Sadly a few of our Shipmates are no longer with us...

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Adam Cawthorne

Adam was in the Cunningham half term flight and was a super and talented young officer, killed when his Lynx ditched during flying training.



From Andrew Wiltshire on March 24th, 2021
I was at school with Adam, many memories, all good. He was a talented silversmith, I still wear the ring he made for me with his own hallmark. I was at the National Arboretum last week and found his name, it meant a lot and I wanted to find somewhere I could leave a memory of him, this is perfect. Andrew
From Jonathan Dadley on November 8th, 2019
Adam and I shared a cabin at BRNC and went through 750 squadron together. He routinely visited our home for sunday dinner and gin (something of a theme here - looking at Jim's post). He was Godfather to my first born, Rose.

We shared a love of music - he a flautist and I a pianist and briefly did silly barbershop renditions through multi track while at Culdrose. He had an easy confidence - no arrogance at all. I am sure he would have risen to the highest ranks.

I named my son after him so that his name would continue. A wonderful young man, still sorely missed
From Gavin Milverton on February 20th, 2018
He was my closest and best friend.
From Jonothan Reid on March 9th, 2012
 I shared a house with Adam during our time as students on 702 Squadron. I was embarked in Engadine when Adam and his pilot, Tony Davies ditched on that dark night in the Bay of Biscay.
I still recall with a smile the sight of Adam with a gin in one hand, cigarette in the other delivering his theories on life. I will remember him always.
From Jim Ross on January 14th, 2010
After we returned from DTS and all the lightweight grads (and 33 Flight) had passed out to their life of luxury - us lowly Middies returned to the College to beast the new intake. I was now a salty third termer and Adam (34 Flight and a previous victim) was in the cabin across the corridor sweating on passing his exams so that he too could join the grownups in the Fleet. We shared a love of gin, cigarettes and work avoidance for a wonderful half term. Even today I can call his face to mind poking his head round my cabin door and asking if I fancied a nightcap in the Senior Gunroom! I am sure I always signed the chit and it was my fags we smoked, but it was always worth it to be in his company! He was a true character – a great friend and the mark of the man is that I still often think of the good times we shared!

Andy Humphreys

October 24th, 1967 - February 17th, 1997



Andy Humphreys passed away in 1997. Super-talented Midshipman, Graduate from City University, Barrister and all-round top man. 

His memory cherished by wife Sarah, son Peter, many loving family and friends. 

He is still deeply missed. 

Bill Woodley


From Hugh Anderson on April 9th, 2010
I got to know Andy pretty well over the years, especially after he became a barrister.  He would have loved to rejoin the RN but, typically, there were some arcane rules that prevented it so he opted instead for the RAF.  Even though he was only with them for a few short years I know he made a tremendous impact.  As Bill Woodley said in his eulogy at the funeral, a properly trained naval officer was always going to outclass the Crabs.  And he did.  He'd be an Air Marshal by now I imagine.

From Simon Cheesley on January 24th, 2010

A sad loss of a lovely bloke, he could always find the humour in any situation his intelligence and wit making him someone to just listen to and enjoy, especially when off on one of his favourite subjects!!! No names no pack drill!!

To this day I never play a game of golf without thinking of him, on coming to a Par 5 he would often helpfully advise --`Dont look on it as a challenge, think of it as an opportunity'


From Jeremy Coughlan on January 19th, 2010
Andy was indeed top drawer. I still listen to "Pete and Dud" and see his grin. I was more than gutted when I was working abroad and missed his funeral....cracked a bottle open to toast his memory. Still raise a glass to him now.

A very great friend.

Thank you Andy.

Jeremy Coughlan
From Neil Grice on January 11th, 2010
Dartmouth introduced me to some of my dearest friends . He was very much one of them. One of lifes good guys.

Huw Paffard

One of the RAN's most experienced helicopter pilots. Sadly died in a helicopter crash flying his sister to her wedding in 1999.


Huw Paffard, 33, from 817 Squadron and sister Jaya, 27, perished when the Bell 47 helicopter, Huw had borrowed from a cousin crashed a few kilometres away from the site of the wedding ceremony outside Holbrook in southern NSW on Saturday, February 20, 1999.
Huw was in our entry in 1985 and after completion of officer training at Dartmouth, undertook basic flight training.
He went on to be selected for commando helicopter pilot training. His first posting was to the RN's 846 Squadron where he flew Sea Kings and took part in 13 major amphibious exercises.
An exchange with the British Army Air Corps followed in 1989 and saw him flying the Lynx and involved in anti-tank warfare.
With the AAC he saw duty in Germany and the Middle East during the Gulf War.
In 1991 he was loaned for duties in Northern Ireland before making a brief return to Germany.
In 1992 he posted back to the Royal Navy.
Over the next 12 months he served in Bosnia but in 1993 resigned from the RN and went back to Australia.
For the next year he worked as a jackeroo before joining the Australian Army flying Iroquois gunships.
He transferred to the RAN and began flying 817 Squadron Sea Kings in 1996.
On March 2, 1999 a memorial service to Huw was conducted on HMAS ALBATROSS.


From Kevin Hood on January 10th, 2020
I last saw Huw when on (very) boring courses in Whale Island. At the bar for a pre-dinner snifter and all of a sudden the whole mess shuddered as 2 Junglie Seakings flew low and fast overhead to land on the playing fields outside. Flash B*$%@£ds I thought and was then delighted as he bounced through the doors a few minutes later to turn the night from boring to rip roaringly fun.  What a guy.
From Harry Fenton on August 11th, 2015
I shared a dorm with Huw in St Vincent Division. He was a 'great bloke' (as the Australians would describe him), with a superb sense of humour. He was one of the reasons why we had such a great camaraderie in the dorm - comrades and comics! Always helping each other and making jokes.

Behind his humour, he had a steely determination to become a helicopter pilot in the RN and travelled to the UK to do just that. He achieved his aim and more, becoming an excellent pilot.

Huw was a real character. I can still see him bulling his shoes, laughing and joking in the dorm as if it was yesterday. He is still sadly missed by all who knew him.

Darren Chapman

Darren was in the next bunk to mine in Cunningham. Our paths never crossed again, but I was saddened to read that he was killed in action when his Lynx was shot down over Basra in May 2006.

Andy Reynolds



From Jonathan (Jon) Dadley on November 14th, 2019
Darren was Cunningham Divsion enior Sub Lt for a while in our Summer term before we went on t flying training. He was a great bloke - very supportive and full of sardonic wit.

I do rememeber, however, recall being awakened to Art of Noise "Peter Gunn" featuring Duane Eddy every morming for weeks.

An excellent man.  
From Hugh Anderson on March 9th, 2010

Lieutenant Commander Darren Chapman

of the Fleet Air Arm

Lieutenant Commander Darren Chapman, Royal Navy, was the Commanding Officer of 847 Naval Air Squadron based at Yeovilton. He was aged 40, and was married with three children.

Having worked his way up through the ranks from Able Seaman, Darren assumed command of 847 Naval Air Squadron in December 2005, having previously served as a staff officer within the Joint Helicopter Command. Recently qualified on the Lynx Mk7, he had extensive experience as a helicopter pilot and was a Qualified Helicopter Instructor and Helicopter Warfare Instructor. Most of his flying experience was on the Sea King Mk4 Commando helicopter and he had served with the Commando Helicopter Force squadrons and on exchange with the United States Marine Corps. He had extensive operational experience, serving as a Sea King pilot in the first Gulf campaign in 1991, on operations in the Balkans during the mid-1990s, returning to Iraq for Operation Telic in 2003; he had recently arrived back in Iraq for this latest deployment. He had also served as the Senior Pilot of 845 Naval Air Squadron in 2001.

Colonel John McCardle Royal Marines, Commanding Officer of the Commando Helicopter Force, said of him:

"Darren was a consummate professional and was highly regarded by all of his Squadron personnel and also within the broader helicopter community. A larger than life character, he had a tremendous ability to make people laugh and could communicate easily with those in his charge, regardless of rank. Our thoughts are with his adored wife Liz and his beloved children Chloe, Ben and Georgina."

The family of Lieutenant Commander Chapman have issued the following statement:

"We are deeply shocked and devastated at the untimely and tragic loss of Darren. He was a fantastic father, husband, son and friend who was deeply committed to family life; always there for those who needed him, nothing was ever too much trouble.

"Outgoing, gregarious and always joking, he was the consummate entertainer who touched and enriched many peoples’ lives. Equally committed to his life as an Officer in the Fleet Air Arm, he adored flying in the Service and we can rest assured that he died doing the job that he so loved.

"Our thanks go to all for the kind thoughts and messages we have received and we would ask that our family’s privacy is respected to allow us time to grieve."


Andy Barber

Simply the Best

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Andy was always full of life, his infectious giggle and ability to always go one step further than you made him fun to be around, if a little painful during the `see how hard I can hit you with this ball'  in D89 games.

Those that knew him well however will always treasure his quiet moments away from the crowd, where he showed himself to be thoughtful, deeply caring and totally dependable. A friend for life and a friend to treasure.

Andy went through training determined to do well, he excelled in pretty much all he did, racking up 11 months advanced senriority from a possible 12. he was more than a little miffed when he came by to get the salute he had long told me i would have to give him  to find the QM refused him entry in uniform--orders of the OOD sir you can come back in civvys --he did ;)

Andy went from Dartmouth to Rosyth and small ships --a fellow ton man--he dropped his SL Shag pride by switching GL, before moving on to Observer training--`I really wanted to be an observer, even if i didn't say so, after all the Pilot is just the taxi driver and if you are smart they make you go observer' he often opined!!

As always, Andy did well and his career continued to be on the rise as he was appointed in Command of HMS Alderney.

Soon after taking command Andy suffered an illness that ultimately took his life in October 2000.

Andy married a lovely girl called Kate and they produced a beautiful daughter named Amelia. He was a great Husband and  loving dad and their house was a happy welcoming place.

His funeral was extremely well attended by so many of his Naval friends from entry on through his career, as well as many from school --he made new friends wherever he went but never forgot the old ones,  there was not a dry eye in the house.

A lovely bloke sorely missed, the world is a lesser place without him.

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From Alan Cummings on July 15th, 2014
Andy was the Navigator in HMS UPTON when I was Guns, so we shared a cabin together.  Top bloke, with an infectious sense of schoolboy humour, always very happy to shake you at 3 in the morning when he came back from a run ashore! As a fellow Observer, I was delighted for him when he broke the mould and became FONA's first 'thinking man' Flag Lt.  He would have done really well had his life been not cut short.  RIP Andy
From Tony Carruthers on March 21st, 2010
Nick has spurred me on, and I haven’t been looking forward to this. Writing about Andy was always going to be difficult for all of us who knew him first from the Blake Dorm and then kept up with him throughout his career. He was always one of those people that football managers curiously sum up on Match of the Day as “giving 110%”. He put the keen into thrusting and was unashamedly Jack to the core. He excelled in every job he did from Duty Mid to Flag Lieutenant; you couldn’t run or hide if he was in charge of the Blake Duty part of the watch….and I tried believe me. We had many good times and he lost none of his sense of humour as he worked his way up to being CO of an Island Class.   Missed but not forgotten, I have some great memories of Andy and he is still the subject of much laughter when the Blake boys get together. Cheers mate.
From Nick Davis on March 21st, 2010

Andy will be missed in May. I clearly remember him singing along to his 'Go West' cassette whilst bulling his shoes in the Blake Dorm. I don't miss his singing, but I really do miss him. Will raise a glass or two when we meet up.


Bill Jeckells

- - -

Bill Jeckells was the St. Vincent Divisional CPO in 1985. He died at NANAIMO General Hospital VICTORIA BC Canada on 29 July 2014. He had suffered for quite sometime from painful stomach cancer.
He spent the last few years of his career on extended service as a Divisional CPO at BRNC Dartmouth. He loved the job and the Command relished his experience and input into the lives of the Young Officers'.

May he rest in peace.

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From Kevin Hood on January 10th, 2020
Bill was a Penzance man or to be more exact a Newlyn man I seem to recall.  Having lived down that way for a few years before joining up and coming under his wing he wondered if I knew his son?  At this stage I was the only new entry Cadet in the Division as the buses from the station hadn't arrived, so it was difficult to worm my way out of the conversation. He did however think it hillarious that I'd had fisticuffs with his son about 3 weeks before joining! A truly superb SNCO and a great influence on all who came within his purview.

Andrew Smith

- - April 12th, 2007

Andy was in St.Vincent. He became a Lt Cdr PWO(A). News of his death was discovered at the Reunion.

He died from a deep vein thrombosis whilst serving in the USA following a minor operation.

It was a shock to his family and loved ones and he is sadly missed

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From Simon Mason on March 12th, 2015
Andrew was with the Fleet Training Group Pacific in San Diego
when he fell ill.

Tony Podmore

March 2nd, 1963 - May 1st, 2017



From Kevin Hood on September 11th, 2022
Tony was an amazing bloke, fun, outrageous and full of life.  A great cabin mate to have in Term 1 at BRNC who could really bring out the absurdities of new entry training and put it all in perspective, usually in a cheeky and irreverant way.  We did not stay in touch regularly after we went through specialist training but whenever we bumped into each other it was "Hail fellow, well met!" and his sense of fun and joy at the absurdities of life never seemed to diminish.  He was a force of life and is sadly missed by familiy and friends.
From Harry Fenton on July 7th, 2022
Joined BRNC with 'Podders'. He was a fantastic guy whose memory I will treasure. He was always tremendous fun and lived life with a huge smile and positive attitude. At the last reunion he knew he was dying, but approached it in a brave and quite brilliant manner. It made a huge impression on us all, and we were determined that he should enjoy himself. He will be sadly missed at the next reunion - yet another sad loss.

Below summed him up:

'During Tony's last summer in Cornwall he raised money by selling ice cream at the King Harry ferry. He would be there every day in a sufficiently flamboyant hat and trousers selling to all those around and making everyone day just that little bit brighter. The money he made all went to the newly opened 'Cove center' in Cornwall which provides for cancer sufferers and asked that any donations after would also go to the same good cause.'

Paul Whitehead

- - November 17th, 1992

Sadly Paul passed away in a car crash on 17 November 1992 while serving onboard HMS GLASGOW.

His timed motorcycle pillion 'aquaints' from Dartmouth to Totnes were legendary. I recall coming back down the hill with the brake discs glowing blue and being unable to slow down in time to turn into the college gates!

He was a smashing bloke and will be missed in May.



From Bruce Crawford on February 9th, 2022
Paul was a great mate, and local to me at home in the Midlands. We had several great nights out at home.  It was a real shocker to come home from a long expeditin to hear the news that he had died.
Paul was commended for his work on HMS HURWORTH where he gained sudden promotion to 1st Lt when the ship put to sea with a scratch crew from the NATO minehunting squadron to go and start the rescue effort on the Herald of Free Enterprise.
I still remember Paul, and how he was always getting bollocked by some of the knobhead DOs for wearing jeans when he was going out on his bike.    Here's to you, Paul, Cheers!
From Kevin Hood on January 10th, 2020
Paul and I were the only ones in the village - bikers I mean. "Certainly not an officer's mode of transport" and widely frowned upon. We had a hoot around the lanes of the South Hams. Both our bikes could (just) fit through the staff officers' pedestrian gate up at Townstall- Freedom!  A blast around the country lanes, stop for refreshment at some way out of the way pub and blast back. Kept me sane!  Very fond memories of another G4B boy. They were the best of times. I'm still biking and very often think of him as I ride along, particularly if in the West Country.
From Julia Whitehead (now Clark) on May 28th, 2011
 He was also a wonderful husband and I will always miss him.
From Simon Cheesley on March 22nd, 2010

The Bike, the leathers the quiet sense of humour, he will be missed, can't listen to billy Idol without thinking of him, borrowed the tape  at BRNC and for years kept meaning to return it...never quite got around to it...feel guilty still


Helen Gazzard (Davies)

November 17th, 1959 - February 14th, 2010

Helen battled Ovarian cancer for 5 years. She showed tremendous courage and continued to be positive and cheerful throughout the many sessions of chemo she endured.  She was a dear friend and a devoted wife and mother. 

She will be missed.



Dave Shutts

November 5th, 1965 - -

An extraordinary human being who was taken far too early: FFS!

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After being diagnosed with cancer, he set up Astriid to help people maintain their valuable contribution to society despite debilitating illness or condition - what a fantastic legacy! More details are here:

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David Shutts

November 5th, 1965 - -


David served in the Royal Navy for 25 years as a Marine Engineer Officer. His appointments included HMS OCEAN, the Vanguard class nuclear submarine ship lift as part of the team that commissioned and first operated it and, latterly, as the Officer in Command and Chief Engineer of HMS DARING, the RN’s most technologically advanced warship, during her build and sea trials phases.  In recognition of his leadership in this role he was awarded the OBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

On leaving the RN he was employed as the Director of UK Government Engagement for Inchcape Shipping Services, a worldwide maritime logistics company.  In 2014 he accepted an appointment as the Regional Director of the East Midlands for the Confederation of British Industry.

On 21 May 2015, ten days after his 50th birthday, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 advanced renal cancer. Whilst he was unable to work full-time, he threw himself at making life better for others. Amongst other things, he taught GCSE Maths part time at Boston College, became an inspirational speaker and founded a charity, ASTRiiD, which aims to help anyone with a chronic medical condition to find work; this is his legacy – nothing short of inspirational.

On 24 May18, David succumbed to his cancers and passed away. On 17 Sept that year, David’s ashes were piped onboard HMS DEFENDER in Portsmouth Naval Base. The ship sailed with her White Ensign at half-mast and his remains were Committed to the Deep.  David is survived by his wife Jo and her son Zachary and missed by so many for whom he gave of himself.