Naval life after the War


After being released from the Royal Navy on the 30th of October 1947 Rod returned to civilian life and work as a Draughtsman in the Folkestone Electricity Supply Co. He moved from Folkestone Kent to Haywards Heath in Sussex in April of 1949, in May of that year he applied to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Supplementary Reserve (RNVSR).



During the intervening years he attended many MTB Officers Reunions and joined the Sussex Flotilla of the RNVSR in 1958.


As can be seen by the letter shown below, MTB Officers attempted to start up a Coastal Froces Club in 1948. The text of the letter is self explanatory. Subsequent meetings were held annually in November (they coincided with the Car Show!) The letter is signed by Peter Warren.



In September of 1961 Rod was recommended for entry into the RNR and in November was entered into the permanent RNR as a Lieutenant with adjusted seniority of 18th September 1959. He continued to attend RNVSR lectures until the RNVSR was disbanded in 1965. As can be seen below he had a very active time during his service in the RNR. The number of “short” exercises he took part in are too numerous to mention.



Rod was promoted to Lieutenant Commander (Special) RNR and remained on the Unattached (S) List 14. His seniority dated from 18th September 1967.




The six occasions when Rod was sent to Singapore "HMS Terror" allowed him to revisit somewhere he got to know while still serving in HMS Walrus in 1946/7. His fascination with the Far East in general and Singapore in particular remained with him throughout his life. He told me many stories about his time in Singapore, by the time I managed to visit there the tale he told me about Raffles and sitting on the veranda looking at the beech just over the road was difficult to visualise as that is now a mile or so inland!


Detailed and copious notes were always kept by Rod, he recorded the timings of his flight to Singapore in 1962. The plane, a Bristol Britannia 175 – 307 G-ANCE owned by British United Airways. He mentioned that the flight was delayed because they had to wait for a Comet Door to arrive that their plane was taking to Singapore!


Rod also participated in two long Sea Training Exercises, in 1963 in the MV Cretic from Hull to Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremen, Hamburg and returning to Newcastle. In 1968 he sailed on the MV Aaro from Hull and called in at Copenhagen, Odense and Aarhus returning to Hull (Immingham Riverside Quay).


Rod being decorated with the Reserve Decoration

by Rear Adml Robertson.


Rod travelled to Australia on Naval exercises on a number of occasions being stationed at both Canberra and Sydney. This allowed him to visit his brother Jack who lived north of Sydney. Jack started his naval career as an officer in the Merchant Navy and transferred to the RNR during the first part of the war. Jack's two very wavy RNR gold braid bands didn't last very long as Jack had memorised the colour blind test sequence for passing the Merchant Navy admission. His problem remained undetected for many years but the Royal Navy found out his weakness after only a short while; he returned to the  Merchant Navy but retained his two gold braid bands!


Between 1962 and 1973 Rod sailed on HMS Curzon for short sea training on four occasions. He also sailed on SS Londres, SS Brighton and SS Arromanche between 1962 and 1966. Follow this link to view the "HMS Sussex" opening ceremony page.


Rod was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1967. He was awarded the Reserve Decoration in 1972 and a Clasp to the RD in 1983. He retired in 1983 after receiving two yearly extensions from the Admiral, it was usual to retire at 60.


Rod continued to attend reunion dinners and functions right up to a few months before his death in 2003. The Navy was of the utmost importance to Rod, he was extremely proud of serving his country during and after the war.


Rod's love of the sea and boats continued throughout his life. He, with my help, built a small Heron dinghy in the garage of his house in Haywards Heath. He went on many boating holidays enjoying a number of "Flotilla" holidays in the Mediterranean and Agean Sea with naval colleagues. He was also very interested in inland waterways and canal holidays and belonged to the "Wey and Arun" canal restoration group. During the last couple of years of his life my family and I took him on holidays to the north French coast. He spent many minutes standing on the headland at Cap Gris Nez staring out at the sea. His ship was sunk on D Day+4 a short distance off the headland. We visited a number of French WWII museums.


Rod worked all of his life initially as a draughtsman and then manager with Electricity Boards, however,  I think that Rod saw himself as a Naval Officer who also had a job in civilian life.