In Memorium

Gary Nixon

We are sad to report that one of our ex-serving photographers, Gary Nixon, has crossed the bar.

A number of our colleagues, Bob Stanyard, Roger Forbes and Stuart ‘Slinger’ Wood attended Gary’s funeral on Thursday 1st August 2019.

The photograph is of Gary (on the left) and Bob Stanyard, when Gary was Bob’s best man at his wedding.

Update: Andy Sinclair’s Funeral Details

Andy’s funeral took place on Tuesday 13th November at 2pm at;

Charing crematorium
New Court Wood
TN27 0EB

This will be followed by a gathering at:
The Star
30 High Street
TN17 4LN

RIP Andy.

Andy Sinclair

On Sunday 14th October 2018 we received news that Andy Sinclair had crossed the bar that day. Andy was born on 12th April 1949, so he didn’t manage to make his 70th birthday. Andy lived in Hastings, Sussex, and I will do my best to represent the Association at his sending off party and will post the details of his funeral here, once I know them.

andy sinclair

Andy with his brother John.

Andy and myself were on the same Phot 2’s course that commenced in October 1965. He was then 16 years old and had joined the branch following in his brother John’s footsteps.

I’m sure that many of you will have memories of Andy, so please share them with us.

RIP Andy. 

Pete Thorne

Many of you will know and remember Pete. He was extremely well regarded by those who served in the branch with him; funny, outgoing, always smiling and great company to be with. Pete, sadly, after some years of dreadful illnesses, has finally crossed the bar. Pete’s funeral in on 5th November. (Details below.)

The photograph: Pete with Angela and friends at Chatham Dockyard reunion in October 2015. On the left is Bridget Bunting with husband Peter behind her; Doreen Larcombe (laughing at Pete!) Angela, Pete’s wife, and Val Darbyshire. At the Chatham reunion he was the life and soul of the reunion.

Jan Larcombe has received information about Pete’s send off from Angela and this is what she said in her email:

Angela wrote about funeral arrangements:

“Monday 5th November 2018 at Northaw Village Church, (St. Thomas’s) at 10.45am. Then I and the family will take Peter to Enfield Crematorium for the Committal. In the meantime, all you good people who would like to join us will go to the Brookmans Park Golf Club, for refreshments, where I and the family will rejoin you at approximately 1.0 pm.
It is family flowers only, so if any of you would like to make a donation in memory of Peter, it’s to:-
Monkey World Ape Rescue, in Dorset. Peter and I adopted a chimp many years ago, and he’s loved the place ever since, and it was always his wish that any donations would go there.  I’ll be only too pleased to send all the cheques off in one lot if that’s what you’d like, or of course, you can send your donations individually.
If any of you lovely people can’t make it for whatever reason, I fully understand.  None of us are getting any younger, all I ask is that you have a quiet thought and remember Peter at 10.45. on Firework Night, or send up a rocket in the evening!”

RIP Pete Thorne.

Russ Whalley

Many of you will have worked with Russ during your own time in the branch. Sadly we have to report that Russ crossed the bar on Friday 2nd February 2018, aged 76. He hadn’t been very well for some time and died in his sleep.

There was a Requiem Mass at St Joseph RC Church, Goldenhill, High Street Stoke on Trent, ST6 5RD on Monday 26th February at 1.15 pm prior to a private committal service.

 Donations preferred to  CAFOD (Catholic Agency For Overseas Development) C/O the funeral director., Dolven Funeral Services, 31 – 33 Congleton Road, Biddulph, Stoke on Trent ST8 6DY.

Russ was in the branch throughout the sixties and the seventies and ended his career as a Chief Phot. Russ’s family put up their own bereavement piece in the Stoke Sentinal newspaper and you can read more here on a notice place in the newspaper.

When he left the navy he settled in Talke, just outside Stoke-on-Trent.
Russ was highly regarded and I’m sure those who knew him will mourn his loss. When we have more information we will publish it in the next newsletter and also on the website.

RIP Russ.

Mike McKnight

Janet and Mike McKnight

Janet and Mike McKnight at our Chatham Dockyard Reunion in October 2015

We’ve received very sad news that one of our members, Mike McKnight, crossed the bar on Monday 19th February 2018.

Mike served in the branch for many years and attended a number of our reunions. In spite of his declining health in recent times his good humour was always evident. A few years ago he and Janet had moved to live in Shropshire and they had settled there very well.

Mike passed away in a hospice in Shropshire and Janet, his loving wife, was with him at the end.

We will let members know more about Mike’s career in the Photographic branch on the website and in the newsletter in due course.

Our thoughts are with Janet and Mike’s family. We have sent our condolences to Janet on behalf of all of our members

RIP Mike.



David Casaru – ‘Cass’

We were informed recently that Dave Casaru has crossed the bar. His nickname was ‘Cass’, and he was at Lossiemouth in 1965 when I was doing my Phot 2’s course.

To the best of my recollection he was a member of the Lossie Phot. Section at that time. Jan Larcombe has informed me that the only record we have in our archive is of David being at Lossie in 70/71 and at DPRN in 1973. (Jan gleaned this information from the Peregrine Trophy results.).

If anyone knows any more of David’s naval career, and his subsequent life after the navy, it would be helpful if you could write to me with your memories and recollections. I seem to remember he was a Yorkshireman?

His funeral is taking place in Barrow-in-Furness on Tuesday 19 April 2016. We’re not sure of the time yet but when we know I will post a message here.

RIP Dave