HMS King Alfred
Rod received his RNVR Officer training at HMS King Alfred. This started at the end of January 1943. Rod is in the above picture, second row down from the top, seventh from the left.


On the 30th Jan Rod was drafted to HMS K A and accommodated at Lancing College. After many exams and Interviews Rod moved to HMS King Alfred in Hove. Only 50% of the candidates passed on to the next phase! The entry for the 5th March states "we had bunks in the underground car park." The first sentence in the journal for the 25th March reads "The Day at Last" "Commissioned Acting Temporary Sub-Lieutenant Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, Interviewed by Admiral."


On Sunday 11th April Rod moved to the Royal Naval College Grenwich and on 3rd May to HMS Excellent at Portsmouth. HMS Vernon Brighton was Rod's next venue for his Torpedo course. A return to Fort William and HMS St Christopher for MTB course took place on 22nd May.


A journal entry for Sun 6th June informs us that he climbed Ben Nevis with Donald Bainbridge! During May and June Rod records that he sailed in MTB 51, MTB 152 and MTB 165. Selection for the MGB course followed, he spent some time on MGB 93. In July Rod was appointed to MGB's at HMS Wasp Dover.


"Sunday 4th July - London 08.30 - left kit at Charring Cross - brekker at Grosvenor Hotel - rang up Nigel, met him and Sir Norman at Conservative Club St James Street then up to his flat. Met First Lord of the Admiralty and Mrs A V Alexander also Mr and Mrs Bevan - cocktails with Diana and Bobby - then to lunch (now no longer dinner!) mixed cocktails then train home to Folkestone. Left kit at Central Station - down to Norfolk Hotel (pub in Sandgate) - Shelling in Dover Street."


Arrived at Dover Monday 5th July told to go to HMS Wasp Ramsgate on Tues 6th. On Wednesday 7th July Rod was appointed Spare Officer MGB 118 in the 9th MGB Flotilla, S.O. Lt Roger King French Navy.






The picture left shows Rod in his new uniform on leave at home in the back garden at Turakina, Chichester Road, Sandgate shortly after being commissioned. 


I expect the photo was taken by his proud father as  two of his sons were now commissioned in the Navy