieler Woche.  Whilst Kieler Woche originally started out as a Sailing Regatta, and still continues to hold races, warships from across the Globe annually attend the event as perfect location to regroup, share experiences and meet new people before each ship heads it own way again.

 

For SNMCMG1, having just completed a multinational NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea, Kieler Woche was the perfect location to regroup.  HNLMS MERCUUR, HNLMS URKK, HNoMS OTRA, HMS RAMSEY and Danish HDMS MCM units sailed in to Kiel with their SNMCMG1 partner and host nation ally FGS BAD BEVENSEN.  In conducting a traditional steam past entering the Förde to say thank you and farewell to our German colleagues who departed the task group at the start of the festival was a great display from the units, highlighting the camaraderie and professionalism between units, and starting the week of festivity off in exactly the right way.

 

At the end of a successful and memorable week SNMCMG1 sailed onwards through the Kiel Canal towards the North Sea wishing fair well this time to their Norwegian colleagues HNoMS OTRA.  SNMCMG1 are under continuous NATO command and will continue to perform a wide range of tasks, including further defence engagement and their primary role – mine countermeasures.

 


28 Jun 18 - MCMEX 18-2 in the Gulf

 

The Royal Navy website contains this article describing the participation of HMS Ledbury (MCM2 Crew 5), HMS Middleton (2/2), HMS Bangor ((1/2) and HMS Blyth (1/4) in Mine Countermeasures Exercise 18-2 (MCMEX 18-2) in the Gulf. 

 

HMS Ledbury, USS Sentry and HMS Middleton during MCMEX 18-2

(Photo: US Navy)

 

The combined task group was commanded from RFA Cardigan Bay by the Commander UK Mine Counter Measure Force (UKMCMFOR), MCDOA member Ash Spencer and his 19-strong staff.

 


27 Jun 18 - Brocklesby and Shoreham call into Porto and Gibraltar

 

As seen in the following tweets, Portsmouth-based HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 3) and Faslane-based HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 3) have called into Porto in Portugal and Gibraltar on their passage to the Gulf where they will relieve HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 2) and HMS Bangor (MCM1 Crew 2), respectively, on Operation KIPION.  Click on the linked dates to see associated images.

 

HMS Brocklesby

 

27 Jun 2018 - Great visit to Gibraltar with HMS Shoreham.  MCM2 Crew 3 atop the Rock at Dawn.  BROC vs Rock complete!  Lovely to host St Christopher's Primary School too.

 

27 Jun 2018 - BROC meets Rock!  Coming alongside the famous Clock Tower under the shadow of the Rock of Gibraltar in the morning sun.

 

Daniel Ferro

 

26 Jun 2018 - HMS BROCKLESBY M33 arriving at Gibraltar this morning.

 

 

24 Jun 2018 - BROC and HMS Shoreham refuelled, refreshed and ready to go again. Thank you Marinha PT for hosting us!

 

HMS Shoreham

 

27 Jun 2018 - Thank you for a brilliant visit Gibraltar. Always a fantastic place for naval history, training and a great run ashore.

 

Daniel Ferro

 

26 Jun 2018 - HMS SHOREHAM M112 arriving at Gibraltar this morning.

 

 

24 Jun 2018 - What a brilliant first visit of the deployment to Porto with HMS Brocklesby. The Festival of St John, port tasting and adventurous training all made for a great stop.

 

 


26 Jun 18 - Gentlemen Who Lunch

 

The MCDOA's 'Not Quite the Last of the Summer Wine' trio of Barlow, Holloway and Hoole enjoyed a pleasant gathering at the Fox & Hounds in Funtington, West Sussex today.  This year marks the 45th anniversary of our first meeting as wardroom livers-in at HMS Vernon.

 

 

      

 

 


25 Jun 18 - Funeral of Cdr David Schutts OBE RN

 

 

I am grateful to MCDOA past-President Colin Welborn, a cancer-battler himself, for this announcement:

 

"Dear Rob,

 

David Schutts served in the Royal Navy for 25 years as a Marine Engineer Officer.  He will be familiar to many in the community as he served in PORFLOT 2001 to 2005 where he will be very fondly remembered as a highly professional engineer - he came with solutions to problems.

 

He stood by and brought HMS DARING out of build and through sea trials.  On leaving the RN in 2009 he was employed as the Director of UK Government Engagement for Inchcape Shipping Services.  

 

In May 2015, his 50th birthday, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 advanced renal cancer.  He died in May 2018 and his funeral will take place at South Lincolnshire Crematorium at 1130 on Friday 29 June.    

 

Warm regards,

 

Colin"

 

Also see:

 

Funeral set for Astrid's founder David Schutts OBE

 

"The funeral of the founder of Recruiter’s Charity of the Year ASTRiiD, David Shutts OBE is due to take place on Friday 29 June.

 

Recruiter reported on his passing last week at a Nottingham hospital.

 

Shutts set up ASTRiiD, which helps people with long-term health problems into work, after being diagnosed with kidney cancer just days after his 50th birthday.  His cancer later spread to his lungs and brain.  The funeral will take place at South Lincolnshire Crematorium, Gosberton Road, Surfleet, Lincolnshire at 11:30am.  As the service will celebrate Shutts’ life, attendees are asked not to wear mourning colours but rather navy blue or something that reflects his naval service, as he was a commander in the Royal Navy..."

 

EXTRAORDINARY LIVES: Royal Navy commander who laughed in the face of his most deadly enemy

 

CBI remembers David Shutts OBE

 

How do you get work when your cancer won't go away?

 

Cancer won’t stop David Shutts making Britain’s ‘invisible talent pool’ visible

 


24 Jun 18 - Cdr Bob Hawkins MBE

 

I am grateful to MCDOA past-Chairman David Hilton MBE for this contribution:

 

"Dear Rob,

 

Cdr David Hilton MBE and Cdr Bob Hawkins MBE met up to celebrate Bob's promotion last Friday.  Bob is now in the USA on a 9-month exchange job [with CENTCOM in Tampa, Florida] and these pictures show him on day one as a Commander calling on me in Semaphore Tower!  Could you please give them a wide distribution.

 

 

 

My best regards to you and Linda,

 

David"

 

Bob has performed an amazing job as plank-owning First Lieutenant of HMS Queen Elizabeth, our new aircraft carrier.  I know that all members of our community will join me in wishing him well in his new acting rank and return to the other side of the pond.

 


23 Jun 18 - Request for information

 

MCDOA associate member Dr John Bevan, founding chairman of the Historical Diving Society (HDS), has sent me this query.  Can anyone answer it?

 

"Rob,  

 

We’ve received this decanter which is inscribed 'Southern Diving Unit 2 Diver of the Year 2001/02' with an RN diver crest.  

 

 

 

Any idea of its background?  

 

John"

 


22 Jun 18 - FDU3 deals with historical ordnance in Baltic

 

The Royal Navy website contains this article reporting the participation of members of Portsmouth-based Fleet Diving Unit 3 (FDU3) in Exercise OPEN SPIRIT 18 from 11 to 25 May in the Baltic.  They joined experts from 15 nations in dealing with wartime unexploded bombs, mines and torpedoes littering the waters off Estonia.

 

 

Estonian Defence Forces images

 

 


21 Jun 18 - Recent EOD incidents

 

The Southern Daily Echo website contains this article describing a call-out for members of Portsmouth-based Southern Diving Unit 2 (SDU2) on 19 June to an item found on the beach near Warsash in Hampshire which turned out to be a piece of scrap metal.

 


20 Jun 18 - HMS Brocklesby leaves UK for Gulf

 

The Royal Navy website contains this article reporting yesterday's departure of Portsmouth-based HMS Brocklesby (MCM2 Crew 3) for the Gulf where she will relieve HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 2) on Operation KIPION.

 

HMS Brocklesby departing Portsmouth 19 June 2018

(Royal Navy photo)

 


19 Jun 18 - HMS Shoreham leaves UK for Gulf

 

The Royal Navy website contains this article reporting yesterday's departure of Faslane-based HMS Shoreham (MCM1 Crew 3) for the Gulf where she will relieve HMS Bangor (MCM1 Crew 2) on Operation KIPION.

 

HMS Shoreham departing Faslane 18 June 2018

(Royal Navy photo)

 


18 Jun 18 - Daily Telegraph obituary for Lt Cdr Brian Dutton DSO QGM RN

 

As ever, I am indebted to Capt Peter Hore RN for producing this obituary for MCDOA member Brian Dutton which is due to appear in tomorrow's Daily Telegraph (see entry for 25 May 18 in News Archive 62).

 

Lieutenant Commander Brian Dutton, mine clearance expert – obituary

 

Brian Dutton with Prince Harry at Trinity House in 2017 

 

Lieutenant Commander Brian Dutton, who has died aged 86, was twice honoured for his bravery in mine clearance operations.

 

In the Falklands War, on May 21 1982 the frigate Argonaut was struck during an air raid by a 1000-lb bomb which lodged in a magazine causing extensive damage, wedged between broken ordnance but without exploding.

 

Summoned to remove the bomb, Dutton, as officer in charge of Fleet Clearance Diving Team No 1, decided it was too dangerous to defuse in situ. Instead he opted for a marginally less hazardous but extremely complex operation to lift the bomb from the magazine.

 

Over the next seven days, while Argonaut came under further air attacks, Dutton and his team cleared the magazine and cut through sections of the ship’s side.  The slightest jar might have resulted in an explosion which would have killed all around and almost certainly have caused the loss of the ship.

 

Due to Dutton’s skill and ingenuity the bomb was removed, and he was awarded the DSO for courage of the highest order.

 

Dutton’s achievement was all the more remarkable since when the war started he had been declared redundant and was on terminal leave. Recalled to service, he flew to Ascension Island to join a ship. Postwar, Dutton resumed his terminal leave.

 

Brian Frank Dutton was born in Southend-on-Sea on November 11 1931, and brought up in a Shaftesbury Home and the boys’ training ship Arethusa. 

 

Dutton joined the Royal Navy in 1946 as a boy seaman and served in the cruiser Belfast during the Korean War. 

 

He specialised as a physical training instructor, and, when he had attained the requisite qualifications, was commissioned in 1964.  Thwarted by the slow promotion, however, Dutton re-qualified as a mine-clearance diving officer.

 

By 1974 he was officer in charge of the Portsmouth and Medway clearance diving team, when with Leading Seaman Brian Brett, he boarded the suction dredger Solent moored off Felixstowe at 2100 on August 3 1974 to investigate a mine jammed in the vessel’s scoop.  It was one of the most difficult and dangerous German wartime mines to render safe, and its location and condition made the normal procedure for neutralising it impossible.

 

Dutton ordered all non-essential personnel to leave while he and Brett commenced the difficult task of removing the mine.

 

Dredging operations had damaged the fuse and although aware of its highly unstable state, Dutton and Brett worked through the night to free it and lower it to the seabed where it was eventually safely detonated.  Both men were awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.

 

After the Falklands War, Dutton worked briefly as a postmaster in Chatham, before becoming beadle for the Carpenters’ Company (1987-97), an appropriate appointment for a man who made wooden toys for his children and embellished Carpenters’ Hall with some of his handiwork. 

 

Dedication and loyalty were paramount values for Dutton and in public life he was a clear, upright man of strong beliefs. 

 

He served as a Conservative district councillor in East Hampshire (1999-2007), mayor of Petersfield in 2004, and chairman of the district council in 2005.  His charity work included fundraising for the Vernon Monument Project, a memorial in Portsmouth to divers.

 

Dutton married first, in 1952, Valerie Ramsey.  The marriage was dissolved, and in 1970 he married Dorothy Durrant, who died in 1999.  In 2000 he married, thirdly, Audrey Whitehead, who survives him with three sons, all of whom served in the Royal Navy.

 

Lt Cdr Brian Dutton, born November 11 1931, died April 23 2018

 

Over the past few years, Peter has been extremely cooperative in writing tributes to members of our small community for publication in the Daily Telegraph.  Other examples have included (in alphabetical order):

 

CPO(D) Stephen 'Darby' Allan

 

Cdr Philip Arthur Balink-White MBE RN

 

Lt Cdr John Bridge GC GM* RN

 

Lt Noel Cashford MBE RNVR

 

Lt Colin Churcher MBE RN

 

Lt Cdr Peter Cobby BEM RN

 

Lt Cdr 'Uncle Bill' Filer MBE GM RN

 

Lt Cdr Ian Fraser VC DSC RD* RNR

 

Surgeon Vice Admiral Sir John 'Jab' Harrison

 

Val Hempleman

 

Ldg Sea Sydney Knowles BEM

 

Lt Cdr Bruce Mackay RN

 

Cdr Peter Messervy MBE GM RN

 

Capt Ian Powe RN

 

Surgeon Vice Admiral Sir John 'Doc' Rawlins KBE, FRCP, FRAeS

 

Lt Cdr 'Robbie' Robinson MBE RN

 

Lt Arthur 'Bubs' Russell MBE RNVR

 

Lt Cdr Dennis Selwood OBE RN

 

Lt Cdr Harry Wardle RN

 

Lt George Wookey MBE RN 

 


16 Jun 18 - Recent tweets

 

Click on the linked dates to see the many excellent photos and videos associated with the tweets:

 

Captain MFP

 

7 Jun 2018 - Superb to witness Commander Sea Training, Cdr Simon Rogers RN, informing Crew 6 in HMS HURWORTH of their Operational Sea Training result.  Congratulations Crew 6 for a job well done & good luck on Operations.

 

 

Commander UKMCMFOR

 

4 Jun 2018 - This week, WO1 Colin ‘Cat’ Stevens celebrated his 35th Naval Birthday.  He joined HMS Raleigh on 30 May 1983 and is currently deployed on operations in the Gulf working as part of the Battle Staff.  Congratulations Cat!

 

2 Jun 2018 - Commander Andrew Smith hands over Command of the United Kingdom Mine Counter Measures Force to [MCDOA member] Commander Ashley Spencer after nearly 7 months in post.  Best of luck.

 

Commander SNMCMG2

 

30 May 2018 - The ships companies and staff of SNMCMG2 stand with the scientists of CMRE.

 

HMS Bangor (MCM1 Crew 2)

 

15 Jun 2018 - Welcome to [MCDOA member] Captain John Craig RN, Deputy Commander of the UKMCC, on board to meet the HMS Bangor crew and congratulate them for 6 month's hard work.  He presented CPO Slack with his long service and good conduct medal and CPO Summers with the Sailor of the Month award.

 

     

 

13 Jun 2018 - Divers from HMS BANGOR working with Fleet Diving Unit 3 and US Navy divers during the Harbour phase of the bi-annual US/UK MCM Exercise.  Royal Navy and US Navy have a longstanding tradition of integration within the MCM community.

 

 

11 Jun 2018 - Today the Crew of HMS Bangor seized the chance to meet their affiliated U.S. MCM HM15 Squadron.  These ships and aircraft share a common objective - maintaining freedom of navigation in the Gulf.

 

7 Jun 2018 - Our CO briefing Imam Asim Hafiz, Islamic Religious Adviser to the UK Chief of the Defence Staff and the UKMCC Command ahead of the Iftar event held at the new Naval Support Facility.

 

7 Jun 2018 - HMS Bangor dressed ship overall in preparation for the ceremonial sunset at the Iftar event and hosting our Bahrain friends

 

.

 

HMS Chiddingfold (MCM2 Crew 4)

 

16 Jun 2018 - HMS Chiddingfold is enjoying a well earned visit to Caen after Ex CATAMARAN 18, providing a great opportunity to visit the very humbling historical locations in Normandy.

 

 

7 Jun 2018 - HMS Chiddingfold enjoyed being part of the ‘show of force’ during Ex CATAMARAN 18.

 

6 Jun 2018 - UK Mine Counter Measures Ship HMS Chiddingfold operating at its best alongside defence partners France as part of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force during Ex CATAMARAN 18.

 

5 Jun 2018 - HMS Chiddingfold dive team preparing to support tactical mine hunting operations with the Marine Nationale during Ex CATAMARAN 18.

 

4 Jun 2018 - HMS Chiddingfold is now successfully integrated into Ex CATAMARAN 18 with some of our French partners from FS Aquitaine, FS Andromède and FS Pégase.

 

 

3 Jun 18 - HMS Chiddingfold enjoys conducting sea replenishment approaches with FN Andromede - one of her Marine Nationale partners for UK/French Exercise CATAMARAN 18.

 

31 May 2018 - The Ship's company of HMS Chiddingfold have had a great time in Brest working alongside the Marine Nationale, including FS Pégase and FS Andromède, ahead of Exercise CATAMARAN 18.

 

HMS Ledbury (MCM2 Crew 5)

 

11 Jun 2018 - Dressed overall and looking smart for the Iftar event with many VIPs attending.

 

 

11 Jun 2018 - Great day at sea having a multitude of coalition nationalities and our own Gibraltar Regiment onboard to see what HMS LEDBURY can do.

 

HMS Middleton (MCM2 Crew 2)

 

31 May 2018 - During a busy maintenance period alongside in Bahrain, HMS Middleton ensured time was allocated to engaging with the local community, cementing relationships in the country and rewarding crew members.

 

 

 

 

HMS Pembroke (MCM1 Crew 5)

 

15 Jun 2018 - Well, it’s an end to MCM1 Crew 5 tenure!  We’ve had a blast in PEMBROKE, sailed several thousand miles, supported SNMCMG2, completed FOST training and are now ready to join COMUKMCMFOR and HMS Blyth.  We hand over to the awesome Crew 6, who’ll look after her!

 

 

Captain MFP

 

16 Jun 2018 - Well done Crew 5 on your successful Generation.  Looking forward to following your progress on Ops.

 

HMS Pursuer

 

11 Jun 2018 - HMS Ramsey suffers a twin-axis attack from her fellow Scottish unit HMS Pursuer and HMS Trumpeter as part of NATO's BALTOPS 18 exercise.

 

 

MASTT

 

15 Jun 2018 - The atrocious weather from Storm Hector has now abated however, grey skies remain over Scotland while the RN Sweep Team continue Influence Sweep Launch and Recovery Drills.

 

11 Jun 2018 - RN SWEEP Portable Command Centre (PCC) from where the Supervisor and Operator control the USV (RNMB Hussar) on her Sweeping missions. The erected mast carries antenna for audio and visual communications between the PCC and Hussar.

 

11 Jun 2018 - Reflecting on the last set of RN SWEEP Trials as MASTT prepare for the next 2 weeks of Trials, in Scotland.

 

5 Jun 2018 - Celebrating the promotion of two of our AB(MW)s to LS(MW) today.  If you want to be at the forefront of RN UUV/USV Autonomous Technology and support 1SL’s vision for RN Autonomy, a post at MASTT will broaden your MCDO, MW, L/POET(WE), L/POET(ME) and LWTR careers!  Speak to your CM!

 

     

 

RN in Scotland

 

10 Jun 2018 - This morning the Commanding Officer HMS Grimsby laid a wreath at the Iolaire Memorial at the Beasts of Holm in Stornoway in memory of the 201 Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserves lost so close to home nearly a century ago.

 

9 Jun 2018 - This evening HMS Grimsby celebrated the Queen's Birthday & World Gin Day with a Reception in Stornoway.  Guests included Lord Lieutenant of Western Isles, local SAR, and Stornoway Harbour Youth & Cadet leaders, Veterans & Armed Forces Covenant Employers.

 

9 Jun 2018 - Western Isles Scouts, WI Explorers, 1st Battalion Highlanders Army Cadet Force (Isle of Lewis), Air Cadets on board HMS Grimsby in Stornoway today finding out what life is like on a Royal Navy Mine Hunter.

 

 1st Battalion The Highlanders Army Cadet Force

 

12 Jun 2018 - Our Western Isles Company cadets had an excellent afternoon on board HMS Grimsby on Saturday to learn more about the RN in Scotland and the role of the Mine Hunter vessels.

 

8 Jun 2018 - Fàilte gu na H-Eileanan an iar HMS Grimsby alongside in Stornoway harbour this weekend.

 

     

 

Captain MFP

 

8 Jun 2018 - Great work HMS Grimsby - Royal Navy in the public eye.

 

2 Jun 2018 - Another glorious day on the West Coast.  HMS Grimsby alongside railway jetty in Kyle of Lochalsh with Skye in the background.

 

Proud of Portsmouth

 

15 Jun 2018 - As the fishermen fish, we welcome our Belgian friends aboard BNS Narcis.  Enjoy your weekend in Portsmouth.

 


15 Jun 18 - MCMV changeovers in the Gulf

 

MCM1 Crew 5 has handed over HMS Pembroke to MCM1 Crew 6 in the UK and will shortly relieve MCM1 Crew 4 on board HMS Blyth with UKMCMFOR on Operation KIPION in the Gulf.  MCM2 Crew 6 (ex-HMS Hurworth) will relieve MCM2 Crew 5 in HMS Ledbury.  MCM2 Crew 5 will take over HMS Cattistock after some well-deserved post-deployment leave..

 

HMS Bangor (1/2) is being relieved by HMS Shoreham (1/3) and HMS Middleton (2/2) by HMS Brocklesby (2/3).

 


14 Jun 18 - Award of LS&GC, etc.

 

Congratulations to WO1(MW) Chris Applegarth, WO1(MW) Steve Harvey, WO1(MW) Steve Moss, CPO(D) Simon Crew, CPO(D) Rich Edwards, CPO(D) Darren Powell, CPO(D) I A W Shepherd, PO(MW) I D Barton, PO(D) N W McPherson, PO(D) Jonathon Stewart, LS(D) Mike Evered and LS(D) Sean Mobley on being gazetted for the award of the first clasp to their LS&GC (Long Service & Good Conduct) medals. 

 

Congratulations to PO(D) Toby Jones, PO(MW) Mark Titman and LS(D) Matthew Ashbridge on being gazetted for the award of the LS&GC.

 

Congratulations to PO(MW) B Lawrence RNR on being gazetted for the award of the VRSM (Volunteer Reserve Service medal).

 


13 Jun 18 - RN Diving Heritage: Another pioneer clearance diver's biography

 

Earlier this year, Clearance Diving branch legend Eamon 'Ginge' Fullen helped compile an autobiography of Jim 'Guns' Cannon titled 'Chronicles of a Clearance Diver - The First of the Few' (see entry for 25 Feb 18 in News Archive 61).

 

Ginge has now captured the extraordinary life and career of Alan 'Yorky' Wilkinson and kindly sent me a copy of this book titled 'Chronicles of a Clearance Diver - Yorky Wilkinson'.  It contains more familiar names than you can shake a stick at and provides detailed accounts and photos. many from this website, of those who built the branch into what it is today.

 

 

Yorky was born in York in 1935 and joined the Royal Navy at Victoria Barracks in Portsmouth at the age of 15.  He qualified as a Shallow Water Diver at HMS Defiance in Devonport and subsequently as a Clearance Diver on board HMS Deepwater at HMS Vernon in 1955.  His time in the diving branch included drafts to the Malta-based Mediterranean Fleet CD Team, the Home Fleet CD Team embarked in HMS Dingley, Captaiin Weapons Trials & Acceptance (CWTA) CD Team and the Admiralty Experimental Diving Unit (AEDU), the latter two based at HMS Vernon.  In 1960, after nine years in the RN, he joined the police force before going to dive offshore.

 

While with the Med Fleet CD Team, he was actively involved in the filming of 'The Silent Enemy', the glamorised and generally spurious account of Cdr Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb OBE GM RNVR countering raids by Italian charioteers on shipping anchored off Gibraltar during the Second World War.  It was mostly Lt ‘Bill’ Bailey CBE DSC GM* RNVR who led the Underwater Working Party and performed the deeds attributed to Crabb (see entry for 17 Sep 17 in News Archive 59).

 

Ginge's book should soon be available to buy via the RN Clearance Divers' Association (RNCDA).

 


12 Jun 18 - Gentlemen Who Lunch

 

The gorgeous weather meant that the regular gathering of the MCDOA's 'Not Quite the Last of the Summer Wine' trio of Barlow, Holloway and Hoole involved the consumption of spicy fish soup with breadsticks and chilli dip al fresco at The Sussex Brewery in Emsworth today.

 

 

Our informal 'good pub guide' rating for this traditional hostelry is 4 mines (or diving helmets) out of 5.

 


11 Jun 18 - 'Home Waters' signed by Paddy MacAlpine now available

 

Having exhausted previous stocks, I have now taken delivery of a second consignment from the USA of 'Home Waters - RN, RCN and USN Mine Forces Battling U-Boats in World War I' containing forewords by highest ever ranking RN MCD officer Rear Admiral Paddy McAlpine CBE and former COMINEWARCOM Rear Admiral Paul Ryan USN.  I have co-authored the book with Cdr David Bruhn USN, a fellow past-CO of MCMVs in the Gulf.

 

 

Today, MCDOA past-President Paddy MacAlpine was kind enough to personalise my remaining stock of copies with his signature.

 

 

Read Paddy's foreword, among others, via my co-author's webpage here:

 

www.davidbruhn.com/index.html

 

Unsigned copies of the book are available from Heritage Books in the USA at a cost of $74.99 (currently £52.69) including overseas P&P vis this link:

 

'Home Waters' at Heritage Books

 

Alternatively, email me via my Webmaster address and I will send you a copy signed by Paddy, inscribed by me if desired, on receipt of £30, including UK P&P.  I will donate £10 towards the Vernon Minewarfare & Diving Monument for each copy purchased.  So far, I have been able to add £500 to the fund with more in the pipeline.

 

A second book titled 'Night Raiders: US Navy, Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and Royal Netherlands Navy Mine Forces Battling the Japanese in World War II' is due out in the autumn and a third book, titled 'Enemy Waters - Allied Minelaying against German and Italian forces in World War II', is planned for release next year.  

 


10 Jun 18 - MCDOA members having fun in the sun

 

MCDOA member Grenville Johnson MBE, one of my course mates on LMCDO '76, has lived and worked in the Middle East for several years.  During the past few days, he and his wife Sandra have been staying with fellow MCDOA member Dougie MacDonald at their home near Chichester.  This afternoon, Mrs Webmaster and I were privileged to attend a barbecue at Dougie & Pat's house with Grenville & Sandra, MCDOA past-Chairman Dave Sandiford & his wife Pauline, MCDOA member Martyn Holloway & his wife Ann (plus their son William visiting from San Francisco) and MWA Chairman Dixie Dean MBE and his wife Paula.  As can be imagined, the beer, wine and dits flowed fast and furious.

 

Holloway, MacDonald, Johnson, Sandiford, Dean, Holloway Jr and Hoole

chez MacDonald today

 

     

 

 


9 Jun 18 - AORNFCD Reunion

 

I dropped into the annual reunion of the Association of RN First Class Divers (AORNFCD) at the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth last night.  Some members had melted away earlier but these stalwarts were among the survivors:

 

 

AORNFCD members at the RMC last night

 


8 Jun 18 - D-Day minesweeper veteran follow-up

 

In June 2013, your humble Webmaster and his wife hosted D-Day veteran Cyril Banks when he arrived at Portsmouth on the afternoon ferry after attending the D-Day anniversary ceremonies in Normandy (see entry for 16 Jun 13 in News Archive 42).  He stayed with us overnight before completing his journey to his home in Hertfordshire.

 

     

Cyril Banks chez Hoole with his Légion d'Honneur

 

Cyril served as a Seaman Gunner on board the Algerine class minesweeper HMS Ready which was among the earliest ships off the heavily-defended Normandy invasion beaches (specifically Gold Beach).  She swept her first mine at 2300 on the night before D-Day.

 

HMS Ready while assigned to the 18th MSF in 1943

 

While catching up with Cyril, I stumbled upon this bittersweet article on the BBC News website:

 

Cyril Banks: Scammed WWII veteran donates £9k to charity

 

 

It seems that all's well that ends well and it looks as though this incident has not put Cyril off his charity fundraising activities judging from this article on the Chelmsford & Mid Essex Times website:

 

Officers meet Second World War veteran at Stansted Airport

 


7 Jun 18 - Post D-Day mining casualties

 

On the morning of the D-Day assault, channels and boat lanes were swept into the beaches.  These operations were broken down into 100 different serials, complicated by bad weather and severe cross-tides.  The original intention had been for the fleet sweepers to wire-sweep and the coastal sweepers to influence-sweep but soon the fleet sweepers were also influence-sweeping and the BYMS, US YMS and some of the MMS were wire-sweeping on a wide scale too.  Despite coming under coastal battery fire and attack by E-boats, minesweeping casualties were relatively light at the beginning but the fleet sweeper USS Tide was mined on 7 June.

 

Among other ships, mines claimed the destroyer USS Corry off Utah Beach three minutes before the assault hit the beaches and the American PC 1261 and 16 landing craft were lost later that day.  On 7 June, the fleet destroyer HMS Swift was mined together with three more landing craft.  On 8 June, the destroyers USS Glennon and USS Meredith, the destroyer escort USS Rich, the British netlayer Minster, the US LST 499 and several landing craft were all sunk in the same minefield while the destroyer USS Harding was heavily damaged.

 

Perhaps the greatest blow to British minesweeping forces occurred when three Catherine Class BAMS were lost off Normandy over a three day period a month after D-Day.  On 6 July HMS Cato and HMS Magic were sunk by Marder or Neger human torpedoes.  On 8 July HMS Pylades was sunk by a Marder or Neger.  Some sources state Biber midget submarines were among the perpetrators but according to Enrico Doering (one of the Biber operators based at Fecamp), Bibers did not start operations off Normandy until August 1944.

 

USS Tide after being mined on 7 June 1944

 


Operation NEPTUNE.  Minesweepers and divers made D-Day possible.


 

 

See 'Operation Neptune: The Minesweeping Operation 5-6 June 1944' and 'Operation Neptune: Frogmen - The First Men Ashore on D-Day' in the website's Dit Box

 

MCDOA members Doug Barlow and Rob Hoole in the Map Room at Southwick House near

Portsmouth in 2004 when it was still the wardroom of HMS DRYAD.  General Eisenhower

had used it as his HQ for Operation OVERLORD, the Allied invasion of Normandy

 


6 Jun 18 - HMS Vernon's mining contribution to D-Day

 

From 'The Torpedomen - HMS Vernon's story 1872 - 1986' by Rear Admiral Nicho Poland CB CBE:

 

"...The major mining operation to cover the Normandy landings involved almost all existing means of mine laying; 1,3,4,5 and 6 Groups Bomber Command, the minelayers Apollo and Plover, five MTB flotillas and four motor launch flotillas...

 

HMS Apollo

 

HMS Plover

 

Fairmile 'A' MLs (Motor Launches) with mines embarked

 

Magnetic ground mine (possibly A Mk IV) being loaded aboard RAF Hampden bomber

before this type of aircraft was removed from service in 1943

 

The mining contribution to 'Overlord', Operation 'Maple', was designed to protect the invasion forces and landings themselves without compromising their security or endangering Allied shipping.  This required delayed arming and accurate sterilising of mines at the right time.  New variations introduced specially for 'Maple' were dual magnetic/low frequency acoustic actuators that were virtually impossible to sweep without specialised and clumsy equipment; MK XVII acoustic moored mines designed to deal with enemy coastal forces and the 2,000 lb A Mk VI dual magnetic and acoustic mines dropped from aircraft. 

 

The operation began on 17 April and 7,000 mines were laid, 4,000 of them by Bomber Command.  About 100 enemy vessels were sunk or damaged.  An officer from VERNON(M) was attached to the Staff of C-in-C Portsmouth to coordinate 'Maple' with Overlord'.  It had been planned well in advance but nevertheless there were problems in getting all the equipment prepared, especially the new devices.  As the history of the Mining Department put it:

 

As the target date approached VERNON heard of one trouble and another which might postpone the date on which mines would be ready for her to carry out production trials.  Each rumour had to be investigated and unfortunately some proved to be correct and VERNON had, eventually, to declare that no further postponement of her trials would be possible if the mines were to be used in the operation and to advise that unless an unqualified acceptance of the date was given the use of other mines would be recommended. The assembly of mines for trial was interrupted by the absence of various components.  VERNON'S motor transport and officers' private cars were used to collect them.

 

When, after all this effort, the new mines were finally dispatched to the bomber groups an officer from VERNON went to check that all was satisfactory.   It was not.  There was a shortage of lugs and appropriate securing screws for the new Mk VIs and it needed considerable efforts on the part of the Vernon(M) officer to obtain them in time.  The good relations previously established between VERNON, the Naval personnel serving at the bomber bases and the RAF was fully exploited in this rush to prepare the new weapons for use. 

 

Other VERNON contributions to 'Overlord' were the testing of an underwater beacon, the PM 830 Buoy, and the training of coastal forces personnel in the laying and use of this important aid to navigation.  This work was carried out in great secrecy and the buoys played an important part on 'D' Day..."

 


From MCDOA member Tim Curd:

 

"Hi Rob,

 

I've just been catching up on your excellent MCDOA website.  Call me a spotter but on your post you have captioned the pic of a ground mine being prepared in front of a Hampden as “possibly” an A Mk V.  Given the date, the size of the mine and the positions of the det placer and hydrostatic switch (armourer has his hand in the pocket) it is most likely one of the A Mk 1-4 series, almost certainly an A Mk 4.

 

The A Mk V was a smaller mine with a total weight of around 1,000 lbs and charge of around 650 lbs designed to be carried on smaller aircraft i.e anything that could carry a 1,000 lb bomb.

 

Hope you are well and enjoying the sun.

 

Regards,

 

Tim" 

 


5 Jun 18 - First casualties of the D-Day landings

 

At about 1700 on 5 June 1944, the Raven class BAM minesweeper USS Osprey struck a mine in a moored minefield south of the Isle of Wight.  The resulting explosion blew a large hole in the forward engine room.  Fires broke out and the ship had to be abandoned at 1815.  Osprey sank soon after with the loss of six men.  These were the first casualties of the D-Day invasion.

 

USS Osprey (AM-56) off the Norfolk Navy Yard, 19 April 1941

 


4 Jun 18 - SNMCMG1 engaged in BALTOPS

 

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) is participating in Exercise BALTOPS in the Baltic Sea together with more than 4,700 sailors, airmen and marines from 22 Allied and Partner nations.  This exercise is designed to improve flexibility and interoperability as well as exercise multiple warfare specialty areas including air defence, maritime interdiction, anti-submarine warfare and amphibious operations in a joint environment.

 

Ships of SNMCMG1 rafted up on the flagship HNLMS Mercuur in the Baltic during BALTOPS

 

SNMCMG1 currently includes HMS Ramsey (MCM1 Crew 8) seen second right in the above image (see entry for 31 May18 in News Archive 62).

 


3 Jun 18 - John Craig becomes Deputy UKMCC

 

Congraulations to MCDOA member John Craig on his appointment as Deputy UK Maritime Component Commander (UKMCC) Bahrain, Chief of Staff of the UKMCC Headquarters and Commanding Officer of the UK Naval Support Facility (UKNSF) Bahrain.  For the past seven months, John has been Chief of Staff to the Royal Navy's Commodore in charge of deployed maritime operations and Commanding Officer of the Maritime Battle Staff.  He had previously served as Deputy Commander CTF150.

 

Capt John Craig RN when Deputy Commander CTF 150 in 2016

 

This Forces TV video about the UKMCC in Bahrain is over two years old but is informative.  It features MCDOA member Steve White when he was commanding HMS Chiddingfold.  Steve is currently preparing to generate as the next Commander UK MCM Force (COMUKMCMFOR) based in Bahrain. 

 


2 Jun 18 - Ash Spencer takes over as COMUKMCMFOR

 

Congratulations to MCDOA member Ash Spencer on relieving Cdr Andy Smith as Commander UK MCM Force (UKMCMFOR) based at the UK Naval Support Facility (UNSF) in Bahrain.

 

Cdr Andrew Smith handing over Command of

UKMCMFOR to Cdr Ashley Spencer

(RN photo)

 


1 Jun 18 - RN Diving Heritage: AB George Dougall 'Jock' Campbell

 

In the entry for 22 May 18 in News Archive 62, I announced the death in France of MCDOA member Norman Douglas ‘Pip’ Piper and included this photo of the Mediterranean Fleet Clearance Diving Team on Manoel Island in Malta in 1954:

 

Back row: Scouse Davies (or Davis?), Robbie Robinson, John Dowds, Pricky Price, Nutty Carr, ?,

George 'Jock' Campbell

Front row: Sam Stanley, Norman 'Pip' Piper, Ginger Howe, Pete Cobby

 

Pip's daughter Michelle in New Zealand was under the impression that her father was the last surviving member of the team portrayed in the photograph.  However, as a result of the website article, Lt Andreas (Andy) Wittmann RAN has since advised me that his father-in-law, George 'Jock' Campbell  who served on the Med Fleet CD Team from 29 June 1952 to 2 July 1954, is alive, well and living in Brisbane.  He is 88 years-old.  Andy has supplied various photos and service documents and I have put him in touch with the RAN Clearance Divers' Association (RANCDA) which hopes to make a follow-up visit to Jock.

 

     

 

 

George 'Jock' Campbell was born in Glasgow on 24 Aug 1929.  He served in the Royal Navy between 28 May 1947 and 23 Sep 1954.  His ships and units included HMS Raleigh, HMS Howe, HMS Defiance/HMS Safeguard (where he qualified as an AB Torpedoman Diver 3 on 3 Nov 1948), HMS Drake, HMS Jamaica, HMS Tamar, HMS Defiance (where he qualified as an AB Torpedoman Diver 2 on 14 Sep 1951), HMS Lochinvar (where he qualified as an AB CD3 on 7 Apr 1952) and HMS Drake, HMS Fierce (Minesweeping HQ ship)/HMS Phoenicia and HMS St Angelo, the latter three all while serving on the Med Fleet CD Team.

 

Jock and Margaret Campbell in Brisbane

 

I am delighted to set the record straight.

 


 

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