Royal Navy

 

2nd Jan 1971

My life in the Royal Navy started on January 2nd 1971 as Artificer Apprentice at HMS Fisguard a small Naval Training establishment in Torpoint Cornwall. I spent my first 12 months here undergoing basic training to put me in good steed for my upcoming career as a Weapons Electrical Artificer.

As well as the normal theory and school work there was a lot of mechanical and electronic workshops

Sadly HMS Fisguard is no longer but fond memories can be found at the

Website www.fisgardassociation.org

 

 

4 Jan 1972

Next it was of to Fareham in Hampshire on to HMS Collingwood for a 12 month stint of Electronics Training along with a few other bits and pieces to get us ready to go to sea for the first time.

 

15 Jan 1973

My very first sea going ship !!  HMS Leopard , a type 41 frigate

In 1973 she undertook a ‘Cod War’ Fishery Protection duties, my first encounter in a “Conflict” .

She paid off in December 1975 and in 1977 was sold for scrap

 

8 Jan 1974

Back To HMS Collingwood for more courses and to finish off my Apprenticeship and leaving as a Leading Hand ( CEA3 )

 

 

 

11 April 1975 

Off to sea again this time on HMS London a Portsmouth based Guided Missile Destroyer. A much larger vessel than my earlier ship Leopard.

For the first four months the ship was in the final stages of a refit so the ships company was staying in HMS Nelson until such time in Nov when we all moved back onboard

Places visited whilst serving on board were New York for the Bi-Centennial Celebrations on 4th July 1975

My job onboard was part of the team that dealt with Internal Communications,

Broadcasts, Tannoys and telephones .

We also looked  after all the Navigational Aids such as the Gyros, Log and windgear etc

During my time onboard I was promoted from Leading Hand ( CEA3 ) to Petty Officer ( CEA2 )

This meant that I was now the Department leader

8 Feb 1977      

From one ship to another , this one HMS Sirius. A Leander Class Frigate based in Plymouth.  I joined this just prior to a refit and once the ship was in dry-dock all the ships company that was left were booked into HMS Drake barracks. As there was little to do I went back to HMS Collingwood  for a few months doing courses for my new position as the Sonar Maintainer .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In Aug 77 it was time to go back down to Guzz to rejoin HMS Sirius. 

She was still not out of refit  so we were staying in HMS Drake until the Aug 77. Then it was off to sea for a whole lot of trials etc to try out all the machinery and weapon system before we were off on our jolly ways doing things that ships do.

In Nov 78 I was promoted to the dizzy heights of Acting Chief Petty Officer

( AWEA1 ) and moved from the forward POs mess to the regal CPOs Mess back aft. 

At the age of 23 this was quite an achievement. A trip to Mombassa , yes Xmas & New Year,  Well all good things come to an end and in Apr 81 HMS Sirius went back into another refit , 4 ˝ years seas service and god know how many miles. I continued onboard until Jan 82

 

Website   http://www.hmssirius.info/

 

18 Jan 1982

Back to HMS Defiance shore base Maintenance Base at Devonport.

This time I was part of a specialist Sonar Team where we spent a lot of time on various ships whilst in refit assisting them in them ready for sea trials. From time to time we would go to sea with the ships to help.

In Nov 81 I was confirmed as a Chief Petty Officer

Apr 83 I was rostered on to the Emergency Relief Pool . This was a “pool” of personnel who could be called upon at a moment notice to go anywhere in the world to relieve a person for some reason or another.

 

 

7 Nov 1983

A surprise phone call led to my next ship HMS Glamorgan, another Guided Missile Destroyer based in Portsmouth. My ERP was activated !!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


It was off to Pompey to join her and within a week we were off on a 6 month deployment .

Out through the Mediterranean on to Beirut and a spot of “Peacekeeping “ . Down through the Suez to Mombassa again for Xmas . Then back up via India and the Gulf before back in Portsmouth Jun 84  

 

Website   www.hmsglamorgan.co.uk

 

18 June 1984 

Back to HMS Defiance to finish off my shore time and some R & R before my next time at sea. Completed a few refresher courses and met a few new mates

 

 

26 Feb 1985

Time to head to sea again , onboard HMS Penelope as the Sonar Maintainer.

This time it was off down south to the Falklands for 6 month deployment. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Website   http://www.homepage.ntlworld.com/mike.bee/Index.htm

 

9 Jan 1987

Off ships for the last time to HMS Drake to prepare for my new life

 in “ Civvy Street

In the words of Shep Wooley “ Return two blue suits & steaming boots “

 

 

30 March 1987   

 

Over the gangway for the last time

The end of my Naval Career.