ANDY BRIERLEY'S RECOLLECTIONS
Read some recollections sent in by Andy - It may well bring back those lazy, hazy days of your youth !
If you'd like to comment on anything on this page please send an email by clicking here
Jo was scrolling through our website for me. I was surprised to see D. Repard in the crossing the bar page. The late Fred practised a ‘No officers policy’. Why I do not know, being a late comer to ‘his association’. To see that policy has been quietly pumped with the bilge water removes a wart from our escutcheon. That is not a slur on Fred who got me back in touch with friends of 50 odd years ago.
To me, simply writing Repard is unmannered, rude. He did not have the officer habit of using ones bald surname – always Able Seaman .... that conferred a status, a recognition of your worth in the larger picture. He was interested in your hopes and aspirations, what made me a ‘Shotley Boy’, messing, schooling, discipline, who were my instructors etc.. On rare occasions, when chewing the fat in the small office, he lapsed to first names – that sticks – as only my mother ever called me Andrew. He had a keen interest in a previous job I had, a very small part in .... trying to sweep ground mines with a Heath Robinson towed contraption of induction coils and my, then, Captain Roberts V.C..
Lieutenant Commander Repard was my senior officer, not simply because he was elevated in the ‘pecking order’, more because he had a feel for his people. His natural demeanour engendered a concrete loyalty in the T.S.A. branch (his speciality). ‘Gunners are not the same at all, do you think it is due to them ever shouting at each other in as loud a voice as possible?’
I learn, on the site, Lieutenant Commander Repard was passed over for a ‘ring’ captain. The noble lords shot themselves in the foot – again. I see him in the Commander Walker of Starling mode, another master of his trade, passed over till the ‘merde hits the fan’! The popular conception of the lower decks as senseless sodomites has it place in novels. The majority of the ‘pecked’ are sharp enough to know, a few months into commission, which officer is worth his berth.
It may sound bumptious, but I consider, however you slice it, Lieutenant Commander Repard was my shipmate. ‘I salute you sire and am certain you ‘Rest in Peace’’.