Items from The News, Navy News and Warship World are reproduced by kind permission of David Brown, Jim Allaway and Mike Critchley respectively.  Click on the thumbnails to enlarge them.

29 Dec 06 - Lt Cdr John Bridge GC GM* RNVR


Today's edition of the Daily Telegraph contains this comprehensive obituary for WWII naval bomb & mine disposal officer John Bridge (see item for 19 Dec below).  The hard copy version of the newspaper includes a large photograph of a bespectacled Bridge, looking exhausted and sitting on a catamaran in standard diving dress with his helmet removed.


23 Dec 06


Wooden Ships and Iron Men


I have received the following message from the author of this book:

"Dear Sir,


While conducting research, I came across your website.  As former minesweep sailors, I thought that perhaps your members, or someone they know, might have an interest in my book Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The U.S. Navy Ocean Minesweepers, 1953-1994.  If so, they may learn more about the work at:


In it, I acknowledge the expertise of the Royal Navy in conducting mine warfare, with special emphasis on its critical contributions during the Gulf War and, in the conclusion, propose a U.S./U.K. joint shipbuilding effort.




David D Bruhn
Cdr USN (Ret)"


Warship World Articles


The latest issue of Warship World contains a two-page article by your humble webmaster about the enigmatic life and naval diving career of Cdr Lionel 'Buster' Crabb OBE GM RNVR, who vanished in mysterious circumstances 50 years ago.



The magazine also contains news items about: HMS Cattistock's disposal of a German WWII ground mine in the Thames estuary; the handing over of LVNS Imanta, the first of five ex-Dutch Alkmaar Class MCMVs being transferred to the Latvian Navy: plans for Italy to build three MCMVs for the Finnish Navy: the sale of the three ex-RN Sandown Class MCMVs Sandown, Inverness and Bridport to the Estonian Navy for £32m gross (i.e. before costs of regeneration and crew training are deducted); and a Parliamentary statement that the MoD believes there has been a reduction in the threat with a changed requirement for large-scale operations so future commitments can be met by a fleet of 16 MCMVs.  There are also photos of an SBS Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) being hoisted from the water by a Chinook helicopter during an exercise in Gibraltar Bay. 


19 Dec 06 - Lt Cdr John Bridge GC GM* RNVR


I was saddened to read this obituary in today's issue of The Times for Lt Cdr John Bridge who died on 14 December aged 91.  He was the first person to be awarded a Bar to the George Medal although another naval bomb & mine disposal officer, Lieutenant Hugh Syme RANVR, also received the George Cross, George Medal and Bar.


Having gained degrees in physics and science at King's College London and become a schoolmaster, John Bridge volunteered for Special Branch duties as a Sub Lieutenant in the RNVR in June 1940 and dealt with over 100 unexploded bombs in the Plymouth-Falmouth area during the next 12 months.  He was then posted to South Africa for mine disposal duties and volunteered for diver training while based at Simon's Town.  Soon after being sent to the Mediterranean, he made 28 dives while helping to clear 207 explosive devices from Messina harbour in Sicily prior to the Allied invasion of Italy.  On D-Day(+1), he arrived in Normandy to supervise the clearing of the beach at Arromanches of mines and a mass of other explosive devices.  Months later, while clearing the docks at Antwerp, he was summoned to Nijmegen at short notice to deal with a difficult bomb in the River Waal, submerged and lying against the pier of the road bridge.


I am sure all MCDOA members join me in extending our condolences to his surviving family.  Rest in peace.


15 Dec 06


HMS Middleton home at last


I was delighted to share the company of Chris Corcoran and Judy Little on the Round Tower this morning to witness the delayed arrival in Portsmouth of HMS Middleton.  Chris had journeyed from Winchester and his son Robert is the ship's Navigator.  Judy had come from Marlborough in Wiltshire and her son Danny is one of the ship's OM(MW)s.  As Middleton entered harbour a day later than planned, she missed being greeted on the jetty by the Royal Marines Band because it was booked for today's arrival of HMS York, but there was a nice flypast of Hawk jets for the enjoyment of all.


During her four months in the Baltic and beyond, Middleton visited Neustadt and Wismar in Germany, Liepaja in Latvia, Tallinn in Estonia, Stockholm in Sweden, Turku in Finland, Klaipeda in Lithuania, Copenhagen in Denmark, and Narvik, Tromsø, Bergen and Oslo in Norway



Left: Chris Corcoran and Judy Little

Right: Middleton enters harbour


HMS Atherstone in Norway


This article from the Navy News website describes a visit to Norway by HMS Atherstone for trials on the NATO Naval Forces
Sensor and Weapon Accuracy Check Sites
(FORACS) ranges near Stavanger.


14 Dec 06 - STOP PRESS!  HMS Middleton's homecoming delayed


North Sea storms have forced HMS Middleton to seek shelter in Norway thus preventing her from arriving in Portsmouth this morning.  She is now due in at 0900 tomorrow.


13 Dec 06 - HMS Hurworth arrives home with Santa on the forecastle


Mr and Mrs John McPhail joined me on the Round Tower this morning to help welcome HMS Hurworth back to Portsmouth.  Their son Thomas is the ship's Navigator and this was his last day onboard.  John is a member of the UK P&I Club and served in Ton Class minesweepers in the RNR.


During her four-month deployment to the Mediterranean, Hurworth visited Gibraltar, Malta, Iraklion and Soudha Bay in Crete, Kos in the Aegean, La Spezia in Italy, Canakkale in Turkey, Toulon in France, Augusta in Sicily, Tunis in Tunisia and, finally, Bordeaux in France while on her way back to the UK.



Left: Mr and Mrs John McPhail.  Right: Hurworth enters harbour


12 Dec 06 - HMS Hurworth and HMS Middleton home for Christmas


The Royal Navy website contains this article about the return to Portsmouth this week of six warships including the Hunt Class minehunters HMS Hurworth, which deployed to the Mediterranean on 14 August, and HMS Middleton which deployed to the Baltic on 7 August.  Hurworth arrives at 1030 tomorrow and Middleton arrives on Thursday.


11 Dec 06


SDU2 to feature on TV


MCDOA member Jason White, OIC of Southern Diving Unit Two (SDU2), has supplied these photos of a recent EOD task near Southampton and informs me that SDU2 will feature in this episode of the BBC2 series 'Coast', to be broadcast at 2000 on Thursday 14 Dec.  It concerns a survey of the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery, a liberty ship that sank in the Thames Estuary in August 1944 with 4,000 tons of ordnance on board.  The programme will also feature "the invention of the diving helmet".





RAN 16th Minesweeping Squadron


The 'Web Links' page now contains a link to the RAN 16th Minesweeping Squadron website.  This is dedicated to the RAN Ton Class MCMVs that saw service during the Indonesian Confrontation 1964-66 and is well worth browsing.


9 Dec 06 - YouTube Videos


It is amazing what you can find on the internet these days.  Take these videos on YouTube, for example:

RN Northern Diving Group (NDG) - Lots of bangs on Garvie Island and elsewhere


RN Fleet Diving Unit Two (FDU2) - World tour


Ton Class Association - Nice round-up of pictures


Dutch Minehunter - Good mine explosion


German Minehunter - First ten seconds is enough to get the idea


Exercise 'Island Response' in the Seychelles - US Navy divers provide local assistance


USN EOD Dive School - Early days of training

The site contains several other videos of a similar nature so try looking around.  Note the rectangular button on the extreme right of the display window's 'control panel' enables full screen viewing.


8 Dec 06


Tribute Trip by HMS Hurworth


The following item from today's Portsmouth News describes a tribute paid by HMS Hurworth to the wartime Cockleshell Heroes during a visit to Bordeaux.  Note that she is due to return to Portsmouth on Wed 13 Dec following her deployment to the Mediterranean.


Hurworth Cockleshell Heroes 8 Dec 06.jpg (76800 bytes)


New Diving & EOD Skill Badge


In his role as the Superintendent of Diving, our Chairman, Chris Ameye, has provided the official graphic of the new Diving & EOD skill badge to be worn on the cuff of MCDOs and WO(D)s (see item for 21 Nov).  It is also likely to be adopted as the logo for RN Clearance Diving units.


RN Diving & EOD Skill Badge


RN Mine Warfare & Diving Career Opportunities


The Royal Navy website now contains these attractive pamphlets in pdf format showing career opportunities and job descriptions for:

Warfare Officer (Including Mine Warfare Officer/Mine Clearance Diving Officer)


Mine Warfare Specialist Rating


Mine Clearance Diver Specialist Rating

Where do I sign?


3 Dec 06 - MCM News and some Christmas Cheer


Click on these links for recent news on the RN website about MCM2 in the South Pacific, HMS Middleton in the Arctic Circle and HMS Bangor off the west coast of Scotland.  There is also this article about 25,000 "square stockings" on their way to forces deployed overseas during Christmas, courtesy of the registered charity UK4UThanks!.


Nell McAndrew makes their day

(Picture: Nick Howard from MoD website)


1 Dec 06


Navy News Items


The following MCD-related items from the December issue of Navy News include:

Navy News Dec 06e.jpg (128799 bytes)    Navy News Dec 06b.jpg (95148 bytes)    Navy News Dec 06a.jpg (90885 bytes)    Navy News Dec 06c.jpg (272270 bytes)    Navy News Dec 06d.jpg (93937 bytes)


Another Milestone for the Website


During November, the MCDOA website was visited 6,597 times, the first time the monthly figure has exceeded 6,000.  Visitors from around the world registered a total of 219,217 hits on individual pages, files and images and downloaded 3,715,130 kilobytes of data.  The 5,000 visits per month mark was passed a year ago and numbers continue to rise steadily.


29 Nov 06 - Britain's Oldest Veteran Rendered Mines Safe


A few weeks ago, Phil Ireland drew my attention to this news item about 110 year-old Henry Allingham, thought to be Britain's oldest surviving war veteran.  The following passage is of particular interest:

"...During the Second World War, Henry's engineering skills made a vital contribution to designing counter measures to the Germans' magnetic mines and, in 1941, he helped defuse the mines that had been used to blockade Harwich Harbour."

I have been unable to unearth any more details about this intriguing revelation.  However, on the basis of his involvement in minewarfare, Henry, who originally served in the Royal Naval Air Service and was present at the Battle of Jutland, was made an honorary member of the Ton Class Association in December last year.  He was presented with his TCA badge at a lunchtime ceremony in the Mayor's Parlour at Worthing and wears it with pride wherever he goes.


28 Nov 06


Flagship Training for Estonian Minehunter Personnel


The following item from the Business Section of today's Portsmouth News describes the training of Estonian naval personnel for the three former RN Sandown Class minehunters (Sandown, Inverness and Bridport) being transferred to the Estonian Navy.


Flagship Estonian minehunters 18 Nov 06.jpg (766453 bytes)


Veterans Day Newsletter


Lt Cdr John Pressagh has sent me the first issue of the Veterans Day Newsletter in pdf format.  It is published by the Veterans Agency and can be downloaded by clicking on the thumbnail below.



26 Nov 06


Diving Heritage - Admiralty Experimental Diving Team


Former FCPO(D) Dave 'Mona' Lott in Australia has forwarded this photo of the Admiralty Experimental Diving Unit's Diving Team (AEDT) c.1969 from MCDOA member Jim Bladh in the USA.  Jim was the OIC of the AEDT as a US Navy exchange officer 1967-70.  The front row shows the late Lt Cdr (later Cdr) Stuart 'Jazz' Honour, MCDOA member Cdr Philip White (later Philip Balink-White) who was the Superintendent of Diving, and Jim Bladh himself.  CPO(CD1) Ginger Andrews is second from the right in the back row and Leading Seaman (CD2) (later (WO(D)) Peter Still is standing extreme left in the middle row.


AEDU Diving Team c.1969


In an accompanying letter, Jim wrote:

"On arriving at Vernon I was met by Bill Filer and Jackie Rea whom I relieved as OIC of the AEDT.  Bob Fraser was the leading Chief, later to be relieved by Ginger Andrews.  Bob later formed "Fraser Divers" Singapore and Ginger, I understand, has a bed & breakfast at Lands End???


I travelled extensively with my team, particularly to Malta and Gibraltar.  I also qualified as a Diving Officer in Reclaim when Peter Messervy was CO and Peter Cobby was the Diving Officer.  Johnny Grattan later took command and I accompanied him to Norway in Reclaim.


I worked extensively with Bill Filer at DTU [Deep Trials Unit] Alverstoke on many of the trials.  I also participated in an 800 ft run with Bob Fraser at DTU when I was 43-44; something the US Navy would never have done.


My warmest personal regards,


Jim Bladh


I have Jim's home address and e-mail address if anyone would like to contact him.


New Personal Update


The Members Only area contains an update from Phil Burrell who is about to return to the UK from India.


22 Nov 06 - John Parry's Funeral


Cdr John Jenkyn Parry OBE PhD RN

(7 Aug 1929 - 18 Oct 2006)


Around a hundred of John's family members and former friends and colleagues attended yesterday's Service of Thanksgiving and Commendation at St Ann's Church in Portsmouth Naval Base (see entries for 30 Oct and 3 Nov).  MCDOA members present included our Chairman Chris Ameye (in uniform), Doug Barlow and his companion Jill Smith, Morty Drummond, David Edwards, Brian & Audrey Dutton, David Hilton (also in uniform), Bob Lusty, Julian Malec, Dan & Christine Nicholson, Jon Riches, Frank Ward and Yours Truly.


The service, conducted by the Reverend Chris Luckraft, included all the great hymns sung on such naval occasions and was accompanied by the stirring strains of the Brass Quintet of the Royal Marines Band Portsmouth under the direction of Colour Sergeant Paul Beat.  John's daughter Annie and grandchildren Jonathan, Toby and Abigail provided moving tributes and readings and John's son, Admiral Chris, delivered a passionate eulogy in which he praised his father's devotion to his family as well as his naval accomplishments, sporting prowess, academic achievements, dedication, loyalty, temperance, concern for others and sense of fun.  Above all, he extolled John's moral courage in always doing what he considered to be right.  One could have had no better role model.


After the Last Post, the family cortège left for a private cremation before joining the other attendees for refreshments in the Royal Naval Museum's Nelson Gallery.  I talked to John's widow Joan, his son Chris and daughter-in-law Jackie with their son Jonathan and daughter Abigail, and John's daughter Annie and son-in-law David Nicholson with their two sons Ben and Toby.  During our conversations, I tried to convey how highly we esteemed John's friendship and how much we will miss his cheerful company.


Donations in John's memory should be sent to Seafarers UK (formerly the King George V Fund for Sailors) c/o Barrells, Lawnswood, 245 Fratton Road, Portsmouth, PO1 5PA.  I have asked Tug Wilson, our Treasurer, to make a donation on behalf of the Association in lieu of our normal floral tribute.


One from the Album


Julian Malec has kindly supplied this charming photo of members of the 1969 MCD Long Course meeting together in June 2005.


Left to right: Lt Cdr Brian Dutton DSO QGM, Lt Cdr Richard Lowther, Cdr Julian Malec,

Lt Cdr William (Limpets) Lampard, Lt Cdr Dan Nicholson


21 Nov 06 - RN Diving & EOD Skill Badge


Prototype RN Diving & EOD Skill Badge


Several serving officers at the annual dinner could be seen wearing a brevet on the left cuff of their mess undress (à la Fleet Air Arm pilots and observers).  This is the new RN Diving & EOD Skill Badge.  In his role as the Superintendent of Diving, our Chairman, Chris Ameye, has asked me to promulgate the following information.  Indeed, if you look closely, Chris can be seen sporting one of the badges himself in the first photo shown in the entry for 18 Nov below.



Reference: RNTM 183/06


1.    Officers qualified in Minewarfare & Clearance Diving (MCD) and WO (D) are now entitled to wear the Diving & EOD Skill badge iaw RNTM 183/06.  The skill badge is worn on the left cuff, in the centre, 6 mm above the uppermost lace.


2.    Pending Defence Clothing Integrated Project Team (DCIPT) issue, the D & EOD Skill Badges can be purchased from Baun's (cost £ 5.50) or Gieves & Hawkes, London (cost £12.50).  A miniature for mess jackets will shortly be available from G & H  (prototype under construction).


3.    The D & EOD badge is grat issue to those entitled and will be available from the DCIPT in early 2007.  The badge comes in one size only (reefer jacket) - the miniature (mess jacket) is not grat issue; it has to be purchased (same principle as miniature medals).


4.    The skill badge can also be worn on tropical uniform where it is worn on a clutch & pin arrangement over the left breast above medal ribbons.  It is considered that the G & H version, which is slightly proud, will be better suited.

20 Nov 06


New Personal Update


The Members Only area contains an update from Bob Hawkins on exchange with NMAWC (Naval Mine and Anti-submarine Warfare Command (formerly COMINEWARCOM)) at Corpus Christi in the USA.  Bob has also provided the following snippet ending with a question.  Any takers?

I have in my office here a 'lump of wood' (literally!) with a brass tally for each officer who has served in this post in its various guises; it reads like a veritable who's-who of our branch.  It probably isn't written down anywhere else so, herewith, I deposit this information with the Oracle himself (and for the website if you see fit) - and I've known every single one of them!:

Tim Hildesley 72-74
Dan Nicholson 74-76
Martyn Holloway 76-78
Dennis Selwood 79-82
Chris Pott (RIP) 82-84
Brian Mansbridge 84-86
David Sandiford 86-88
Gordon Stamp 89-90
Nigel Butterworth 91-92
Mike Croome-Carroll 92-95
Tom Chambers 95-98
John Burden 99-01
Martin Woolley 01-04
Andy Elvin 04-06
Bob Hawkins 06-

COMINEWARCOM didn't come into existence (as far as I can ascertain) until 1975, so I don't know what the Command was called when the job first started in 1972 (according to his tally) with Tim H.  The Command moved to Corpus Christi in 1993 during MC2's reign, and it became NMAWC-CC during mine.  I would be interested to know if any of the previous incumbents can shed light on the details of the early years of this exchange, as I'm planning to produce an altogether more fitting 'tribute' to the long list of outstanding incumbents in this job in the form of a wooden shield or such like (in fact there is only space on the 'lump of wood' for Andy's and my tally), and I want to make sure my facts are correct.  As an example, was Tim Hildesley the absolute first RN MCDO to serve in this post?  He probably was but you never know.



[By Webmaster: I have forwarded Bob's query to those concerned.] 


Tracing Your Ancestors' Naval or Military History


Website viewers frequently ask me for information about their ancestors' naval service and the Royal Navy ships and establishments in which their family members served.  Usually, the first step is to obtain a copy of the subject's service record.  Instructions on how to do this are available on the Veterans Agency website but do send the completed SAR (Subject Access Request), if appropriate, to the right authority or you will be disappointed.  The National Archives has just made available a Register of Royal Naval Seamen who served between 1873 and 1923 with service details recorded up to 1928.  Searches can be conducted online and a charge of £3.50 is levied for each service record (part of the service certificate) downloaded in 'pdf' format.


Happy hunting!


19 Nov 06 - MCDOA Annual Dinner & AGM Photos


Photos of this year's dinner and AGM are now available in the Members Only area.


18 Nov 06 - MCDOA Annual Dinner & AGM Follow-Up


The Commander-in-Chief 'sings' for his supper


Thursday night's annual dinner, marking the 40th anniversary of the formation of the combined MCD Branch, turned out to be as spectacular as forecast and many hardened veterans judged it the best so far.  In a prelude to the dinner, Bill Norton presented Chris Lade, CO of the Defence Diving School, with a replica set of medals awarded to one of our only two Honorary Members, the late Lt Cdr Robbie Robinson MBE RN.  These, together with a framed photograph, biography and an HMS Vernon ship's badge, will be displayed in the Diving School as an inspiration to staff, students and visitors.


Chris Lade receives Robbie's

medals from Bill Norton


At the appointed hour, 112 members and guests sat down to a sumptuous meal.  Following the loyal toast and the traditional sing-along (led with gusto by Keith Broughton who managed to retain his footing this year), our Chairman (Chris Ameye), Senior Leaver (John Murphie) and Guest of Honour (Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent KCB CB) all delivered highly entertaining speeches.  It was particularly gratifying to see the usual contingent from Canada and to have such strong representation from LMCDO '66 and LMCDO '81, including '81 course member Captain Geir Gade, Royal Norwegian Navy.



Left: LMCDO '66: Lang, Whatley, Riches, Padwick, Coggins and Ludgate.

Right: LMCDO '81: (Back) Chambers, Morton, Allen, Gade and Hilton.

(Front) Robinson and Stanley (Nicholson must have been otherwise engaged at the time).


We were also graced with the presence of Lt Jan Ouvry QARNNS, granddaughter of the late Cdr John Ouvry DSO RN who was the first to render safe a German GA magnetic mine at Shoeburyness in November 1939.


Jan Ouvry with our President, Colin Welborn


We owe our Honorary Secretary, Tony Griffiths, a huge debt of gratitude for his meticulous arrangements, especially in view of his busy workload and several last minute changes to the plan.  Our thanks are also due to Surg Cdr Joe Neary MSC FRCGP RN for allowing us the use of his mess.  The dining room staff (led by Maître d'Hotel Richard Crougham) and the galley staff (led by Chef de Cuisine John Hollowood) did us proud and all entered into the spirit of the occasion.  We are also indebted to HMS Nelson's Volunteer Band (led by Band Colour Sergeant Neil Sylvester LLCM RM) for their rousing musical accompaniment, and to George Turnbull for facilitating our overnight accommodation in HMS Bristol.


The Operational Updates on Friday were highly informative thanks to comprehensive presentations by Colin Welborn, Paul Jones and Chris Ameye.  After a convivial lunch, we held the AGM during which all current committee members were re-elected, as was Soapy Watson in the new post of Membership Secretary.  Stuart McAlear has volunteered to act as our man north of the border and expects to be organising next year's northern dinner, normally held at Faslane in February.  The AGM endorsed the principle of commissioning a monument to commemorate HMS Vernon's Minewarfare & Diving heritage but there are several hoops to jump through first, starting with an approach to the Association of RN First Class Divers to collaborate with us.  The full minutes of the AGM will be published in the Members Only area when received from Tony Griffiths.


This year, I was too busy chatting to take as many photos in the bar as usual.  Those I did take will be published in the Members Only area in due course.  If anyone has any others worth sharing, please send them to me via


From Alan Padwick:

"Dear Rob,


On behalf of the '66 Long Course (I was nominated in the bar afterwards), thanks to the Branch for a great dinner and nostalgia trip on Thursday night.  It was a very special evening and great fun to get our course together for the first time since our twenty-first anniversary.  Meeting up with so many of our other old friends is also special, an experience of solidarity and loyalty that cannot be replicated in civilian life.  The only trouble is that one evening is just not long enough to talk to everyone.


I know that all of our course want to thank you personally, Rob, for all the hard work you put into the MCDOA website, which is a major engine in keeping this branch spirit alive.  I hope you can keep it up - and groom a successor for when you want to stand down, as it is such a vital role.


And I know we all want to publicly record our gratitude to Tony Griffiths for being the man who organises the dinner itself.  I once organised a term reunion dinner, which gave me a taste of how much hard graft it can be.  Without Tony's enthusiasm and devotion to sorting all the tiresome details that go into such an occasion, it could never happen.  So thank you very much, Tony.


Now we have to decide when to hold another course anniversary get together.  It will probably have to be our 45th.  Waiting until our 50th might be pushing our luck - we are getting surprisingly older!  One tries not to notice one's own age and the adventures of youth seem but yesterday, until an occasion like this brings it home to one that the other course members, at least, are looking a bit older.  Never mind - we still feel like Lieutenants on the inside.


Good luck to all the Branch, particularly those who are young enough to get involved at the sharp end.  It is very impressive to look round the assembled diners and see so many medals and gallantry awards.  We old fogies are very proud of their achievements.


Yours on behalf of the '66ers,



From Dave 'Spidey' Ince:

"Thanks very much for a superbly organised MCDOA dinner, it was a great last night in the RN and couldn't have been any better!  I joined the RAN about 2 hours ago and we are all off to Oz this evening.  Hopefully I will be back one day in the not too distant future to toast all my MCDO brothers once more, and bore you all with RAN MCD dits!  In the meantime au revoir and safe diving!


David Ince

Lt Cdr RAN"

From John O'Driscoll:

"Dear Rob,


A big thank you for the dinner on Thursday evening.  It was particularly special for me as, last year, things did not look good for my future.  Since then I have made a great recovery, moved to a fabulous house in Dorset, become a Grandad and handed over my daughter, Katherine, to a fine man who is now my son-in-law.


Whatever happens next, I am ready for it.  The dinner was splendid and the singing after was inspirational, bringing back memories of VERNON in our heyday.


Well done all concerned in the organisation and delivery of the event; it was a triumph.


Yours aye,


John O'D"

From Mike Gillam:



What a great evening!  You should be rightly proud of the occasion which clearly demonstrated the strength of the Association, much of it due to you.  Tony's organisation was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  My apologies for having to slip away before the AGM but Pam Lusty came out of hospital that morning so I had to take over Bob's task of driving Pat Dowland home before my journey through the Friday evening traffic.



From Jon Riches in France:



I would like to echo Alan Padwick's remarks about the quite splendid dinner.  I also think the photo in the 'Latest News' of the veterans of the 1966 LMCDO Course shows there is still life in us yet!  It was also good to see such a magnificent turnout and catch up with old chums.  The food was excellent (no pun intended!) and I was impressed with the liberal amount of wine and port.  I also much enjoyed the operational update on Friday morning which showed the Branch thriving and clearly much in demand around the world.  Long may it continue.


I was sorry to have to miss the AGM but will read the minutes with interest.


Finally a big thank you to you for the masterful way you run the Website and keep us all informed.  A profound BZ!



From Keith Riches:

"Once again we were privileged to enjoy a splendid evening which reflected much hard work by Tony Griffiths, you and many others.  VMT.


Yours aye,



15 Nov 06 - MCDOA Annual Dinner in HMS Excellent 16 Nov 06


To date, annual dinner attendees include:


Guest of Honour

Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent KCB CBE

(Commander-in-Chief Fleet)

Service Leavers

John Murphie

Grenville Johnson

Simon Nicholson (LMCDO '81)

Tom Chambers (LMCDO '81)

Kim Godfrey

David Ince

Other Members & their Guests

Martyn Allen (LMCDO '81)

Chris Ameye

Chris Ashcroft

John Bainbridge

Mick Beale

Paul Beaver (David Carey's guest)

Troy Beechinor CN

Dave Berry

John Bevan

Keith Broughton

Steve Brown

Simon Bound

David Carey

Adrian Cassar

Jon Chapple

Colin Churcher

Derek Clarke

John Coggins (LMCDO '66)

Rob Cornick

Jon Cox

Mike Critchley

Don Crosbie

Tim Curd

Chris Deere CN

Morty Drummond

Brian Dutton

David Edwards

Simon Edwards (Keith Broughton's guest)

Mike Finney (Chris Ameye's guest)

Crawford Foster (Jim Sykes' guest)

Geir Gade RNoN (LMCDO '81)

Mike Gillam

Steve Gobey

Geoff Goodwin (LMCDO '81 - Second Boss)

Tony Griffiths

Paul Guiver

Justin Hains

Paul Haynes (Derek Clarke's guest)

John Herriman

Peter Hicks

Richard Hill

David Hilton (LMCDO '81)

Martyn Holloway

Rob Hoole

David Hunkin

Phil Ireland

Paul Jones

Bill Kerr

Tony Knight

Chris Lade

Graham Landrock

John Lang (LMCDO '66)

Simon Leightley

Neil Lewis (Bill Kerr's guest)

John Ludgate (LMCDO '66)

Bob Lusty

Martin Mackey

Alex Manning

Brian Mansbridge

Steve Marshall

Mike Marshall

Roger Marshall (Steve Marshall's guest)

David Marshall (Steve Marshall's guest)

Ralph Mavin

Stuart McAlear

Paddy McAlpine

Paul McDermott

Del McKnight

Richard Moore

Ian Moores (Graham Landrock's guest)

Bill Norton

Ian Morton (LMCDO '81)

John O'Driscoll

Chris Flaherty

Jan Ouvry (Colin Welborn's guest)

Alan Padwick (LMCDO '66)

Jim Penman CN

Ben Piper

Jason Poole

Simon Pressdee

Joe Price

Jon Riches (LMCDO '66)

Keith Riches 

Peter Robinson (LMCDO '81)

Tom Russell

Mark Savage

Ben Stait

Nick Stanley (LMCDO '81)

Peter Stevenson (Al Trevarthen's guest)

Jim Sykes

Bernie Thompson

Peter Thompson (Bernie Thompson's guest)

Alan Trevarthen

Tim Trounson

Peter Waddington

Robin Walker

Andy 'Sharkey' Ward

Frank Ward

Richard 'Soapy' Watson

Colin Welborn

Dave Welch

Ivan Whatley (LMCDO '66)

Jason White

Steve White (Ben Piper's guest)

Charlie Wilson


Please note that we have now reached maximum capacity for accommodation in HMS Bristol.


N.B. Members are also urged to attend the Operational Updates, free lunch and AGM at Fleet Diving Headquarters, Horsea Island the day after the dinner.  Among other business, the committee will seek AGM approval to pursue the erection of a monument in Gunwharf Quays to commemorate the Minewarfare & Diving heritage of HMS Vernon.


11 Nov 06 - Lest We Forget


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.



Funeral of the late Cdr John Parry OBE RN


John Parry's funeral will be held in St Ann's Church in Portsmouth Naval Base at 1145 on Tuesday 21 November 2006.  Non-holders of service ID must ring the Naval Chaplaincy in advance on 023 9272 2915 to register their intention to attend.  The Chaplaincy is only manned during working hours but has an answer machine.  Photo ID will be required to permit entry through the gate.


3 Nov 06 - Update on the late Cdr John Parry OBE RN


John's son Chris has contacted me to say that he and his family have been very much comforted by the characteristically kind messages of support and sympathy from his father's friends and colleagues among MCDOA members (see entry for 30 Oct).  He has also asked me to point out that it now appears that his father died extremely suddenly from peritonitis brought on by an as yet unknown cause.  Once this cause has been established, Chris will publish details of his father's forthcoming funeral and memorial service in Portsmouth, at which MCDOA members would be very welcome.


John Parry's Biography


John Parry as Commanding Officer,

HMS Reclaim 1974 to 1975


Tim Trounson has supplied this pocket history of John Parry, whom he much respected and admired, using information volunteered by John himself in 2001:

"John Parry entered the Royal Navy as a Boy Seaman at HMS St. George, on the Isle of Man, at the age of fifteen in June 1945.  He retired voluntarily from the service in February 1980.


He was a very well liked man described by his fellows as cheerful, enthusiastic, fit and sober, helpful to all who needed his help, always ready to step in to assist others if he could, giving level-headed advice.


John was born in Hampton, Middlesex on 7 August 1929.  He described his father as an entrepreneur.  His first ships were the cruisers HMS Leander and HMS Cleopatra.  A keen sportsman and a good footballer who by the age of twenty had been advanced to Petty Officer, he was in 1952 selected for a commission, subject to qualifying as a Fixed Wing Pilot.  He failed to achieve the flying standard required and, declining the opportunity to become an Observer in 1953, he took the only other avenue to commissioned rank available at the time which was on the Special Duties List.  This needed additional qualifications, which he obtained, and he was promoted Sub-Lieutenant in 1956.  While gaining his qualifications he served in HMS Cygnet.


Having played football for the RN he also played for Corinthian Casuals, Harwich and Parkeston, and while a Commissioned Gunner in 1956 for Tooting and Mitcham FC in the Athenian League.


Between 1956 and 1960 he served in HMS Obdurate, HMS Chieftain and HMS Tyne, then the Home Fleet flagship.  He qualified as a Clearance Diving Officer in 1960 and was promoted to Lieutenant the same year. His first CD job was with the AUWE Diving Team at Portland.  He completed the Long TAS Course in 1963 and served as TAS Officer in HMS Brighton until 1965.  He was a Staff Officer Instructor at the SD Officers’ School until 1966, when he attended the Royal Naval Staff Course.  Having passed the Ship Command Examinations in 1967 he was promoted Lieutenant Commander.


From 1968 until 1969 he was the last Staff MCD and Officer-in-Charge of the Malta Clearance Diving Team.


He served his first term in the MOD at the Staff MCD desk of the Directorate of Naval Operational Requirements until, in 1971 he was appointed Head of the Minewarfare Section (IMW) of HMS Vernon.  He became the MCD Training Officer (MCDTO) in Vernon in 1972, before taking a sabbatical at Essex University in 1973/74.


He was the Commanding Officer of HMS Reclaim between 1974 and 1975, a period of his service that he particularly enjoyed, carrying out many and varied operations, including a helicopter recovery in foul weather and before the Russians could snatch the wreckage, and in 1975 he was promoted Commander.


Between 1975 and 1978 he served his second spell in the MOD at the Staff MCD desk of the Directorate of Naval Warfare.  This was a rewarding period for him and he was involved in two projects that captivated him; the 1976-77 operation to recover the Gateway of Diocletian and the Temple of Augustus from the submerged Island of Philae in Upper Egypt; and Operation Rheostat III, when, as Commanding Officer of Naval Party 1006 he conducted the critical mine clearance operations of the approaches to Port Said, Egypt, between 1 April and 14 May 1978, with a team of largely inexperienced young Clearance Divers from HMS Vernon, under testing conditions.  He was appointed as an OBE in the New Year’s Honours in 1978, for his exceptional service in general and particularly for his work in DNW over the previous two years.


His last appointment between 1978 and 1979 was in NATO as the Staff Officer Operations to Commander, Eastern Mediterranean.


He was also the most highly educated member of the Clearance Diving Branch; his desire to educate himself starting late in his career.  While working in the MOD in 1969, and staying up in London during the week, he decided to fill the nights productively with study.  Having achieved the entry requirements, he went on to Essex University in the 1973-74 academic year and was awarded a B.Sc from London University and an M.A. from Essex University in 1975.  After leaving the RN he worked in academia, firstly at Liverpool University from 1980 to 1989, as a Senior Administrator for Student affairs and Part-time Lecturer, being awarded an M. Phil. by the University in 1988.  He moved to Southampton College of Further Education in 1992 as Senior Administrator.  Between 1989 and 1998 he was an Honorary Senior Fellow in the School of Archaeology, Classics and Oriental Studies of the University of Liverpool.  He retired from paid employment in 1994 and researched for his Ph.D, which he was awarded in 1999, aged 70.  His interests were in Ancient History, Classical Art and Archaeology; his research involved the Greek and Roman civilisations.


He married Joan in 1952, who survives him with their two children, Christopher and Ann.  Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE, currently Director General of the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre at Shrivenham, brought him immense pride."

1 Nov 06 - Navy News Items


The following MCD-related items from the November issue of Navy News include:

Navy News Nov 06 b.jpg (101085 bytes)    Navy News Nov 06 d.jpg (243573 bytes)    Navy News Nov 06 c.jpg (98418 bytes)    Navy News Nov 06 a.jpg (45466 bytes)    Navy News Nov 06 e.jpg (68429 bytes)


30 Oct 06 - Death of Cdr John Jenkyn Parry OBE RN


David Bartlett has informed me that MCDOA member John Parry died suddenly in hospital on Saturday (28 Oct) after having been diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas.


John was an SD tas officer who qualified as a Shallow Water Diver (SWD) in the late 1950s and qualified as a CDO in 1960.  He served with David Edwards in HMS Tyne (then C-in-C Western Fleet's flagship) in the early 1960s and relieved John Grattan to become the last CO of the Med Fleet CD Team at Malta before it was disbanded in late 1968.  He was appointed as an OBE in the 1978 New Year's Honours list.  When I chatted with him at HMS Dryad's final Summer Ball in 2004, he was brimming with pride because his son Chris, my boss at the Maritime Warfare Centre before being appointed in Command of HMS Fearless, had just been selected for promotion to flag rank.  Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE is currently Director General of the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) at Shrivenham.


Full of bonhomie and a keen sportsman, John attended many MCDOA functions and was a regular at the Friday end-of-month buffet lunches in HMS Nelson.  I am sure all join me in extending our condolences to John's widow Joan and their family.  As customary, I will post any tributes and memories on the website and announce details of his funeral, likely to be in the Portsmouth area, when available.


From Bryan Barrett in the USA:

"Hi Rob,


I knew John well when he and I shared an office in MoD main building in the late 1970s for a couple of years.  He was in (then) DNW and I in (then) DNOR – the two MCDO desk officers on the Naval Staff.  He was a wonderful office-mate.  He worked hard to get the best for our branch and never let the politics of Whitehall get in the way of looking out for the operators at sea and the divers in the teams.  He was cheerful and enthusiastic, and above all helpful to everyone he worked with.  Many times he would step in to help me when I had some deadline to meet, and I could always rely on his level-headed advice.  I am greatly saddened to hear of his death.


Bryan Barrett"

From Doug Barlow:



The accompanying photo shows Petty Officers Johnson and Barlow of the cruiser HMS Sheffield (the original 'Shiny Sheff') with Petty Officer John Parry of the sloop HMS Cygnet in 1954.  We often located to this peaceful part of Ireland Island in Bermuda, adjacent to the once thriving naval base and dockyard (that's the warm clear sea behind us).


It was here that John Parry persuaded me to study for SD promotion.  I did and am forever grateful to him.  God bless him."


(l to r) POs Barlow, Parry & Johnson

From Mike Welford in Australia:



Shattering news as I believe I remember John still being a Lt Cdr when I was promoted to the same rank.  Wasn't he MCDTO at one stage?  I forget.  He then went to NATO HQ as a Cdr and got his OBE before I left the RN.  A lovely man who encouraged me to become a MW specialist (as well as a CD).


Lest we forget,



From Bill Norton in Spain:



Sorry to hear about John Parry, not a nice way to go.  I did not know him all that well as he had a number of TAS jobs.  I last saw him when he was a bursar at a college.


See you on the 16th.


Yours aye,



From Dan Nicholson:

"Thanks Rob,


A dear, kind man and one of the best bosses (IMW in HMS Vernon) that I ever had.  He will be sadly missed.



From Neil Merrick in the Netherlands:



I was in America visiting family when the news of John Parry's death came through.  It's hard to believe.


He and I were on the same Long CD Course, running (if my memory is correct) from April to October, but definitely 1960.  After the course I went to ECDU [Experimental Clearance Diving Unit].  I believe it was the last of the joint officer/rating courses.  During the course S of D announced that he was going to present the Superintendent of Diving's Trophy to the top officer on course.  John and I vied for the honour but I prevailed, thus I was the first holder.


Our actual paths seldom crossed after that, although we met at various meetings and spoke over the phone.  The last time I had a long chat with him was when I sat next to him at the Divers' 50th Anniversary Reunion dinner-dance a couple of years ago.  Naturally, we reorganized the Branch, the Navy, Britain and the Rest of the World while Joan and my wife, Janny, waited patiently for a dance - you know how things go on these occasions.  He and Joan were very much looking forward to their New Zealand trip, and since I had done two years exchange there, we talked a lot about joint friends and colleagues.


John was a gentleman, quiet but resolute, and always highly professional.  He was a good colleague, the Branch loses one of its best, we shall miss him.


Kind regards,


Neil Merrick,


P.S.  Jim Cook was on the same CD course, but I cannot say I recall any others who are still around."

From Tag Caisley in France:

"Hi Rob,


It was great to meet up with with you and all the others yesterday [at the AGM] although I am sad about John Parry.  He was always a calming influence at the NATO Mine Warfare conferences where he and I used to mix it with the French at the MW Tactical Pubs meetings.


I will be there next year, God willing, as we hope to sell the barge and stop our water gypsy antics around the waterways of Europe.  Age do tell!!





Daily Telegraph obituary for Dr Val Hempleman


It is gratifying to see that today's Daily Telegraph contains this obituary for Dr Val Hempleman, former Superintendent of the Royal Naval Physiological Laboratory (RNPL) at Alverstoke, who died in July (see entries for 21 Jul and 27 Jul in News Archive 15).  Sadly, the hard copy version shows a photograph of Admiral Sir Frank Twiss instead of Val.  Val's son Andrew had provided a photo of his father with Admiral Twiss (then Second Sea Lord) in front of a compression chamber at RNPL during a visit in 1969 but the editorial staff cropped the picture and showed the wrong individual.  


27 Oct 06 - New Personal Update


The Members Only area contains an update with photos from Phil Burrell in India.



20 Oct 06 - New Personal Update


The Members Only area contains an update from Les Rutherford in Libya.


19 Oct 06


MCDOA Operational Updates and AGM


The programme, agenda, proxy voting form and booking form for the Operational Updates, free lunch and AGM to be held at Fleet Diving Headquarters, Horsea Island on Friday 17 November, are now available for download on the 'Upcoming Events' page of the Members Only area.


MCDOA Annual Dinner


Please note that Grenville Johnson is now included among the leavers to be dined out at HMS Excellent on 16 Nov.


Bill Norton has commissioned a replica set of the medals awarded to MCDOA Honorary Member, the late Lt Cdr Robbie Robinson MBE, together with a framed photograph and biography.  It is hoped that he will present these to Chris Lade, the CO of the Defence Diving School, at 1900 in the wardroom bar so they might be displayed in the school as an inspiration to staff and trainees.


Items for auction


The following items are being auctioned with the proceeds going to the MCDOA.  To place a bid, e-mail your offer to the webmaster specifying the lot(s) concerned.  Bids will close at 1800 on Wed 16 Nov 06.  I will attempt to update the highest bids on the website periodically but the winning bids will be announced on the website and at the AGM on 17 Nov.  Items will be despatched to highest bidders after receipt and clearance of respective cheques by our Honorary Treasurer.  Winning bidders to collect items from Portsmouth area or pay for post and packing to required address.

Lot 1: Personalised car number plate donated by MCDOA member and former Chairman Simon Nicholson.  This lot has a reserve price of £750 to recompense Simon for his original purchase (£650 in 2002) and the cost of transferring the registration with DVLA (£80) while ensuring a minimum profit of £20 for the MCDOA.


Personalised Number Plate

(Reserve price £750)


Result: Unsold


Lot 2: Framed oil painting 21" x 25" (including frame) entitled 'A Spanish Scene' by the late Hubert Hill, a 'Chelsea Painter' who served in minesweepers during WW II.  Kindly donated by Miss Irissa Cooper of Twickenham.


A Spanish Scene

by Hubert Hill


Result: Sold for £25


Lot 3: Framed pen and watercolour 131/2" x 18" (including frame) entitled 'Chelsea Pub' by the late Hubert Hill, a 'Chelsea Painter' who served in minesweepers during WW II.  Kindly donated by Miss Irissa Cooper of Twickenham.


Chelsea Pub

by Hubert Hill


Result: Sold for £15

17 Oct 06


John Belchamber injured in explosion


Chris Tarmey has alerted me to the following articles from the Aberdeen Press & Journal concerning an accident involving fellow MCDOA member John Belchamber.  Chris has been in touch with John's wife Jane who said he was sitting up in bed at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and chuckling over the headlines although he was totally deaf at the time.

13 Oct 06  Explosives expert injured in hillside blast


13 Oct 06  Injured man airlifted after blast at firm


16 Oct 06  Explosives expert injured in blast will undergo surgery

I am sure all members join me in wishing John a full and speedy recovery.


Family awarded compensation for RN officer's death at Horsea


The following article from today's Portsmouth News describes the MoD's award of £750,000 in compensation to the family of Lt Paul McAulay RN who died at Horsea Island on 28 Nov 2002 (see entries for 9, 10 and 27 June 2005 in News Archive 10 for details of related court case).


McAulay Compensation 17 Oct 06.jpg (120478 bytes)


16 Oct 06 - 50th Anniversary of George Wookey's 600 ft dive


MCDOA member Chris Sherman, Chief Diving Inspector for the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE), has kindly sent the following e-mail that nicely rounds off the story of the 50th anniversary of George Wookey's world record-breaking 600 ft dive from HMS Reclaim in Sørfjorden, Norway on 12 October 1956:

"Hi Rob,


I had a good couple of days in Bergen and very much enjoyed meeting George & Patrice Wookey, Morty Drummond and Ron Maitland-Flanagan (another Reclaim diving team member from 1956).  The weather was good and the ceremony to mark the event took place on the shore of Sørfjorden outside Arna, which is near Bergen.  There is actually some uncertainty about tbe exact location of the dive and Morty Drummond wasn’t certain without being able to refer to charts or Reclaim’s log.  The plaque may therefore be relocated some time in the future!


I managed to get a few pictures which I am attaching.  George spoke to the conference (almost 200 people) and gave a very good account of the dive.  Lt Col Andy Canning RM (UK Defence Attache in Oslo) unveiled the plaque and made a nice speech.


In haste, but will try to provide more details if you need anything else.  John Bevan will be doing an article in Underwater Contractor magazine in due course.




Chris Sherman"


Left: George Wookey addresses the diving seminar in Bergen.

Right: Sørfjorden from Norwegian Coast Guard vessel KV Tromsø.



Lt Col Andy Canning OBE RM unveils commemorative plaque while

Norwegian naval personnel and George & Patrice Wookey look on.



Lt Col Canning dedicates commemorative plaque while George & Patrice Wookey look on.



Left: George Wookey with commemorative plaque.  

Right: (l to r) Morty Drummond, Ron Maitland-Flanagan, George Wookey, Patrice Wookey.


Chris Sherman with George Wookey


Chris, thanks for such a comprehensive set of photos.  Skal!


15 Oct 06 - Ton Class Association Reunion


Fellow MCDOA member Doug Barlow and I have just returned from a splendid Ton Class Association reunion at Babbacombe in Devon.  Among the 300 or so other attendees, we encountered many old friends including former CD1s Les Sharpe, Dave Morris and Spike Wheeler.  The weekend included a social evening on Friday, the AGM and a formal dinner on Saturday, and a tour of Devonport Naval Base on Sunday afternoon (from which Barlow and I excused ourselves).


The photo below shows your humble webmaster and Doug Barlow flanking Admiral Sir Alan West GCB DSC, the previous First Sea Lord, who was the Guest of Honour at Saturday's banquet and delivered a hugely entertaining speech about his service in three different Ton Class MCMVs.  He well remembers being the Guest of Honour at the MCDOA annual dinner in HMS Dolphin in 1995 when he was the Naval Secretary and still 'only' a rear-admiral.


Rob Hoole & Doug Barlow with Admiral West


Sadly, Vice Admiral Sir John Cox KCB, the TCA's President throughout its 19-year existence, died earlier this month and we held a memorial service this morning for him and for other TCA members who have crossed the bar during the past year.  We also remembered the 12 victims of HMS Fittleton who drowned following her collision with HMS Mermaid during a RAS manoeuvre 30 years ago on 20 Sep 1976.  Many widows and other family members were present.  The main memorial service for Sir John Cox will be held at St Luke's Parish Church, Milland near Rake in West Sussex on Wed 1 November at 1400.


Rob Hoole with Sir John Cox in Oct 2004


12 Oct 06 - New Personal Update


The Members Only area contains an update from Phil Burrell in India.


11 Oct 06 - Royal Navy Deep Diving


In anticipation of tomorrow's 50th anniversary of George Wookey's 600 ft world record dive from HMS Reclaim in Sor Fjord, Norway, I have written a short history of RN deep diving achievements.  'HMS Reclaim - A World Record-Breaker' can be found in the 'Dit Box'.


The following two-page spread from today's Portsmouth News describes MCDOA member George Wookey's historic dive and features MCDOA member Morty Drummond, the Commanding Officer of HMS Reclaim at the time.  I am grateful to Jon Rosamund of The News for his cooperation in giving this story the treatment it deserves.


George Wookey Dive 11 Oct 06.jpg (2508413 bytes)


5 Oct 06 - Norwegian Diving Seminar


It is interesting to see that MCDOA member Chris Sherman, Chief Diving Inspector for the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE), will now share the platform with George Wookey, Morty Drummond and John Bevan at the Diving Seminar to be held in Bergen on the 50th anniversary of George's record-breaking dive to 600 ft from HMS Reclaim in Sor Fjord on 12 Oct 1956 (see entries for 6 Aug and 13 Aug).  Lt Col Andy Canning OBE RM, UK Defence Attaché in Oslo, is due to unveil a plaque at Garnes to commemorate the event.


4 Oct 06 - MCDOA Annual Dinner


The calling notice and booking form for the 15th MCDOA Annual Dinner, to be held in HMS Excellent on Thurs 16 Nov, are now available for download in the Members Only area.


Our Guest of Honour will be the Commander-in-Chief Fleet (Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent KCB CBE) and we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the formation of the combined MCD Branch and the very first Long MCD Course in 1966 (Course Officer Patrick Dowland and Course Instructor Tom King plus Mike 'Johnny' Bull, John Coggins, Bill Grady, John Lang, John Ludgate, Alan Padwick, Jon Riches, Ed Thompson and Ivan Whatley).  I have managed to trace everyone except Bill Grady so please contact me if you know of his whereabouts.  As customary, we will also mark the 25th anniversary of LMCDO '81 (Course Officer Pat Gale then Geoff Goodwin and Course Instructor Blondie Limbrick plus Martyn Allen, George Cairns (EOD module), Tom Chambers, Geir Gade RNoN, David Hilton (MW & EOD modules), Robin Jack (Diving & MW modules), Rennie Miller, Ian Morton, Simon Nicholson, Peter Robinson and Nick Stanley).


We will be dining out several members who have recently left or are shortly leaving the Royal Navy including John Murphie, Grenville Johnson, Simon Nicholson, Tom Chambers, Kim Godfrey and David 'Spidy' Ince.  If you wish to be added to the list, please inform our Hon Sec Tony Griffiths and advise him of your choice of glass diver 'gizzit'.  Only the leavers will be entitled to a free meal.  As this function is subsidised by the MCDOA, all diners eligible for membership (i.e. excluding non-eligible guests) will be expected to have joined the Association as a prerequisite.


3 Oct 06 - New Personal Update


The Members Only area contains updates from Bill Scarth in Kuwait and Chris Ashcroft in London.


2 Oct 06 - Navy News Items


The following MCD-related items from the October issue of Navy News include:

Opeartional Awards.jpg (335573 bytes)    Middleton Baltic Sweep.jpg (54326 bytes)    Pembroke in Steadfast Jaguar.jpg (131588 bytes)    Inverness DVD.jpg (49505 bytes)


1 Oct 06 - Divers' Gifts and Collectables


The following e-mail has been received from MCDOA member Paul Guiver:



Divers' Gifts & Collectables have recently produced Siebe Gorman Cufflinks, Tie Pins and Watch Clips.  Images are attached.  The intended retail prices are in brackets:


Cufflinks: Silver (£44.99) & 22ct Gold Plated Silver (£49.99).




Tie pins: Silver (£26.00) & 22ct Gold Plated Silver (£30.00).  Watch Clips (As per tie pin but with strap clasp) Silver only (£20.00).




The dimensions of the Helmet = 2.3 x 1.8 cm


We will start retailing them during our first exhibition at DIVE2006, NEC, Birmingham on 14/15 October.  However, as a one-off for the forthcoming MCDOA Dinner on 16 November we are offering them at the following reduced prices:


Cufflinks: £35.00 and £39.00 respectively.

Tie Pins:  £21.00 and £25.00 respectively. Watch Clips: (£16.00)


All come in their own presentation boxes and can be delivered at the dinner.


Please could you post this notice and ask that anyone who is interested please e-mails me at with their requirements before 25 October.


Many thanks,


Paul Guiver



Diver's Gifts & Collectables"


    Back to Top


Back to News Archives