Eric Garfield Holmwood

( 5th October 1954 - 27th January 2024)        


      Once again it is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of another of our members.


    Eric was born in Pembroke Dock in 1954 and joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15½ at HMS Ganges on the 18th May 1970.


    He met his wife to be, Angela, on the 19th October 1974 and they were duly married the following year, whilst Eric was serving on HMS Egeria, on the 2nd April 1975. From their marriage they produced three wonderful children, Tabitha, Andrew and Simon,who in turn,

gave them seven grandchildren.


     After 24½ years' service Eric left the Royal Navy as a CRS, at HMS Collingwood. During his service he served at HMS Ganges, HMS Mercury, HMS Wildfire, and HMS Collingwood and on HM Ships, Lincoln, Egeria, Arethusa, Herald, Hecla, Protector, and Bristol. He also served at Comcen's Northwood, Fort Southwick, and Whitehall and was lucky enough to be married accompanied in Norway and Gibraltar.


     Following his departure from the Navy, Eric spent time with Dart Tunnel Police before becoming a train driver with Connex/SE Rail where he also became the union rep. He also worked as a case worker, Poppy appeal organiser and Chairman of Gillingham branch Royal British Legion.


      He retired in 2015 and returned home to Wales when he moved to Wrexham to be closer to his daugter and grandchildren.


    Eric was a member of a few Royal Navy Associations,including the Royal Naval Association, HMS Ganges Association and the Survey Ships Association. He maintained his connections with  the Royal Navy throughout his life and participated in many reunions. He fully supported those associations that he was a member of, and will be missed by many who knew and loved him.


Cremation took place on 19th February 2024 at Pentrebychan Crematorium, Pentre Bychan Wrexham.



             May he always find fair winds and following seas.




Allan Lloyd

( 9th July 1951 - 28th April 2023)        


        It is with immense sadness and regret that I have to inform you that  Allen Lloyd 

passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Friday April 28th 2023 aged 71 years at Roxburghe House Aberdeen.


  Alan, aka "Taff"or "Scouse" , served in the Royal Navy from 1966 until 1978. From 1971 he served onboard Hydrographic Survey vessels Hecate, Fawn, Enterprise, Herald and Hecla. On leaving the Navy he carved out a successful career as a Hydrographic Surveyor in the Oil industry.

Devoted husband to Elizabeth, dearly loved dad to Ben and Gareth, father-in-law to Esther, treasured grandfather to Harriet, also a dear brother, brother-in-law, uncle, and a great friend to many.

Cremation took place on 16th May at Aberdeen Crematorium West Chapel. Donations can be given, on line, in aid of Friends of Roxburghe if so desired. 



                        May he rest in peace in a safe anchorage




Colin Anthony Roberts

(2nd September 1952 - 29th January 2023)        


        It is with immense sadness and regret that I have to inform you of the passing of

                  Colin " Robbie" Roberts following a brief and unexpected illness.


 Robbie was born in Plymouth on 2 September 1952 where he lived all his life. He joined the Navy at HMS Ganges in 1969 and went on to serve onboard HM Ships  Puma, Hecate, Fox, Hecla, Herald together with establishments HMS Osprey and Drake


               When he met the love of his life, Barbara, she made such a huge impression on him he was determined not to lose her so he applied for a special licence and they married on the 19 May 1971 before he returned to duty. They have two children, Neil and Theresa, 5 grandchildren and 3 step grandchildren.


               After leaving the Navy he had a couple of surveying jobs around the country before he became a buyer for Bam Nuttel from where he retired in 2018. They moved to their current address in 2017 and he was then able to spend his time gardening and playing golf with his best friend Rocky.





                 May he always find fair winds and following seas






Kenneth Penry Wallis

(14th October 1936 - 10th June 2022)


        We Have been informed that Ken Crossed the bar, peacefully at home, on 10th June   2022.


Ken was born on 14th October 1936 in Bexley Heath, Kent. With the outbreak of WW2 he and his family evacuated to Porthcawl there to be with his brother and cousin. From this point forward he had a great love of Wales and was a very proud supporter of Welsh Rugby.


On the 14th October 1952 he joined HMS Ganges as a boy second class and thereby commenced his time in the Royal Navy. Following service on other ships he joined HMS  Scott (1955 - 1956) and HMS Owen (1956 - 1957 before joining the Hydrographice service in 1958. He went on serve onboard HM Ships Shackleton, Dalrymple, Dampier, Echo, Myrmidon, Hydra and Hecla as he rose through the ranks to become a CPO(SR). In 1971 - 1972 he served at HMAS Penquin the Australian Hydrographic school.


He met his wife, Irene, in Lyme Regis at a darts match and she obviously made an impression as they went on to marry and began their family life together.


When he was 21 he had an unfortunate accident when riding a motor bike, the bike went one way, he went the other way and from that time onwards he walked with a bit of a limp.


When he left the Navy in August 1976 he continued to work in hydrography in countries around the world such as the Gulf, Nigeria and Brunei. 


He enjoyed music, in particular Elkie Brookes, and was a keen gardner.


In 2019 he fell seriously ill and was lovingly nursed at home until he passed away very peacefully.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his wife Irene and family.




                           May he rest in peace in a safe anchorage






Peter John Louis Kelly

(24th March 1938 - 8th February 2022)


        You wil already be aware that we recently recieved notification that Peter  crossed the bar on 8th February 2022. A true officer and gentleman, much respected by all who knew and served with him, he will be sadly missed. Family and friends gathered at Glynn Valley Crematorium Chapel, Turfdown Road, Fletchers Bridge, Bodwin, Cornwall to pay their respects and celebrate his life.


        Peter was born on the 24th March 1938 in Portsmouth to Louis and Rose Kelly, a younger brother to sister Jean. His father was a bandsman in the army and as such they were a particularly mobile family especially as Peter was born just before the outbreak of WW 2. 


To necessitate continuation of his education he attended a grammar school in Colchester, he always retained a fond affection for the Essex area where he had completed most of his education and became a lifelong suppoter of Colchester United. He also followed the exploits of the Essex county cricket team.


On the 23rd March 1953, at the age of fifteen, he joined HMS St. Vincent as a Boy 2nd class. On completion of his training he joined his first ship HMS Jamaica but it was on joining his next ship, HMS Dampier, the first purpose built survey ship, that he decided this was what he wanted to be, a Surveyor. He therefore joined the Hydrographic Department and later in his career, when he was a Petty Officer he was selected to go through Officer training on the Special Duties List. He was promoted to Sub Lieutenant SD(H) in August 1966.


1968 to 1970 he was given the chance to go to Australia to set up the Australian Hydrographic School, this he did and it is still going strong to this day in much the same way as he set it up.

On his return and following promotion through Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander in 1973 he took his first Command in HMS Woodlark. He then went on to take command of the Inshore Survey Squadron and other vessels within the survey fleet.



He retired as a Commander on 23rd March 1991 and shortly after took the opportunity to work for the Sultan of Oman, taking stewardship of the Royal Yacht.


                      Our thoughts, as always on these sad occasions, are with his family.


     May he always find fair winds and following seas.




Christopher ("Doc") Radford

(14th October 1939 - 5th November 2021)


        It is with great sadness and regret that I have to inform you that Chris crossed the bar on Friday 5th November 2021. His funeral took place at Friday 17th December 2021 at Three Counties Crematorium, Essex.


        Chris was born in London in the early war years, where he spent his childhood and his life of uniforms began. His grandfather was a City of London policeman who was awarded the freedom of the city of London; his father was a police sargeant and his two uncles were likewise in uniform.


It was during this time living in London where his love of West Ham United began and he went on to support them throughout his life time. He also loved boxing and was a keen rugby player in later years.


Still in his teens Chris took to uniform himself, proudly joining the Royal Navy in April 1957.  He commenced his basic training at HMS Victory on 7th May and on successful completion on 10th June he joined Royal Naval Hospital Plymouth to begin his career as a Royal Naval Medic.


Chris joined his first ship, HMS Lion, on 20 March 1961 and he went on to serve on HM ships Ashanti, Whitby, Troubridge,Hydra and Birmingham. He also served at Royal Naval Hospitals Haslar, Chatham and Plymouth and RN establishments Ganges, Rooke, Victory and Drake. He saw active service in Aden uring the Radfan campaign of 1964.


Chris travelled worldwide and made many shipmates wherever he went. After 22 years in the Royal Navy he settled in Sible Hedingham in the Colne valley, in the Braintree district of Essex and after many years of bachelorhood he met and married Norma.


In later years he joined the local branch of the British Legion and heldthe position of Vice President. Chris also loved nature and enjoyed spending time outdoors looking after and watching wildlife.


Chris was a wonderful, happy man with a passion for life and laughter.



      Our thoughts are, as always in these sad times, with his wife, Norma and family.        




May he Rest in Peace in a safe anchorage.




Richard Gleed-Owen (8th September 1943 - 18th November 2021)


        It is with great sadness and regret that I have to inform you that Richard crossed the bar on Monday 18th November 2021. His funeral took place at Mansfield Crematorium Thoresby Chapel on Friday 10th December 2021. 


        Richard was born on the 8th September 1943 at Dartford, Kent but he and his family moved to settle in different areas in his early years, including Pwellheli, Burton Latimer in Northamptonshire and finally to Wellingborough, where he did most of his schooling.


He joined the Royal Navy in 1961 aged 18 and served onboard HM ships Dalrymple, Mermaid, Hecla and Vidal amonst others. He met his wife Cathie in 1966 in Greenock whilst serving onboard HMS Mermaid and they married in 1969. Richard left the Navy after 9 years and he and wife Cathie settled down in Bedford where he trained to become a teacher and, on successful completion of which, saw another house move, this time to Mansfield to take up a position in his new role as a teacher.


He remained as a teacher until he was around 40 when, following a short spell in insurance, he entered the Civil Service where he was to remain until he was 60. He then joined Portland Training College, which specializes in helping young people with disabilities develop their skills, until his retirement at age 65.


His life took a tragic turn when in 2014 he suffered a stroke which curtailed a lot of his interests.

He was however still able to take photographs as I am sure a lot of members will, amongst other things remember him for.


For much of the last 6 months of his life he was confined to Kings Mill Hospital Mansfield and he spent his last week at Sherwood Grange care home in Edwinstowe where he passed away peacefully in the evening of the 18th November 2021 surrounded by his family.



      Our thoughts are, as always in these sad times, with his wife, Cathie and family.        




May he Rest in Peace in a safe anchorage.




Brian Arthur Ward (Sharkey)  (5th April 1943 - 29th March 2021)


        It is with great sadness and regret that I have to inform that Sharkey crossed the bar on Monday 29th March 2021. His funeral took place at Portchester Crematorium on Wednesday 21st April 2021. The following is taken from the Eulogy by his daughter Sharon.


        Brian (aka Sharkey, Sailor, Snail, Smurf) died unexpectedly at Queen Alexandra Hospital Cosham on the 29th March 2021. He was born in Brighton on the 5th April 1943 the eldest of four children born to William and Phyllis Ward, he is survived by Partner Pat, his sister Pauline and brother Peter. He joined the Royal Navy in 1958 and served on HMS Vidal, D-boats and HMS Camperdown amongst others.


                      Sharkey never married but when he met Pat, his partner, he inherited a daughter and three grandchildren and for the following 25 years he became a doting partner, father and grandad. Together they moved around a bit living in New Wokingham Road, Crowthorne, and Newman Close, Glastonbury before settling down in Haselmere Road Southsea nine years ago. He dedicated his retired years to raising money for the poppy appeals,being a standard bearer and setting up, running and holding the office of treasurer of the RNA Social club.


                           Our thoughts are with his partner, Pat Grimshaw and family.                     




May he Rest in Peace in a safe anchorage.



Alison Spray (28th April 1957 - 15th January 2021)


        It is with great sadness and regret that I have to inform you of the death of Alison Spray who passed away due to a kidney infection, which led to Sepsis, on January 15th 2021.


        She was a long standing member of the Association together with her husand Peter (Jan) Spray and continued as an associate member on his death in 2018, indeed she was a member of the committee taking over the position of Slops Manager for a number of years.


        Alison was born in Merthyr Tydfil on Sunday 28th April 1957 and was educated locally. She studied Pharmacy at the University of Wales, graduating in 1980, following which she moved to the South West of England to take up a position with Boots the chemist. It was here that she was recruited into the RNR at HMS Pellew, Exeter where she met her late husband Peter.  


       They married at Treharris in the Taff Bargoed valley in the South of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough, South Wales on the 15th April 1988.


      She retired from the RNR in 2010 in order to look after Peter who was not in the best of health and in fact passed away in 2011. 


      Although she had not attended a reunion for a couple years her smiling face and infectious personality will be sorely missed at our gatherngs.



May she Rest in Peace



John Mckenzie (20 October 1934 - 9 December 2018)


             We have sadly, recently received notification that John has crossed the bar. His wife and daughter kindly wrote the following :-


John was born into a Naval family with his father, Hector serving as a Petty Officer on HMS Escort. Sadly Hector was killed during duty on board in July 1940.


 John followed in his father's footsteps and served as an engineering artificer on HMS Scott and HMS Shackleton. His brother Ron, (deceased) also served in the Navy.

John emigrated to Melbourne Australia in 1964 where he took up work for Ansett Airlines as the Superintendent of Overhaul Workshops. He worked at Ansett until his early retirement at the age of 57.


In retirement John enjoyed playing lawn bowls, travelling, including three trips back to the UK and plenty of other countries. In later years, when flying became an issue, John and his wife took to cruising, completing 24 cruises that took them all over the world.


Besides travelling and bowls, John loved reading, (Cussler his favourite) and working in his veggie garden, he passed away peacefully after a short battle with Pneumonia.


John is survived by his wife Christine, and his children Rachael, Shane and Anthony.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family


May he Rest in Peace



Stanley White


             It is with regret that I have to inform you of the following communication received by our chairman, Terry today.


Apologies for this cold call e-mail, but unfortunately I must pass on the sad news that my dad, Stan passed away suddenly on Sunday 22nd April.

          I know he was a long standing member of your association and he used to enjoy the annual gatherings and catching up with old friends. I would be grateul if you could pass this on to those who knew Stan.

          I am not sure if he was still a member as he was not as mobile as he used to be and found walking quite difficult, but I thought you would like to know.

His funeral will take place on 14 May at 1130 at the Thanet Crematorium.

Thanks and regards,

Peter White


Stan and his wife were good supporters of the Association. According to the Web list his membership is still active.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family


May he Rest in Peace



John Pybus


             It is with regret that I have to inform you of the following communication received by Bert recently.

I hope you don't mind me contacting you. Unfortunately my father, John Pybus, passed away on 22nd December. It was all very sudden, he was on a cruise in the Med with Pat who found him in the bathroom. We can't get him home until 3rd January when we'll have a chance to arrange the funeral.

           He always spoke very fondly of you and the rest of the guys at The Survey Ships Association. It would be nice if you could raise a glass to him at the next reunion. 

Thanks Bert.

Chris Pybus 

John served onboard the following Ships:-

HMS Sharpshooter, HMS Vidal, SML 322 & SML 323 between.


John's Funeral will be held at 1330 on Friday 2 February at Haltemprice Crematorium, Main Street, Hull, East Yorks. HU10 6NS

And afterwards at the Wheatsheaf, 2 Packham Lane, Kirkella, Hull. HU10 7TL.


May he Rest in Peace


Would any member intending to attend John's funeral please email his son Chris so that he has some idea of numbers. (

Derek "Wacker" Payne


We have sadly, recently been informed of the passing of Derek. His son has reported that his father passed away peacefully at home on the 26th December. Derek served on board HMS Hecate 1989 to 1991. His funeral will take place at 1330 on 10th January at Altrincham Crematorium followed by the funeral reception at Timperley Conservative Club, 82 Heyes Lane, Timperley, Atrincham. Family flowers only, donations to the RNLI and RN Benevolent Fund.

Our thoughts and condolences are with his family. 


May he Rest in Peace



Dave (Clarry) Rogers


              It is with sadness and regret that I have to inform you of the death of Clarry   aged 85. A Devonport Shipwright he served 1948-1987 on the following ships:

 HMS Illustrious, HMS Cumberland, HMS Pellew, HMS Hartland Point, HMS   Centaur, HMS Mull of Kintyre, HMS Hydra,  and HMS Osprey plus Christmas   Island tests, RNAS Culdrose, RM Poole, and the Falklands.

             Clarry joined the SSA in 1993 and attended 8 reunions until bad health   prevented him from attending. His funeral will take place on Monday 20 November 2017 at   Exeter Crematorium at 1400.


May he Rest in Peace


Commander Robert “Bob” Halliday, Royal Navy (Retd.)

21st April 1936  -  27th August 2016


Commander “Bob” Halliday  “Crossed the Bar” on Saturday 27th August 2016 after a 2 year battle with cancer.


He served on board the following:

HM ships Dampier, Scott, Owen, and Lachlan as a Lieutenant;


HM Ships Enterprise and Bulldog as Lieutenant Commander and C.O.


And HM Ships Hydra and Herald as Commander and C.O.

He was Commanding Officer of the Herald when she served as

Ambulance Ship during the Falklands campaign of 1982.


His funeral will take place at 1030 on Wednesday 14th September 2016

in St. Anne’s Church, Sunny Walk,

HM Naval Base Portsmouth PO1 3PX

and afterwards at the

Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club,

17 Pembroke Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2NT.

Blazers/Jackets and Full size medals may be worn.


If you wish to attend the funeral then you must send details of your

Vehicle )Make/Model/Colour/Registration), and the names of

all occupants, to the funeral director so you can be put on the list

to gain access to HM Naval Base Portsmouth through Trafalgar Gate (Entrance off the M275). You must also carry Photograhic ID

 (ie Passport/Driving License/Bus Pass)


May he Rest in Peace

Dennis Brake, HMS Scott 1943 – 1946


It is with sadness that I have to inform you that one of our long time members, Dennis passed away in his sleep on the 1st August 2016.


Because he has been housebound in a wheelchair for the last couple of years he was unable to continue with his memberships. However he remembered, with fondness, all the Survey Ship’s reunions he attended.


The funeral is on Friday 26th August at 13:30 at Lawnswood  Crematorium, which is on Otley Road in Lee. All welcome to attend.


Our thoughts, as ever, are with his family


May he Rest in Peace

Anthony Francis Xavier Balch


Passed away peacefully at his residence in Grand Valley, Ontario on Sunday January 31st 2016 at the age of 89. A true English gentleman, charming and gallant. Anthony was a decorated WWII veteran.  He was the centre point of the family and will be missed by all who knew him. Beloved father of Trevor (Christy) and Loretta (Steve Wright). Devoted Grandfather of Philip Wright and Alex, Natasha, Sam, Adam, Ryan, Liam, and Darby Balch. Cherished great-grandfather of London.


In memory of Anthony, donations may be made to 85 Tornado Air Cadet Squadron to help raise funds for the 2017 Vimy Ridge/Normandy trip. Donations may be made through Simes Funeral Home, Grand Valley, Ontario. (519) 928-2933


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.


May he Rest in Peace 

Peter Richard Apps


Peter passed away on Boxing Day 2015 in Narbonne France. He joined the Royal Navy as a boy entrant in the 1950’s and served through to the 1960’s. His service number was C/JX 912317 and his rank LTO. He served aboard the following ships:- HMS Ganges, HMS Grenville, HMS Loch Alvie, HMS Pembroke, HMS Mercury, HMS Jutland, HMS Dampier and HMS Jufair.

He is survived by his wife, Carole, Children and Grand-Children.


Although a non-member of the Association his family requested he be entered into our obituary columns.


Our thoughts and condolences are, as ever, with his family.


May he Rest in Peace 


Anybody who served with or knew Peter can make contact with his son, details with the secretary.

Reverend Albert Braithwaite RN (Ret’d), 1924 - 2015

Reverend Albert Braithwaite RN (Ret’d)

Chaplain to the Survey Ships Association 1997 - 2007



Albert was born in east London on 3rd October 1924.  The son of Alfred and Edith, he was raised in a loving Christian home with elder sisters Phyllis and Mary.  Intent on a career at sea he left school at 14 and joined the TS Arethusa on 26th March 1938 and two years later he joined the RN as a ‘Boy 2nd Class’. Serving on numerous ships throughout WW ll he saw action in most major theatres; onboard HMS Sheffield he took part in several ‘Russian Convoys’ and other actions including the sinking of the German battle cruiser Scharnhost and finally returning home in July 1946 as an Acting PO.


      From an early age the idea of full-time Christian service was never far from his thoughts; encouraged by an RN Chaplain and others, he bought himself out of the Navy in 1947; however the road to ordination was long.  Academic study at Clifton (now Trinity) was initially unsuccessful.  Stints as a builders’ labourer, assistant secretary of a YMCA, two years as an RN Lay Reader and verger of a church in Kensington provided further life experience and Christian learning that he was to draw on later.  During this time he met his beloved Joan and they were married on 21st January 1950.  Paul was born in Scotland in 1951 followed by daughter Sarah who was born in London in 1954.  During the Korean War, Albert was recalled to the RN and served in home waters.  Appointed a Lay Reader at St Matthews, Bestwood in Nottingham he continued to study and finally passed his theological exams and was ordained Deacon on 4th May 1959 and as a Priest on 12th June 1960.  Number two and three sons, David and Matthew were born in 1959 and 1961.


Undeterred by an initial rebuff and determined to follow God’s call, he joined the RN as a Chaplain in 21st January 1962.  His Naval ministry spanned most areas of the Fleet and Royal Marines, but he counted his time with 42 Cdo. RM in Borneo and Malaya and on the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes as his most memorable appointments.  Reports from his CO’s have a common thread; all highlighted his deep and practical faith, wise counsel and his ability to relate to all ranks.  This was perhaps best summed up by one who wrote “It has been my privilege and pleasure to serve with Rev Braithwaite, he is the best RN Chaplain I have encountered in my 38 years’ service, indeed the best padre I have encountered anywhere.  A humble and godly man, he is trusted and respected by everyone and he talks alike to Admirals and Able Seamen.  His unique experience as a sailor, lay reader to Chaplain gives him a feel for men and women in all walks of life that he puts to utmost use. His profound belief in the Christian message shines forth and I can recall no one I have met who has such sincerity and humility and who by his conviction, Christian leadership and way of life stands out as an example to us all.”  Albert retired from the RN on 3rd October 1981.


The words ‘book’ and ‘wood’ give a clue to Albert’s love of reading, DIY and carpentry.  He amassed a library of Christian books, most of which have notes scribbled in the margins or written on impromptu bookmarks.  He would often have several on the go at once, normally accompanied by a novel with a naval theme.  He loved whiling away the hours in the cellar or garage surrounded by his tools.  He was an avid correspondent too, often writing to folk to encourage them in their faith and lend them his support and on occasion help provide direction!  Ahead of his time in recycling terms his keen eye for a skip was legendary; over the years enough wood and pieces of furniture to build and equip a small Ark were ‘saved’ and put to good use!


Throughout his career, Albert supported and took an active part in numerous military and Christian organisations; among them – the Bible Society, SPCK, CMS, Aggie Weston’s (RSR), NMAFBS, Officers Christian Union, the HMS Sheffield Association, the Survey Ships Association and the Burma Star Association to name a few.


Following retirement he joined the staff of St Jude’s as an honorary curate and served as a member of the Pastoral Team, ministering too many in Southsea and widely across the Portsmouth diocese.


Throughout his ministry in the RN and St Jude’s, Albert was supported by ‘his better three quarters’ Joan, who supported, stood beside and followed him throughout their 61 years of marriage.  They formed a unique and loving partnership and were in every sense a Christian team.


Following Joan’s death in 2011, Albert suffered a stroke that reduced his mobility but did not inhibit his ability to preach the gospel nor recount tales of his many and varied experiences!  Over the last 2 years he has borne increasing ill health with grace and acceptance.  He was exceptionally grateful for all who helped him care for Joan and who provided care and company for him.


Albert passed away peacefully on 22nd October 2015, his daughter and son-in-law by his side; fittingly he shared prayers with Simon Springett of Aggies and the Chaplain of the Fleet that afternoon.


May he Rest in Peace

Ronald “Bernie” Scrivens

It is with great sadness and regret that I have to inform you that Bernie “Crossed the Bar” on Sunday 27th September 2015 after losing his fight with Cancer.


Bernie joined the RN as a Junior Seaman at HMS St. Vincent on 10th February 1959 following which he qualified as an RP. It was during initial training that he was given the nickname “Bernie” when his instructor mistook his surname as Cribbens, and called him Bernie after the actor Bernard Cribbens, the name stuck.


Bernie had a couple of ships and a spell in Chatham barracks as an RP before successfully changing branches and becoming a BT (Boom Trained) rating. His time as a BT was short lived. With the branch being disbanded in the early 1970s, Bernie re-categorized again, time becoming a Survey Recorder. He was able to keep the seniority he had gained before becoming an SR and within a few months of joining the branch became a PO(SR).


Promoted to CPO(SR) in around 1975/76, Bernie spent time in drafts at the Hydrographic school and in HMS Hecla. He was promoted to Fleet Chief in 1981, whilst serving at the school. Appointments as a Fleet Chief alternated between Captain (H) organization ashore in Devonport and seagoing in Naval Party 1008. Bernie left the Navy in 1993, having served 34 years. It wasn’t long after leaving the RN that he found himself in prison. Fortunately it was as a member of staff at Dartmoor prison. He continued working in the prison until retirement in 2008. In retirement Bernie devoted his time to his family, whilst still remaining an active participant in his local community, becoming a councilor on Calstock Parish Council.


He served on the following ships:

HMS Solebay, HMS Malcolm, HMS Victorious, HMS Mohawk, HMS Woodlark,

 HMS Hecla, HMS Enterprise, HMS Fawn, NP 1008, and HMS Gleaner.

Retiring on the 7th November 1993 as a Warrant Officer 1st Class (Survey Recorder)

Founder member and Vice Chairman of the Survey Ships Association.


Aged 71


Our thoughts and condolences are with Margaret and his family.


May he Rest in Peace

Paul “Lofty” Cobbing


It is with sadness and regret that I have to inform  you that another of our number has “crossed the bar”.


Paul Cobbing served as an Able Seaman on HMS Shackleton in 1957. He passed away in hospital on Friday 31st January of Complications due to asbestosis and an infection he fought hard to beat.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.


May he Rest in Peace

John “Rod” Pearson


It is with sadness and regret that I have to inform  you that  Rod Pearson “crossed the bar” in  May 2013 aged 69.


I would also take the opportunity to apologise for the late reporting of his passing. Rod, a WO1 (MEA), served in the RN 1964 – 1996 serving on the following ships:


Blake, Forth, Juno, Arethusa, Veralum, Urchin, Hydra (twice), Herald, Bristol, Nelson, Tamar, Sultan, The Sultan of Brunei’s Navy and St. Georges Barracks.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.


May he Rest in Peace 

Ronald Jarvis


It is with sadness and regret that I have to inform you that  Ronald Jarvis “crossed the bar” March 2013 aged 88. I would also apologise for the late reporting of his passing which has only recently come to light.


Ronald, who was a Leading Seaman served on the following Survey Ships from 1948 to 1954:


Scott, Franklin, Dalrymple, STU Pembroke, Sharpshooter and SML 324.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.


May he Rest in Peace 

Richard “Ginge” Woodhouse


It is with deep sadness that I have to inform  you that  “Ginge” “crossed the bar” on Monday 19th August 2013, very suddenly of Cancer. He had only been ill for approximately 4 weeks.


His funeral is to be held on Monday the 9th September 2013 at 11:30am at St. Mary’s Church Honley and then 12:30 at Huddersfield Crematorium.


Ginge was a long standing member of the Association and served on the following Survey Ships:-

HMS Mermaid  AB(RP) 1966, HMS Hecate AB(SR) 1967 – 68, HMS Fawn AB(SR) 1968 – 70, HMS Egeria AB(SR) 1970 – 71, FSL Waterwitch (SCESU) AB(SR) 1971 – 73,

 HMS Woodlark AB(SR) 1973 – 74, HMS Hecate LS(SR) 1974 – 76, HMS Endurance PO(SR) 1976 – 77, HMS Fawn PO(SR) 1978 – 80, HMS Endurance CPO(SR) 1981 – 82,  HMS Hecla CPO(SR) 1985 -90, Naval Party 1008 WO(SR) 1993 – 95


Ginge was very modest about his role in the Falklands War and seldom spoke about it. He was ashore with a Survey Party from HMS Endurance surveying near Stanley when the Argentinians invaded. The team hid all the charts and data they had produced and also the SMB – the Argentinians never found them. Ginge and the Survey Party were then attached to the Royal Marine Detachment from Moody Brook. Ginge was detailed off as Sir Rex Hunt’s personal bodyguard until they were captured and sent back to the UK where Ginge and Lt. Todd Hunter were debriefed at Whitehall before being sent back down to HMS Endurance.




Our thoughts and condolences are with Cynthia And his family in their time of sorrow.


May he Rest in Peace

Mike Wiggins


It is with sadness and regret that I have to inform  you that  Mike Wiggins “crossed the bar” on Sunday 4th August 2013  following a long illness (Motor Neurone Disease).


 Mike joined the Association in 2005,  he served as Able Seaman onboard:-


HMS Dampier (1954 – 56),  SML326 (1956 – 57)

 and as AB(SR)  onboard HMS Owen (1957 – 59)

 and HMS Shackleton (1959 – 60).


The funeral will be held on Monday 19th August 2013 at:

 Essex Vale Crematorium, Hedge End, Southampton at 1045am 


Our thoughts and condolences are with his Partner Sue and his family in their time of sorrow.


May he Rest in Peace

Derek “Dickie” Bird


It is with sadness and regret that I have to inform you that Derek “Dickie” Bird “crossed the bar”

on Saturday 2nd February 2013 in hospital suffering with lung cancer.


Dickie has been a regular attendee at our reunions since he joined the Association in 2006.


He served as Able Seaman SR3 on HM Ships Bulldog, Fox, Hydra and Naval Party 5640 Between 1971 and 1975.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.


May he Rest in Peace 

Rear Admiral Steve Ritchie, CB, DSC


It is with regret that I have to inform you of the death of Admiral Steve Ritchie. Steve was a regular supporter of the Association and attended re-unions as and when he could until ill health prevented him from doing so.

 The following statement was issued by the UK Hydrographic Department. 



I am sure that colleagues will be as sad as I am to hear that Admiral Steve Ritchie died yesterday 8th May 2012, peacefully at home surrounded by his family. Steve was 97 and the nineteenth Hydrographer of the Navy from January 1966 to February 1971. This post was the culmination of a long and active career in the Royal Navy. We did, however see Steve here at UKHO on his many visits to our eponymous archive to research his most endearing tales of surveying.


Steve went to sea as a cadet in 1932 and after thirty-five years as a Hydrographic specialist retired as Hydrographer of the Navy in 1971. In 1972, he was elected President of the Directing Committee of the International Hydrographic Bureau (IHB) and served for ten tears in Monaco. He was the first recipient of our prestigious Alexander Dalrymple Award given in recognition of his contribution to world Hydrography over 70 years.


His memoirs, “No Day Too Long” are a fascinating and often humorous account of his life as a surveyor afloat and ashore and recount many tales of life at the UKHO. His book, "The Admiralty Chart” is a most readable history of what lies behind the compilation of our charts, the development of surveying and the stories behind the expeditions.


Colleagues here at the UKHO, in RN and at the IHB will be saddened to hear that one of the most colourful and memorable characters in the surveying and cartographic world is with us no more but all who had the honour of knowing him will undoubtedly retain the fondest memories of this impressive leader.


Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family.

Lawrence Thomas


We have recently been informed of the death of Lawrence Thomas who passed away sometime this year. Lawrence, joined the Association in 2006 but never Attended a reunion. His membership lapsed last year.


He served on HMS Dalrymple 1951 to 1953


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.


May he Rest in Peace

Joan Braithwaite


It is with regret that I have to inform you of the death of our previous Chaplain, Albert Braithwaite’s wife Joan. Joan always fully supported Albert and accompanied him everywhere until prevented from doing so by illness. Here is the message I received today. Hope as many of you that can will attend the Funeral:-


The Braithwaite Family would like you to know that our beloved Joan Louisa went home to be with her Lord on Tuesday 7th June 2011. Her Funeral and Thanksgiving Service will be held on Monday 11th July at 13:00 in St Jude’s Church Southsea, to which all are welcome, followed by refreshments.


Family flowers only. Thank you offerings if desired c/o The Administrator, St Jude’s Church, Southsea, PO5 3EL.


If you think you will be joining us and to enable us to make catering arrangements, please contact Sarah Steel by email – or by telephone – 07595 338929 – where you can leave a message.



Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Albert and his family.

Paul “Adge” Cutler


It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of Paul “Adge”  Cutler who passed away on the morning of the 9 June 2011 aged 64.


Adge, who was an MEA(H)1 (CPO – Chippy), joined the Association in 1997 missing only one reunion in 2001.


He served on HM Ship’s FOX & Fawn 1978 to 1980 and HMS Endurance 1981 to 84. Adge was also a member  of SAMA (82).


 The funeral will take place in about 2 weeks time at the Eton Crematorium, would anybody who wishes to attend please let the Secretary know.


May he Rest in Peace 

Cdr. John Pryor RN


I have just been informed of the death of Cdr. John Pryor RN of Drury Park, Snape, Suffolk.

John passed away on 15th April 2011 aged 91 following a short illness.


His service career began as a Naval cadet on HMS Erebus following which he served as a Midshipman on HMS Sheffield and HMS Hood. In the Hydrographic service he served on HM Ships Cook & Franklin and Commanded HM Ships Owen & Dampier.


After retiring from active service he was appointed Assistant Hydrographer after which he became Superintendent of Sailing Directions in Taunton.


He is survived by two sons by his first marriage and by his second wife Mary who continues to live in Snape Suffolk.


Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his wife Mary and family.

Phil Page


Once again it is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of another of our members.

Phil passed away on Monday 04 April 2011. He joined the Association in 1996 and had attended 7 reunions the last one being in 2005, In his latter years he was wheelchair bound.


Phil served onboard HMS Scott 1951 – 1952. The Funeral will take place at Woodvale Crematorium, Lewis Road, Brighton on Tuesday 19th April at 1415.


Our thoughts and condolences are, as always, with his wife Jeanette and family.

Steve Hackett


It is with sadness and regret that I have to inform you of the passing of yet another of our members. Steve passed away sometime between Monday 31 January 2011 and Thursday 3 February 2011 when his landlord found him dead in his flat.


Steve has attended two reunions, following last years reunion he ended up in Bangor hospital for two weeks and, it seems, didn’t fully recover.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.

Peter “Jan” Spray


It is with regret and great sadness that I have to inform you of the passing of another member of the Association. Jan passed away on the morning of the 9th January 2011 following a prolonged illness which had deteriorated since Christmas.


He was a founder member of the Association and had just stood down as it’s Chairman for health reasons. Peter was also a member of SAMA (82) and the SAMA (82) Wales branch.

Jan served as Master at Arms onboard  HMS HYDRA from 1981 to 1983.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his wife, Alison and their family

Maurice Roy Stevenson


It is with sadness and regret that I have to inform you of the passing of yet another of our members. Maurice passed away on Monday 30 August 2010, he had been suffering from Cancer for the past year.


Maurice, who joined the association in 1995 and has attended all but three reunions since,

served as a Leading Cook on HMS Scott from 1942 to 1944


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.

Commander Henry Hatfield RN


Millar Telfar (LRO(T) HMS Hecate 1970 – 1972) kindly advised me of the passing of Commander Hatfield and sent the following link:-           


Although Commander Hatfield was not a member of the Association he was known to many members and was the author of the Admiralty Manual of Hydrographic Surveying. He passed away on April 1st 2010.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.

Roy Benson

It is with sadness and regret that we inform you of the passing of a member.

 Roy passed away last May but we have only recently been informed. He joined the Association in 2002 and served onboard the following Survey ships between 1947 and 1965:

HMS Scott, HMS Dampier, SML 325, NP Sandstone, HMS Sharpshooter/Shackleton, HMS Owen, HMS Egeria And HMS Myrmidon


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family.

John Albert “Kipper” Herring

It is with sadness and regret that we inform you of the passing of a member.

“Kipper”,  late of 79 Murchison Street, Scarborough, passed away on 21 October2009.

He served onboard the following Survey ships:

HMS Hecate AB(SR) 1975 – 1978,

HMS Bulldog AB(SR) from 1978-1980 and LS(SR) from 1980 – 1983

HMS Herald LS (SR) 1983 – 1986

HMS Fox  LS(SR) from1986 – 1988

HMS Hecla LS(SR) 1988 – 1991 and 1994 - 1997


Our thoughts and condolences are with his family