It is with great sadness that we report the death of Vincent T Clements. “Vic”, as he was known to W.S.T.G. colleagues, had been poorly for some time and died on Wednesday 24th August 2011 as a result of a chest infection, following long standing heart complications.
Vic Clements’ career with MOD(N) followed a period of service with the Royal Navy. He first joined the Production Pool, and following some time at Copenacre transferred to W.S.T.G. at Portsmouth in 1971. He worked for many years in the radar section as a PTO3 and PTO2. Ivan Winter recalls that one of Vic’s first periods of detached duty was in HMS Bristol during build at Wallsend.
In the mid-1980s’, with the W.S.T.G. re-organisation and reduction of staff, Vic transferred to the Trials and Ranges group where he worked on the degaussing of ships.
Vic’s final post in his long MOD service was with DGSW(N), based at Portsdown. By this time he had been promoted to SPTO. He joined the Radar Type 1007 project team, returning to one of his initial areas of “hands-on” expertise - navigation radar.
In 1994 Vic retired and for a few years enjoyed green bowls at Cosham Bowling Club and ten pin bowling both at Portsmouth and Bedhampton where he helped to set up the retired members bowling group.
Vic led a very active social life in Portsmouth and helped organise social events for W.S.T.G.. Of particular note were the (9-pins) skittles evenings held for W.S.T.G. friends and family. He was a familiar figure at the Civil Service Club where he enjoyed a few drinks and regularly played, and for some time captained the W.S.T.G. team in the Civil Service skittles league.
Despite some health problems and major surgery the new century brought a change in life style: Vic moved house to West Wales. There he continued to play bowls and did charity work for the blind. He occasionally visited Portsmouth, attending our first Christmas Party in 2004.
He started to write poetry and spent time learning the Welsh language. Vic was indeed Welsh but originated from the South and did not naturally speak the language.
In recent years, his visits to the area to see his first grand-daughter were frequently coupled with visits on old friends.
Our sympathy is extended to his wife, Gwen, who spent much time nursing him at home, and his family.
John Alan Brook (died 2010)
In our May 2010 New Letter we reported the sad loss of John Brook who had died suddenly earlier in the year. Although John was not on our contacts list he had remained living in Southsea after retiring from the Trials and Ranges (T&R) Group in the early 1990s. John started his career as a civilian with MoD(N) at Portland following a long career in the Royal Navy, including time as a submariner. He retired from the Service in the rank of Lieutenant and became involved with the Portland ranges and ship trials.
One of John’s spheres of interest was the EW Calibration Facilities (CALFAC) both at Portland and Skipness, which at one point in time was to be administered by the T&R Group. From 1985 onwards there were many liaisons between John and the Calfac project team (Ken Wingate and Co) at Portland and Skipness where, at the latter site, Neil Buchanan was the local T&R representative.
By this time John had transferred to Portsmouth and continued his work with the same group until his retirement circa 1993.
Following our report on John Brook’s sad demise, Gordon Bone who had attended his funeral in January 2010, very kindly sent the W.S.T.G. Reunion Committee an "Appreciation of John Brook", published in the Parish Magazine of St Margaret’s Church Eastney. This article by the Rev Richard Smith not only gave us information that we already knew, viz, that John was "one of those quiet unassuming people who just got on with the job", but revealed much about John’s life in retirement.
Beside not knowing he had been a Liberal Councillor in Dorset we learned that John worked hard in his community doing much for those needing help, such as looking after people’s gardens, providing a taxi service when required, and walking their dogs!
John Brook had latterly served on the Parochial Church Council and remained an eager volunteer to the end. He had "stepped into the breach" so often throughout his life John will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.
Ian Sandy (died 2010)
It is with deep regret that we have learnt of the sudden death of Ian Sandy on November 27th 2010. Ian died after a tragic accident at home. The W.S.T.G. Committee and all his ex-colleagues extend their most sincere sympathies to Ian's widow Eve and to his family. Details of his accident together with tributes from family and friends were published in the Portsmouth News in July 2011 and can be viewed here.