No. 11 AREA

Selby Branch: Ship's Company

Charlie Lockwood

Full Member

Charlie first became interested in ships and the sea when he was still at school.

In June 1964 he joined Huddersfield Sea Cadet Corps (TS Nelson) and three years later, on 10 December 1967, he signed on the dotted line and joined the Royal Navy.

He served in the navy from 1967 to 1976, and from 1979 to 1996. (Between 1976 and 1979 he was in the West Yorkshire Fire Brigade, based at Huddersfield fire station).

During his time in the navy he served on the following ships and establishments:

  • HMS Raleigh (Torpoint, Cornwall)
10 Dec 1967 - 11 Feb 1968 Under basic training
  • HMS Pembroke (Chatham, Kent)
12 Feb 1968 - 13 May 1968 Specialist training
  • HMS Dryad (Portsmouth, Hants)
14 May 1968 - 27 Jan 1969 Ship's company (WR staff)
  • HMS Eagle (R05)
28 Jan 1969 - 13 Apr 1971 WR (general duties, bar staff, hall porter)
  • HMS Dryad (Portsmouth, Hants)
14 Apr 1971 - 15 Aug 1971 Catering office
  • HMS Glamorgan (D19)
16 Aug 1971 - 07 May 1972 WR (general duties)
  • HMS Pembroke (Chatham, Kent)
08 May 1972 - 15 Jun 1972 Leading Rate's qualifying course
  • HMS Glamorgan (D19)
16 Jun 1972 - 10 Dec 1973 Promoted to L/Hand (Captain's staff)
  • HMS Osprey (Portland, Dorset)
11 Dec 1973 - 01 May 1974 WR (general duties)
  • HMS Blake (C99)
02 May 1974 - 03 Feb 1976 WR (bar staff, mess office)
  • Time in RN ended
  • HMS Nelson (Portsmouth, Hants)
17 Dec 1979 - 19 Dec 1979 Re-joined RN
  • HMS Seahawk (Helston, Cornwall)
19 Dec 1979 - 03 Oct 1980 WR (bar staff)
  • HMS Bristol (D23)
04 Oct 1980 - 01 Mar 1981 WR (general duties)
  • 820 Naval Air Squadron (Culdrose / Invincible)
02 Mar 1981 - 05 Jun 1983 WR (general duties)
  • HMS Heron (Yeovil, Somerset)
06 Jun 1983 - 26 Jun 1983 WR (general duties)
  • HMS Pembroke (Chatham, Kent)
27 Jun 1983 - 29 Jul 1983 Petty Officer's qualilying course
  • HMS Heron (Yeovil, Somerset)
30 Jul 1983 - 16 Jan 1984 WR (general duties, PO's duties)
  • FOF2 (Flag Officer Second Flotilla)
16 Jan 1984 - 12 Aug 1985 Retinue duties
  • HMS Bulldog (A317)
12 Aug 1985 - 10 Nov 1985 Loan draft
  • FOF2 (Flag Officer Second Flotilla)
11 Nov 1985 - 21 Mar 1986 Retinue duties (Promoted to PO)
  • HMS Seahawk (Helston, Cornwall)
22 Mar 1986 - 26 Jul 1988 WR (stores, general duties, i/c WR bars)
  • HMS Endurance (A171)
27 Jul 1988 - 26 Jul 1990 i/c WR and Capt's staff
  • HMS Heron (Yeovil, Somerset)
27 Jul 1990 - 25 May 1992 PO's Mess (mess manager)
  • HMS Scylla (F71)
26 May 1992 - 18 Sep 1993 i/c WR and Capt's staff
  • RN Careers Office (Leeds, W Yorks)
19 Sep 1993 - 06 Mar 1994 RN recruiting staff
  • HMS Seahawk (Helston, Cornwall)
07 Mar 1994 - 14 Aug 1994 i/c WR bars
  • HMS Marlbourough (F233)
15 Aug 1994 - 02 Sep 1994 WR manager and treasurer (loan draft)
  • HMS Seahawk (Helston, Cornwall)
03 Sep 1994 - 15 Jan 1996 Guardroom (security duties)

Charlie was born in Huddersfield and educated at Beaumont Street School and Fartown Secondary Modern School.  In 1964, during his second year at Fartown School, he joined Huddersfield Sea Cadets and got his first taste of what life in the Royal Navy would be like.

He left school in 1967 and got a job working at Heywood’s supermarket in Huddersfield town centre, but after a fire destroyed the supermarket in November 1967, he got a job at Cowlings, a small greengrocers shop in Shambles Lane.  On the 10th December 1967, aged fifteen, he joined the Royal Navy.

After completing his seamanship training at HMS Raleigh, the Royal Navy’s new entry training establishment at Torpoint, Cornwall, he went to HMS Pembroke (Chatham, Kent) for specialist training.

On completion of his training at HMS Raleigh and HMS Pembroke, he served at HMS Dryad, a shore base at Fort Southwick, Portsmouth; HMS Eagle (aircraft carrier); then back to HMS Dryad for a short period before being drafted to HMS Glamorgan (guided missile destroyer), which he joined in Wellington, New Zealand.

In 1971, as HMS Glamorgan travelled from the Penang areas across to Gan, the ship was directed to make speed to Bermuda. PM Edward Heath was to hold a pre Christmas summit meeting with President Richard Nixon in Bermuda to repair the once close Anglo-American alliance.

On 20th December 1971, the Prime Minister entertained the US President at a dinner on board HMS Glamorgan. At the top table in the wardroom that night was, Ambassador David Kennedy; His Excellency the Governor of Bermuda; Mr Nixon; Mr Heath; the Hon William Rogers; Sir Alec Douglas-Home; and the Hon John Connolly.

Charlie was promoted to Leading Rate in 1971 whilst serving on HMS Glamorgan, after which he was drafted to a shore base called HMS Osprey (Portland, Dorset).  This was followed by a draft to HMS Blake, the last of the Royal Navy cruisers.

In 1975, after sailing from Bangkok, HMS Blake was ordered to the coast of Cambodia. Cambodia’s war was coming to an end and the communist forces of the Khmer Rouge were laying siege to Phnom Penh. HMS Blake was ordered to stand by to evacuate all non-essential members of the British Embassy in the city and any other British nationals.

Charlie left the navy in 1976 after serving for nine years.  He applied to join West Yorkshire Fire Brigade upon leaving the navy and, until his training course began three months later, he worked in the Royal Swan public house in Huddersfield town centre.  He completed his Fire Brigade training by the summer of 1976 and was posted to Huddersfield Fire Station just in time for one of their hottest and busiest summers.

The summer of 1979 brought a letter from the Royal Navy asking if he would like to join the navy again.  He accepted this offer and re-joined on 17th December 1979.  He was sent to Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose (also known as HMS Seahawk) in Helston, Cornwall., where he joined 820 Naval Air Squadron and served with HRH Prince Andrew.

820 Squadron was attached to HMS Invincible and on 5th April 1982 the ship sailed from Portsmouth as part of the Task Force ordered to re-take the Falkland Islands.  The Task Force arrived at the Falklands at the end of April and HMS Invincible remained in the area until after the conflict.  The ship returned to the UK on 17th September 1982 to be met by a flotilla of small boats and cheered into Portsmouth by hundreds of people lining every part of the harbour.

Early in 1983 Charlie left 820 Squadron and was drafted to HMS Heron, a shore establishment in Somerset.  He was only there for a few months before being drafted to the staff of Flag Officer Second Flotilla (FOF2) based at Plymouth.  He was still on FOF2’s staff when he was advanced to Petty Officer on 11th November 1985.  After his promotion he was drafted back to RNAS Culdrose (HMS Seahawk) in Helston.

He joined HMS Endurance (an ice patrol ship) on 27th July 1988 just before it sailed to Antarctica.  He served on HMS Endurance for two years, spending most of that time in either the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, or in Antarctica amongst the ice.

Whilst in Antarctica for the 1988/89 season HMS Endurance collided with an iceberg which very nearly sank her. The collision breached the hull and caused serious structural damage. It was only the quick reaction and professionalism of the ship’s damage control party that saved her from foundering.

After two years in the southern hemisphere he was drafted back to HMS Heron in Somerset, serving as the Senior Rates Mess Manager until 30th May 1992.  On 1st June 1992 he joined HMS Scylla (the last Leander class frigate), based at Portsmouth.  He took part in the ships’ Freemen of Aberdeen parade on 8th June 1992 and became a Freeman of Aberdeen.  On 24th May 1993 HMS Scylla sailed for the Falkland Islands and didn’t return until 3rd December 1993.

On return to the UK Charlie was sent to the Naval Careers Office in Leeds.  He worked there as a careers advisor until 4th April 1994 when he was drafted back to RNAS Culdrose at Helston, Cornwall.

In 1996 Charlie was ‘demobbed’ and came out of the navy.  Gaining employment in Cornwall proved to be difficult but he remained in the area taking seasonal jobs whenever they became available.  In January 2001 he moved back to his home town of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

He became a member of Huddersfield Royal Naval Association and joined Huddersfield and District Army Veterans Association (although called ‘Army’ veterans, the association is also open to navy and RAF veterans).  He also joined the Huddersfield Branch of the Royal British Legion.

Through being in the Royal Naval Association, Charlie became a member of the Unit Management Team for Huddersfield Sea Cadets as the link between the RNA and the cadets.  Since joining the Sea Cadets he has taken on further roles within the unit.

At the beginning of 2017 Charlie was voted in as the Chairman of Huddersfield Royal Naval Association. In the same year he also became the Membership Secretary for the Huddersfield branch of the Royal British Legion and the Marketing and Communications representative (PR Officer) for Huddersfield Sea Cadets.  He stepped down from these positions when he moved to Selby in March 2018.

He created web sites for Huddersfield Royal Naval Association and Huddersfield & District Army Veterans Association and maintained their web sites and social media pages until moving out of the area.  He also maintained the web site and social media pages for Huddersfield Sea Cadets and Huddersfield's Royal British Legion branch before moving to North Yorkshire.

Since moving to North Yorkshire he has created, and currently maintains, a web site for Selby Royal Naval Association.

[back to Ships Company] [email Charlie]