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.

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 in News Archive 62 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 northern 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:




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.




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


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,




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!).


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,





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