HMS Cockade

From the top HMS Cheviot - Cockade - Concord - Comus.

From the top HMS Cheviot – Cockade – Concord – Comus.

Maning the ship for the arrival of the Royal Yacht

Manning the ship for the arrival of the Royal Yacht

HMS Cockade ships company 1956

HMS Cockade ships company 1956

Cooks of the mess, Geordie me and Mac

HMS Cockade was part of the 8th Destroyer Squadron, based out of Singapore. Her last commission was 1956-58 then we steamed her home to Devonport. Where she was later sold for scrap, a sad end for a once proud ship. In 1961 whilst serving aboard Taciturn we docked in Devonport for repairs. I spotted my old ship moored far up the creek. I took a launch and went for a visit, I walked around the dirty and rusty decks that once had been so spotless. It was a time of memories but sad too.

112 Responses to HMS Cockade

  1. William R Jonrs says:

    Taff Jones.
    I served on that last commission, as a UC3,best time of my life,remembering the trip escourting the
    Royal Yacht down to the OLYMPIC GAMES in 1956,and the ISLANDS we visited on the way back up to HONG KONG,for that refit in Dry Dock.
    I live in S Wales and I saw the ship being broken up in Cashmores yard in Newport, I used to pass her on my to work in LLanwern Steel works,where I probably helped roll her into sheet steel .
    What A sad end to a wonderful old ship.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Taff
      I must apologize for not remembering you? I do recall a couple of guys from Wales, Taff Richards and Bradshaw. they were both with me in the fo’ard seamans mess starboard side. I agree completely the last tour with Cockade was the best two years of my time in the Navy. It was in fact like a different Navy, we still used hammocks and there were at least three, three badge AB’s in my mess. After I left Cockade I never experienced anything similar. I walked the decks of the old ship in 1960, she was moored up the creek at Devonport. I took a small launch and went for a visit. It was very sad, just a silent empty dirty rusty old ship full of memories. I did end up in the South of Wales in 1959 at HMS Harrier in the village of Dale. A radar school that closed down shortly after I left. Good to hear from you, perhaps you have read my book “The Royal Navy & Me”its available as an book for $1.99 or at I give quite a bit of coverage to the Cockade.
      Yours Aye Frederick Rodgers

      • irishroverpei says:

        Sorry about that, I miss the E should have read Ebook at $1.99

      • Alan Meacham says:

        Hello…My dad, Aubrey Meacham (Bob) served on HMS Cockade in the far East, and often fondly recounted tales of his Navy days. Like you he spent time at Ganges when he joined up as a boy sailer…He also served as a radar instructor at Dale in Pembrokeshire for a time in the 50’s. I wonder if anyone on this forum served with him or remembers him. Dad passed away in 2009.

      • irishroverpei says:

        Hi Alan I’m very sorry for your loss. I didn’t know your Dad, at least don’t think I did. I was at Harrier (village of Dale) in 1959. If he had been an instructor then we might have met? Nice to hear from you.

    • marcus pyper says:

      my father also served on Cockade and ive got a couple of photos of the ship and of the olympic games he was harry pyper from liverpool

      • irishroverpei says:

        Hi Marcus I didn’t know your father as we were in different branches, I was seaman branch and he was a stoker (ME1) but no doubt our paths crossed many times, Could you pick him out in the ships company photo on my web page? I will give you the email address of Pat Line he was ME1 and would certainly have know Harry. I found Harry in the ships company list his official number DK960912
        All the best F.Ben Rodgers

    • Eddie says:

      Hi Taff, hope u still dancing and age hasn’t curbed your twinkling feet. I will mention Marcus to Buster Brown & Terry Fitchett both stokers at the time on board. I am meeting up Sept 30th along with Danny, Slinger, George and a few widows- not many left now. Regards to all, Eddie

      • irishroverpei says:

        Hi Eddie I’m assuming you are in touch with pat line, stoker on Cockade NATO serviceman.

      • Mark Helyer says:

        Hello all, this has been going for a few years and I hope everyone still supports it. My Dad Terry Helyer was a PO/ Chief Era on the Cockade and always said it was his best posting, he was a little miffed that the Korean War interrupted his three years in the Far East … I seem to recall him telling stories of a stern chase after a Chinese frigate and calling the fall of shot for the Uss Missouri …. He said the bridge was just about level with the deck of the US battle wagon …Had he still been with us he would have loved this site I am sure , live in Plymouth and would certainly travel to Torquay for a reunion

      • Eddie Holmyard says:

        Hello Mark. Fred has kindly forwarded your msg to me and I will do the same to the one shipmate who may have known your Grandad-Fred Bunce who was in the Korean war.. We are meeting this year at the Livermead House hotel 3/4/5 September and hopefully Fred Bunce will be with us. The rest of us, all 6 in numbers, were on the Cockade for her last commission with Fred Rodgers and yes! without doubt we all consider it our best commission and ship in the whole of our service in the RN. If you fancy joining us for a drink etc. you are most welcome and you will find us in the bar, most likely!.Regards Eddie

      • Mark Helyer says:

        Thanks for the reply, would be great to pop along to the Livermead next September if I am available …Will try to dig out some of Dads photos. I know I have some hidden away, Also have a copy of the C class book with some dits about Cockade

      • Eddie Holmyard says:

        sorry Mark should have read Dad not Grandad.. eddie

    • Stephen Ebdell says:

      Hi I was just going though some of my fathers old photos and found one that says on the back Taff Jones, Mess Cockade, I have no idea of date just the name on the back.

  2. Eifion Sanders says:

    My Dad (William “Bill” Sanders) was on Cockade from July 1956 to April 1958, he was rated Acting Petty Officer in September 1956.
    Elvis the ships monkey liked my dad & I have photos of him on his shoulder, I also have a picture taken off Cockade escourting the Royal Yacht to the Olympics in 1956 & with shipmates on the beach.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Great to hear from you, sorry but I can’t recall your Dad, of course I was just a Boy Seaman straight out of HMS Ganges when I joined Cockade in August 1956. Petty Officers acting or otherwise seemed way above me in status. Cockade was a wonderful ship, I doubt you would ever find a crew member who didn’t enjoy that last commission. In two short years I had visited so many parts of the world. I still have my old photo album from then. Please send me a photo of your dad, I would probably remember him if I saw him.
      Yours Aye Fred

      • EBS SANDERS says:

        Which is the best way to send some photos please?

        >________________________________ > From: The Irish Rover’s Blog >To: >Sent: Saturday, 29 September 2012, 14:15 >Subject: [New comment] HMS Cockade > > > >irishroverpei commented: “Great to hear from you, sorry but I can’t recall your Dad, of course I was just a Boy Seaman straight out of HMS Ganges when I joined Cockade in August 1956. Petty Officers acting or otherwise seemed way above me in status. Cockade was a wonderful ship, I”

  3. Edgar Holmyard says:

    Hi Fred, do remember you & just read & enjoyed your book which my daughter got me fo Xmas. I meet up with Danny,George Micky Slinger and a few others at the re-union every Oct. Best of regards & Happy Christmas Eddie Holmyard, Tel.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Great to hear from you Eddie, you mentioned Danny, would that be Danny Gorman?? I was in touch with him a few yeas ago via email through his wife, I understand his eye sight is not good. Have you ever come across Phil Carroll, he was a Jack Dusty on Cockade and one of my best friends. I would love to contact him. Also you might remember Pat Line he was Nat Service stoker. He has written a book about Cockade but its not published yet. I did join the Cockade assoc in the 1980’s but being so far away it wasn’t really worthwhile for me.
      Merry Christmas Yours Aye Fred

  4. eddie holmyard says:

    Fred, Happy New Year. I appear to be doing something incorrect as I have answered your reply but it hasn’t appeared any where. Here goes again. Yes! Danny is the very same and his eyesight is fine- he hasn’t missed the glass yet. I haven’t seen any of the others you mentioned but Taff Jones and his wife Margaret turned up at the reunion some years ago but although we send cards I haven’t seen him since, I think he and his wife attend the 8th DS Sqdn re union in Scarborough every year, the way we are heading it may be the same for us soon. The only stokers that attend our re union are Buster Brown, Terry Fitchett & Jim Grieves, the others from our commission are George Hewitt another of your bretheren who was a boy on joining the ship & Mick Slinger who was an AB-known for his sporting prowess and although now 80 still sings on the Med circuit . I am unsure whether or not you knew Mitch (Mitchell) an AB but he crossed the bar last year and up to his illness was a regular at re unions. I previously added Danny’s tel no to my reply but I decided against it this time so if you want to get in touch with him send me an email and I’ll send it direct. Regard Eddie

  5. Charles Belleville says:

    My Father, Dennis Belleville served on Cockade during the Korean War. Up until his passing in 2009, there was immense pride whenever he spoke of Cockade,

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Charles great to hear from you, yes Cockade was a wonderful ship, in my long career I never served on a better one. She was part of the old Navy with hammocks and many old time matelots (three badge AB’s) during my two years aboard I saw more of the world than I did in all the next ten years. Sorry about your Dad but I’m sure he had a good and long life as a Royal Navy sailor. God Bless

  6. marie brown says:

    Hi I have just learned that my father Brian Frankcom served on the Cockade,He has passed away now,but was wondering does anyone remember him.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Marie I don’t recall the name but that doesn’t mean much most of us had nick names and rarely used real names. There was a Cockade Association, not sure if it still exists but might be worth a try. It would help if you had some details, what commission did your father serve in, what rate/trade/branch was he in etc. There is a photo of the ships company 1956-58 commission,it is on my web site, perhaps you might recognize your father if he is there? Good luck Irishrover

  7. Nicki Finnegan says:

    Do you remember my Dad Jack Finnegan?

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Nicki
      Can you give me some more info, its been a long time since 1956-58, perhaps a photo. Real names seldom help as we mostly used nicknames. What branch was he in Seaman/stoker what rating AB, LS or PO etc. Did you see the ships company photo taken in Hong Kong in 1957, can you pick your dad out
      Best Wishes Fred Rodgers

  8. Nicki Finnegan says:

    Hi Fred,
    Don’t know too much, he was a stoker, I have been to a couple of Cockade reunions, he was a keen football player, he played for Royton before joining up, he was also somewhat of a crooner and would sing A your adorable and so on, and another firm favourite my Grandfathers Clock.
    Names like John Whittle, Taff Jones, I am going to try and get to their reunion this year in Babacombe, so will be good to hear more stories, as Dad died 8 years ago.


    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Nicki If he played football then I would certainly have know him because we had a Cockade team called the Cockattoos. I remember on one of the Pacific islands we play a native team who played bare footed, they hammered us, not so much that we were bad, we were afraid of stepping on their toes and hurting them!!!One time we played against the British Army stationed in Malaya. None of us had football boots with us so we played in army jungle boots, we were hammered again 7-1. I remember the score because I scored the lone Navy goal!!!

      I wouldn’t have known your dad well, I was a seaman we lived in separate messes from the stokers and worked entirely different parts of ship. However we often all went ashore together. Sorry to hear your dad has crossed the bar, I expect he was older than me by a few years, I was barely 17 when I joined the Cockade, 74 now but still going, maybe not strong but still going. Yours Aye Frederick Rodgers

      Author of LILY & ME , and THE ROYAL NAVY & ME Visit blog and website

      > Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2013 19:53:08 +0000 > To: >

    • brian whitham says:

      hi nicki hope your still come on this site?. my name is brian whitham the son of keith [ike] whitham and audrey whitham. tried to get intouch with you and your brother terry but no answer when i rang to let you know that my mam passed away 9th febuary 2017 aged 83.

  9. Nicki Finnegan says:

    Aww thanks Fred, its great to hear the stories.
    Will follow the blog,
    Take Care and stay fit.

  10. Ron O'Connor says:

    Hello, My name is Ron O’Connor the son of the late Jim O’Connor who served in ‘Cockade’ in the mid 1950’s. Having looked at the photo of the ship’s company, the person standing in the second row from the back,far left certainly looks very like my father, but I can’t be sure.I wonder whether anyone could confirm this.
    Many thanks in advance.
    Ron O’Connor

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Ron, sorry I can’t help you hard to remember everyone by name from so long ago. There was a Cockade Assoc it may still exist just not sure. You might also try Mick Wyer, he was quite involve a few years ago his email was Another place to check is Forces United, they have a web page. Good luck and sorry I couldn’t be more help

      • Ron O'Connor says:

        Hi Irish Rover,
        Much obliged for your prompt reply,I’ll certainly follow up the leads you have provided.
        Kind regards,

  11. Karl Martin says:

    Anyone who may of known my father Trevor Martin Rank LEM ? I found his Korea I’d card dated 27/3/1954 I have a scrap book full of photographs with some very interesting shots, I know he served on Cockade amongst other ships. Unfortunately he died in 1992.

    Karl Martin

  12. Keith Jones says:

    Hi all My Dad Leading Seaman Les Jones served on Cockade From 1st August 1951 to 20th December 1952 during the Korean war. Dad sadly passed away in 1970 aged 47.

    Regards Keith Jones

  13. Bob Skinley says:

    Hi. My Dad, Max Skinley, served on Cockade, she was his first ship. He is in the ships company photograph, third row from the top, 4th from the left.


    Bob Skinley

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Bob
      I’m sure I knew your father well, if my memory is accurate we both joined Cockade from HMS Ganges we were boy seamen, 16 or 17 years old. I called your Dad Joe it was a sort of shipboard nick name. We were good friends and I believe he came from the West country area
      Yours Aye Frederick Rodgers

  14. eddie holmyard says:

    Hi! Max and I were in the communications dept, he was a junior telegraphist along with Chris Jameson ( who isn’t too well at the moment) I along with George Hewitt, who was a junior seaman in the same mess with Fred & Max, had the honour of representing the ship at your father’s funeral in Plymouth. Max & Chris were good pals and also served together on HMS Tiger. We held our annual reunion in Torquay Oct -we are down to 5 of us from the 56/58 commission but 40 overall from other commissions. Best regards, Eddie Holmyard

  15. irishroverpei says:

    Hi again Bob so sorry to hear your father has passed on, he was a good friend and shipmate. Its interesting to also hear from Eddie and to hear of Jamie (Chris Jameson) we were great friends who sat together on the train from London on the day we headed to Ganges for the first time, Jamie was coming from the Royal Hospital School and was in uniform, I was jealous because I was still in civvies. At the end of the years training we ended up together back in the Annex as Instructor boys, and later travelled together to Singapore to join Cockade. Because we came directly from Ganges via a few days aboard HMS Whitby we had no civvies just our uniforms. We couldn’t travel in uniform through the places we had to land to refuel. Not sure wear they got us clothes probably the Sally Army. We looked ridiculous in dreadful over sized ugly suits and wearing pusser black boots. Jamie was worse off than me as he was quite small. If you or Eddie would be kind enough to pass this message on and if Jamie is up to emailing I would love to make contact. my email address – – I have lots of photos to share, but if you want to see them contact me via my email address rather than my blog.
    Cheers Yours Aye Freddie Rodgers

  16. My dad was part of the first crew on HMS Cockade in 1945 . only had good story`s about HMS Cockade , he went out east with her to Hong Kong .
    .I think after serving in the North Atlantic on HMS Moorsom K567 for two years, out east was a joy his name was John Price ( Jack Price )

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi John good to hear from you, your Dad and I had something in common. He brought Cockade out to the far East in 1945, and I brought her home in 1958. Yours Aye shipmate

  17. Hello Ben thanks for the reply ,I wish my dad was still with us he would love to tell his story`s to the lads that followed him after 1947 when he was demobbed. Serving on a HMS Cockade was a a great time for him and his ship mates ,he always said it was a happy ship . I have a large picture of the Cockade on my wall at home ,also HMS Cossack doing high speed trials off the coast of Scotland . will try to get them to you . All the very best John .

    • irishroverpei says:

      It was indeed a happy ship, I sailed in her for 2 years and in my 12 years at sea never again experienced such a great ship and crew as in Cockade, we were family

  18. Ray Sutcliffe says:

    Hi,my dad Trevor Sutcliffe served on Cockade 1956-58.he was a PO, electrical branch.on His best freind on board was Bill Sykes. Dad once said to me that the Cockade was the best ship that he had ever served in,& he served a total of 27 years in the Navy retireing from HMS Vigilant @ Devonport in 1963. From the previous comments that i have read it would appear that Cockade was truly a happy ship. Dad passed away in November 1999.

  19. John Edgcumbe says:

    Hi Irish Rover,
    Firstly, thanks so much for running this site, I love to read first hand accounts of you lads who served in the old navy. My father Jack (Jan) Edgcumbe served on Cockade as an Acting PO (Seaman Branch) from Feb 47 to Oct 47. His records show “Tamar” as a notation beside this draft, possibly the ship could have been in Devonport Dockyard for a refit, just guessing though. My dad was a survivor from HMS Repulse sinking and served in many ships during his 27 years in the Navy. His last draft was President of the Senior Rates mess in HMS Drake.


    John Edgcumbe

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi John HMS Tamar was the shore base in Hong Kong. The Cockade was deployed to the Far East Station in 1946. Your Father could have possible been draft first to Tamar and then joined Cockade in H K. Cockade refitted in either Singapore or Hong Kong she didn’t return to Devonport until we brought her home for the final time in April 1958. A great ship full of wonderful memories. The only RN ship that I served aboard and had a hammock. no bunks on this old lady. Glad you enjoy the stories. Did you read my book “The Royal Navy & Me” ?

  20. Charlie Hayward says:

    Have just googled Terry Fitchett submarine association, and it led me to your Eddie Holmes entry 05/01/2013. Is this the Terry Fitchett who was on HM S/m Opportune with me as a Mech.1 in 1972-74
    He was due out side and was hoping to get work in the farm machinery industry in his native Norfolk?
    Charlie Hayward. RN stoker 1956–to–Mech 1 1979. (HMS Tiger 1965).

  21. Carrie-Dawn Thame says:


    I’ve just come across this whilst looking for some memorabilia for my grandad. He too served on HMS Cockade and loved it, only last week I asked if he ever served on any others and was amazed when he spouted off about 10 ships as he only ever talks about the cockade.
    My grandads name is Tommy Boden, known as Scouse on board, I have got pictures of him in his uniform that I could put on here if anyone knows him.
    I’m sure he would love to know this site exists!!!


    A proud granddaughter

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Carrie-Dawn lovely to hear from you, the name doesn’t ring a bell but it was almost 60 years since I sail in Cockade, I was aboard from August 1956 to April 1958. We brought the ship home to the Uk, it had been stationed in the far east since shortly after the 2nd WW. Do you know when your grandfather was aboard? I have several photos including a photo of the ships company taken around 1957. Send me a photo I may recognize him. I do remember a Tommy but not sure of last name he was the youngest member of the crew and would be approx 75 today. Looking forward to hearing from you . I was known as Freddie Rodgers in Cockade. Best to use my email address

    • Eric Harris says:

      HI CARRIE-DAWN, just found this site. I am a pal of his and missing our reunions. Please give him my regards, we served together.

  22. Trevor Jones ex Captain RNZN long retired. says:

    Hi – I was a New Zealand Cadet Midshipman at the Royal Australian Naval College 56-58 and in 1956 it was sited at HMAS Cerberus in Melbourne. We spent some time in December, 1956 at the Olympic Games – and then returned to New Zealand for the Christmas break on Cockade – Melbourne to Bluff the southernmost port in NZ. We had a great passage sleeping on stretchers in the passageways (there were 4 of us). Then went on the BRNC Dartmouth 59-60 where the artmouth squadron consisted of Venus Vigilant and Urchin – similar destroyers/frigates.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Great to hear from you Trevor, sorry but I have no memory of your passage aboard Cockade. I do remember the dockyard at Bluff and driving the olive green flat head Ford provided by the NZ Army. It was temperamental flooded easily and was always hard to start, nevertheless it made the trip to Invergaril shorter. You say you are long retired!!! I think we are all now long retired.

  23. jnr seaman hewitt says:

    The last renunion of cockade is in torquay 0n 24 sept to28 sad sad but as u say no one is getting any younger

  24. Peter Skinley says:

    I came across this site by accident and it was good to read, following contact by his son Robert, that Max Skinley, my brother, was remembered by some old shipmates from the Cockade. I think of all the ships Max served in, the Cockade was his favourite and he remained friends with Chris Jamieson until the end of his life. Max died in September 2013 and Chris died the following year – in January I think..
    It was good to meet both Eddie Holmyard and George Hewitt at Max’s funeral. They were in this area on the way to the Cockade reunion and made a special effort to attend for which I and the rest of my family were very honoured. Max left the RN around 1978 as an SD Lieutenant as a result of a severe car accident in 1973 which ultimately contributed towards his death.
    Peter Skinley

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Peter so nice to hear from you, Max (we called him Joe)was a vert good friend of mine aboard Cockade and indeed I think the Cockade was every ones favourite ship. We had a wonderful time and saw more of the world in those two years than many sailors saw in a life time. I lost touch with so many after returning to the UK, and only recently thru Eddie learned of Max and Jamie passing. It was a big shock to my system as I still remember them as young men, I left the navy in 1967 and went to Canada where I later joined the RCN, I too retired as a Lieutenant!! who would have thought in 1956 we would have reached such dizzy heights back then we were just young boys..Please accept my belated and deepest sympathies for your loss. Joe and Jamie are greatly missed by all their shipmates.
      Yours Aye Freddie.

  25. Eric Harris says:

    Memories! I am Eric Harris, a LSM on Cockade 1951. Some of the crew such as Jack Finnegan and Tommy Boden, the names above, have been meeting for years at a regular reunion. I remember Dennis Belleville well, he had the best beard on the ship!

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Eric it was a great ship and we had many bearded wonders!!! I would probably put the Red Devil from my commission !956-58 up against Dennis

  26. Nicki white says:

    Hi, just been reading the blog and was touched that my Dad Jack Finnegan was mentioned. Sadly he’s no longer with us but loved his time on Cockade and the reunions meant the world to him.

  27. Nicki white says:

    Reading the blog and so touched to see my Dad Jack Finnegan mentioned. Sadly he’s not with us anymore but HMS Cockade was a massive part of his life and the reunions were legendary! Fair to say Jack Finnegan was a party animal!

  28. David Slowley says:

    I paid off HMS Tiger at Devonport 1963 and to my surprise, looking all forlorn was my first ship HMS Cockade, de commissioned and obviously on her way to the breaker’s yard.I was an EM when I joined Cockade in March 1955 after flying out from London with so many mechanical breakdowns it took us nearly a week.My name is David, Nicknamed Dan, Slowley.I am now 81 and have lived in Western Australia since 1970.I learned a lot, not only what I should, like canteen messing, sleeping on camp stretcher on the iron deck under the aft torpedo tubes because it was so hot in the messdeck.Names? I have forgotten them all except Chief Electrician George (Panhandle) Lucas and my old mate Jan Warne.We have a branch of the Royal Naval Association here in Rockingham. Good luck to my old shipmates who might still be alive.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi David (Don) nice to hear from you although I must confess I can’t remember you from the crew. However, like you I saw the dirty rusty and sad state of Cockade moored up in the creek at Devonport. I actually took a(cicra 1962) launch out to the ship and walked her decks on last time, it was a very sad moment in my naval career. That wonderful old ship in such a dreadful state. So many fond memories of the last commission. I was just a young AB 18 years old. Lots of photos on my web page, perhaps you can pick yourself out of the crew photo taken in Hong Kong. I ended up living in Prince Edward Island Canada.

  29. Karl martin says:

    Did you know my Farther Trevor Martin he was an Electrician?
    He would have been 83 if he was still alive, i have a great photo album ofall his travels in Singapore etc

  30. irishroverpei says:

    Hi Karl I can’t be sure as we all had nicknames in those days, if you send me a photo I may recognize him. Although after two years aboard I’m sure we were at least familiar with one another.

  31. Karl martin says:

    Sure will.

    Where can i send a photo?

  32. irishroverpei says:

    send to my email

  33. Eddie Holmyard says:

    Hi! Just had another reunion, albeit unofficial, only 9 shipmates managed to meet this year although there were a few widows making up the numbers. The only shipmate who Dan may remember is the butcher on his commission Norman Baker who was an AB. George Hewitt, Buster Brown, Terry Fitchett & myself made up our commission. Mick Slinger and Danny Gorman had over riding personal reasons and couldn’t make it this year. Hope you are well and coping with the old age club, which I didn’t volunteer for, but was dragged in to it. Yours Aye! Eddie

  34. irishroverpei says:

    Come on Eddie you were always volunteering!!! So sad as our ranks thin, I recall as a member of the Cockade Assoc in the 1980’s we had so many members not only from our commission but the earlier ones too. Can’t remember his name but our Nav Officer became an Admiral with a knighthood, maybe is name was Wilson??? he attended one of those early reunions.

  35. Eddie Holmyard says:

    You may be thinking of Lt. Webster although I wasn’t aware he became an Adml. The other officers besides Cdr Cobb- better still I shall take a copy of the ship’s company and send it to you as an attmt. Keep writing. I am attending the local Sea Cadets Trafalgar dinner on the 15th will raise a glass to you after the IMMORTAL MEMORY of course. Keep an eye on you emails. Eddie

  36. John Singer says:

    My dad served as PO Cook on Cockade Ronnie Singer now no longer with us but served in Singapore but I believe flew out of Far East when new crew joined.

  37. Kathryn Jackson says:

    Hi there,

    I just came across this site when searching for the ship my grandad served on for a while. I’ll have to check when exactly he was aboard though!

    His name is Bernie Stockton.

    I doubt you would remember him as it was so long ago but worth a try. He also served in some part of the SBS and later ran his own deep sea diving company – Maritime Offshore Projects.


    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Kathryn I checked the ships company list for 1956-58 and your Dads name does not appear, sorry I can’t be of more help.

    • Martin Blyth says:

      Hi Kathryn,
      My father (Mo Blyth) served with Bernie on HMS Cockade and they often went to the reunions together. I lost his contact information a few years ago, how is he doing?
      Martin Blyth

  38. Neil Turnbull says:

    G’day irishrover,
    My name is Neil Turnbull and I served on Cockade from approx. August 1957 until she paid off in Devonport in 1958. I was replacement for the original Coder who had returned to UK. I realise that we national service coders were not the most popular ratings aboard but I do have fond memories of my time aboard. Immediately after I joined the ship was put into dry dock for refit of a out three months. During this time we were all accommodated ashore. I can’t remember many names now but I recall the skipper Commander Cobb and Lt. Pike but not the name of my divisional officer who was also the gunnery officer. I recall the writer’s name is John Tomlinson(?).
    I recall vividly the journey home via the Suez where I believe we were one of the first British naval vessel to enter the canal under the Egyptian control and had to enter the canal last instead of the pre Nasser protocol of warships going first.
    I am now resident since 1969 in Hobart Australia.

    • irishroverpei says:

      HI Neil good to hear from a shipmate sorry I don’t remember you however never had anything against coders, in fact never knew what you did other the obvious in your trade. I had a good coder friend at Ganges on leave we once change our uniform to go to a dance. I think he want to try my rig more Than I wanted his, it was a plain outfit no brass buttons and we had no badges,nevertheless thought ourselves as handsome young sailors. I live on Prince Edward Island arrived in 1967. Some times in our long winters I think I should chosen Australia or NZ. No regrets really take care Freddie Rodgers

      • Edgar Holmyard says:

        Good morning Freddie. I vaguely remember Neil coming onboard but I think he didn’t have much to do with comms, well not as much as his predecessor did. The question arises as to what would ‘down under’ do without Cockadians as there seems a lot ended up there. Don’t know whether David served on the Tiger at the same time as Max and Chris and remembers them but if so he may wish to know of them crossing the bar. Regards  Eddie |

        irishroverpei commented: “HI Neil good to hear from a shipmate sorry I don’t remember you however never had anything against coders, in fact never knew what you did other the obvious in your trade. I had a good coder friend at Ganges on leave we once change our uniform to go to a ” | | Respond to this comment by replying above this line |

        | | | |

        | New comment on The Irish Rover’s Blog | |

        | | | irishroverpei commented on HMS Cockade. in response to Neil Turnbull: G’day irishrover, My name is Neil Turnbull and I served on Cockade from approx. August 1957 until she paid off in Devonport in 1958. I was replacement for the original Coder who had returned to UK. I realise that we national service coders were not the most popular ratings aboard but I do have fond […] HI Neil good to hear from a shipmate sorry I don’t remember you however never had anything against coders, in fact never knew what you did other the obvious in your trade. I had a good coder friend at Ganges on leave we once change our uniform to go to a dance. I think he want to try my rig more Than I wanted his, it was a plain outfit no brass buttons and we had no badges,nevertheless thought ourselves as handsome young sailors. I live on Prince Edward Island arrived in 1967. Some times in our long winters I think I should chosen Australia or NZ. No regrets really take care Freddie Rodgers | Reply |    Comments |



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    • irishroverpei says:

      Neil I hope you see the response from Eddie Holmyard added below might be of interest.

  39. Neil Turnbull says:

    Thanks for your comments Eddie. The reason I had little to do with comms. is that within a day or two of joining Cockade we all moved to accommodation on shore who;e the ship underwent a three months refit in dry-dock. During that time I was seconded by Lt. Pike(?) to the ships office and remained there for the rest of my time on Cockade. In fact once I hard completed my training in cryptography at HMS Mercury I never saw another coding machine.

  40. irishroverpei says:

    I guess times were changing, I never saw a coder after leaving cockade

    • Adam Bevan says:

      Hi don’t no if any one can help I’m trying to find out we’re my grandad history iv bin told he served on his cockade by not 100% his name was Dennis Albert Bevan if any one has any information it will be much appreciated thank you

      • irishroverpei says:

        He does not show up on the 1956-58 HMS Cockade ship company list

      • Adam Bevan says:

        I’m not 100% but I think he was on the cockade earlier

      • Eddie Holmyard says:

        Hi Adam, as my shipmate has said he wasn’t on the last commission with us. I have put some feelers out with others who served in different commissions and if anything comes up I will get in touch. Regards Eddie

  41. george hewitt says:

    Just been aboard hms cavalier at chatham museum she relieved us at hong kong 1957 . The only difference to cockade is the anti aircraft defence they fitted in the 70ss.brought back lots of memories the messdecks the turrets

    • Cole Mcleod says:

      Hi George my grandad mick slinger is looking for your phone number he said he lost it can you reply to me via email to get in touch my email

    • Keith Jones says:

      Going through some of my dad’s old stuff, I came across this Christmas card when dad, Leading Seaman Les Jones was on the Cockade in 1952. Keith Jones. [Image]



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  42. Eddie says:

    Good evening Fred. Just returned from Area 8 RNA quarterley meeting and feeling a bit sorry about the state of affairs that we are losing shipmates -age is no friend- and not recruiting new members but cheering up cos’ of the thought of meeting up with old Cockade shippers next w/e down in Torquay. Hope you are OK and in rude health, besides the tot I’m just quaffing to the health of all our friends & families from 56-58 I will do the repeat next w/e in very good company . Regards Eddie

    • Cole Mcleod says:

      Eddie hi my grandad up like a lightbulb when I said your name on the comments his name is mick slinger and he will be seeing you in September

  43. irishroverpei says:

    Hi Eddie good to hear from you, indeed age is no friend, we have become the few. I’m on a Shipmates reunited forum, it’s strange because most posts are about when someone joined they talking 1980 -90s really makes me feel old, but of course I am old, turn 80 in a few weeks. Sadly nothing works as it once did, but just have to keep sailing on. Please give my regards to any of our old shipmates you meet up with. Keep in touch Yours Aye Freddie

  44. Cole says:

    My grandad was on the last commission of HMS Cockade I’m looking for more photos of the ship and crew his name was mick slinger he was an able seamen

    • Tony Brooks says:

      Hello Cole
      Just found this website after so many years. I knew Mick he was a bit of a scally. His best mate was Phil Carroll. If mick is still OK and remembers me give him my best wishes.

  45. Mark Helyer says:

    Well hello, just found this after googling the Cockade, My Dad was Terry Helyer , PO ERA and he spent 3 years out in the Far East not known if all on Cockade but including Korea, he spoke fondly of Singapore , Royal China Fleet club (not the subscription) … He served on many ships but the Cockade was his favourite, he had a copy of a book written about the C class boats featuring the Cockade .. He was involved in a refit in Cardiff not sure but think this was also the Cockade …. Sadly recently departed, he would have loved to have seen this , glad some of his old “shippers” are out there

  46. Steven Monti says:

    Hi my best mates grandfather served on the cockade I think all through the Korean War.Ken Jones was his name from would spend hours telling me stories about the ship I was very interested.Years after his service he told me he was traveling on a train in South Wales and he saw his old ship moored up being scrapped.He told me he nearly jumped of the train to try and get a piece of his old ship he was full of emotion as the cockade had been his home for so long.he lived out the rest of his days in South Wales where he was from.He had a big impact on my life as I ended up joining the military myself.So this post is just for him really from what I’ve read on here everyone loved that ship as much as he did.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Steven she was indeed a wonderful ship and I understand your friends grandfathers love. My commission was her last we brought the ship home in 1958. A few years later approx 1961 I saw the old lady more in the creek in Devonport. I took a boat out for a last look, she was sad looking, dirty and rusty paint, mostly I was struck by the silence. The ship was waiting her final passage to the breakers yards. I never saw her again. Sad but fond memories of fine ship from a Navy now also gone.

  47. brian whitham says:

    my father was on the cockade 49/52. he was a stoker. his name was keith whitham [ike] and was good pals with john whittles and jack finnigan. He attended the reuions with my mother upto him passing over the bar in 1997. My mother still went to the reunions with my help until she passed away in 2017.

  48. irishroverpei says:

    Sorry for the loss of your mother

  49. Becky Isted says:

    Good morning, I hope this is still being looked at by some. I care for a gentleman who was aboard HMS Cocker, Mr Barry Lloyd, also part of the Cockertoos? I wonder if anyone of you recall him or the band. I really enjoy listening to his stories and was trying to find some more information to chat with him about and perhaps some of his crew mates.

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Becky sorry I cant help you, he wasn’t on my commission 1956-58. Maybe someone will see your post and respond.

  50. Tony Brooks says:

    Good morning, this is the first contact I have had with the Cockade since I left her in Plymouth in ’58. my name is Tony Brooks and I was the Navigator’s Yeoman on board her last commission, my boss was Lieut. John Webster. I have looked at the photo of the whole ships company and am on the front row on the left of centre, my rating badge is a pair of compasses on the right cuff and you can just make it out.
    Came across this webpage the other day and wondered just how many of my old shipmates there might still be. I am 84 now and was amongst the youngest on board.
    Left the RN in ’63 and still recon it was probably the best ship I had. My shore mate was Pete Forbes the Engineer’s Writer . Both ‘Blue Card’ so we could go ashore whenever. Lost track of Pete after I left Cockade and have no idea where he is. I moved from Oxford to North Norfolk 20 years ago
    If there are any left who remember me it would be nice to hear from them .

    Tony Brooks

    • irishroverpei says:

      Remember you well Tony, I was younger than you having joined from Ganges, I was training as an RP, your boss became an admiral and was knighted. He attended at least one Cockade reunion in the 1980s.not too many of us left. The last reunion was probably the last one. Mike Slinger Danny Gorman, a couple wives, ant remember the rest. I be 82 in a couple of months I have lived in Canada since 1967. I ended up in boats and my last commission was 6th Canadian submarine squadron. Left the mob in 1966. Did a further twelve yours RCN retired as Lieutenant. Who would have thought!

      • Brian whitham says:

        My dad was stoker on the cockade (49-52) he passed away in 97 but mum still went and I used to go with here but she passed away 2017
        There is still a reunion but it’s more of a get together now. There was only three of us there This year would av been more but the dreaded
        COVID-19 scuppered that for a lot of people.
        Av already booked for next year because this is what I call my holiday

  51. Tony Brooks says:

    I knew Mick, he was a bit of a hard case, always went about with Phil Carroll

  52. irishroverpei says:

    I attended Phil’s wedding in Belfast 1958, but lost track since.

  53. irishroverpei says:

    Those were the best of times ever. So sad to think so many are gone, we were all so young and it’s hard imagine now that we have grown old. My best friend was Chris Jameson, Jamie. He looked like he was about 12 or 13 back then, he died a few years ago.

  54. Gillian Stephenson says:

    Hi, I’m looking for some photos or some information about my grandad. His name was John Whittle and served on the cockade. He attended the reunions in the past but intrigued if anyone recalls him and if they ahead any stories or photos to tell x

  55. irishroverpei says:

    I’m so sorry Gillian your Grandfather’s name is not on my ship company list 1956-58, Must have served earlier. You might try the Imperial War Museum. Wishing you success.

  56. Mick Wilde says:

    My name is Mick Wilde and served on the Cockade 56 – 58 played in the football team under George Le – Count and the cricket team under Peter Tomlinson, would like to hear from any remaining members

    • irishroverpei says:

      Sorry Mick don’t remember you what part of ship? I was seaman mess fo’ard starboard mess. I too played football for Cockade. We played against the army at camp outside Pennang.

    • Mark Helyer says:

      Hiya my Dad was on her during the Korean War , Chief Engineer, Terry Helyer. Sadly no longer with us but it was his favourite ship

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