Neville started his career as an electrical fitter apprentice at HM Dockyard Portsmouth in 1957. On completion, he worked at HMS Mercury for a short time and then abroad in the Naval Communications Centre Bahrain. He joined WSTG in 1970 as a teleprinter mechanic and after his talents were realised he was quickly promoted to a TG3. He worked for most of his career in the radio section on V/UHF and message handling systems until 1989 when he was promoted to HPTO and transferred to the Surface Weapons Section. There he was team leader working on the Harpoon guided missile systems and the GSA8 gun system. For the last four years of his career he returned to the Radio section working on SCOT satellite systems. He finally retired in 1999.
Neville had a passion for rugby and was a keen player in his younger years. In his retirement he took up walking and was also an enthusiastic photographer. He also enjoyed spending time at HMS Collingwood's Museum of Communications and radar working on equipment familiar to him in his setting to work days.
Neville was well respected by all those he worked with and will be sadly missed by all his friends and ex-colleagues. Our sympathies go to his family at this sad time.
Following a secondary education at Portsmouth Technical School Fred secured an apprenticeship in Portsmouth Royal Dockyard from September 1951—1956. During this time Fred also remained a keen sportsman being an accomplished footballer and boxer!
On completing 5 years as an Electrical Fitter Apprentice Fred opted for a stint in the Merchant Navy instead of conscription into National Service.
With the end of National Service and the statutory alternative of service with the Merchant Navy Fred returned to Portsmouth Dockyard in the early 1960’s and started his long career in Radio Communication. This included a foreign service posting to Singapore and then continuous service with WSTG until his retirement in 1995 as comms. section leader.
Fred continued his sporting activities in retirement and played golf for many years.
He died from a cerebral haemorrhage on 19th April 2015.
A celebration of Fred’s life was held at the Oaks Crematorium on 30th April. It was attended by his large family, many friends and WSTG colleagues.
Pat Cross (died 2015)
Pat started his career as an apprentice in Devonport Dockyard in the early 1950s and then opted for service in the Merchant Navy instead of National Service. In the early 1960s Pat returned to Devonport Dockyard eventually taking a post with WSTG as a TG3 (diagnostician). Pat transferred to Portsmouth and was for some years a member of the Radar Section.
He ventured away from employment with MoD(N) in the late 1970s by entering into a vehicle-repair partnership . During that time he employed his talent as a motor mechanic, but returned to MoD(N) and WSTG via a national trawl, securing promotion by one grade.
In the mid-1980s Pat transferred to Portsdown and ended his career in the mid 1990s with Director General Ships. In retirement Pat once again used his skills as a motor/engine mechanic particularly in France where he would spend many weeks each year accompanied by his dog Oscar.
Pat lost his battle against prostate cancer on 23 June 2015 aged 78 years.
His funeral was held at the Oaks Crematorium where friends and colleagues from WSTG and HMS Collingwood, together with his family, gathered to celebrate Pat’s life.
We learnt from Ron White that David Taylor died in late September 2015. Regrettably Dave did not keep in touch through our reunions, but we remember him as a stalwart of the WSTG Underwater Section.
Dave is thought to have joined WSTG directly from the Merchant Navy where he served as an engineering officer. As a PTO4/PTO3 he spent his entire WSTG career specialising in sonar equipment where he was known as a hardworking and reliable member of the underwater section who would get the job done with the minimum of fuss.
He initially worked on the main Fleet Sonar 184, but when this was superseded by Sonar 2016 he switched to miscellaneous sonar equipment including the mine-hunting Sonar Type 193.
We are in no doubt that everyone who knew Dave will have fond memories of him as amazingly good humoured, good tempered, helpful and good fun, despite suffering from kidney problems. Although for a time Dave had to endure dialysis he never complained and always maintained his good humour.
His travelling colleagues will, no doubt, remember Dave, in the various bars they frequented, always with a big smile.
David Taylor (centre) pictured here in an early photograph taken at Milldam House.
Dave’s funeral was held on 16th October 2015 at Portchester Crematorium.
(We are indebted to Denis Collard for providing much of the information above.)