HMS Resolution Committee

Billy Dobson

Billy Dobson


Current Committee Position:    Without Portfolio.

Previous Committee Position:    President (March 2012 – March 2013).

Date served on Resolution:    (Stbd)From 11th Nov 1974 – To 05th May 1978.

Served as:    Petty Officer RP1.

Currently Living:    I live in Plymouth, Devon. I retired in 2003 and am enjoying life to the full. I am involved in most things “Submarines”, I’m the current Chairman of the Plymouth Branch of the Submariners Association, I am the Lead Organiser of the SM2 Sunshine Squadron Reunion(couldn’t do it without the help of my team of helpers). I also am one of the helpers involved with the Diesel Boat DTS Reunion. Both of these events are held annually in the Weston Mill Oak Villa Sports & Social Club, Ferndale Road, Plymouth, Sunshine Squadron on the first Saturday in March, Diesel Boat on the first Saturday in August. I get heavily involved with the November Ceremonies too (Embankment Parade, HMS Raleigh Submarine School Wreath Laying & Trophy Presentation to top passing out student and Remembrance Sunday on the Hoe).

Best bit of Advice Given:    The best bit of advice I was ever given was that by my Nana, “Always tell the truth, because if you lie, you better have a good memory”. Telling the truth has put me in the ‘Doo Doo’ many a time, however, I’m still here to tell the tale.

Best Service Memory:    I don’t really have a best Service Memory, I do have many fond memories of my time in the Service (good and not so good), suffice to write a book (or two), If I was pressed into making a comment, it would be ‘Friendships’. From my very first day at HMS Raleigh meeting Bill Gash on the 23rd September 1962, we were gassed together in the morning when ordered to “Remove Gasmasks”, we had our long hair chopped off from the “ The Mother of all Butchers”, and we were doubled round the parade ground with rifles above our heads for being ‘High Spirited’. They say that true friends, you can fit on one hand, not in my case, I have many true friends.

If Money was no problem:    I don’t honestly think that I would be able to cope with a life with lots of money, I’ve never had that luxury, never yearned for it, times have, and sometimes still are difficult, but somehow, I seem to be able to stand my corner, I’m one of Lifes’ ‘Get By Brigade’, I did one Off Crew period manage to wangle a Glider course at Bicester, that was fun. The money I needed was for in the bar afterwards.

Person most admired:    Person(s) most admired, this is a hard one, on reflection I suppose I must start with my Nana, she instilled a sense of rationale in my life when she and my Grandad moved in with us when I was very young. My mother taught me love, My father too gave it in his own way (he loved his kids really, but rarely showed it outwardly), the time he poured his heart out to me was when he visited me up in Faslane, we took a drive out to Glen Fruin overlooking the base looking at the submarines tied up alongside, we had a long private chat, I learned that day how knowledgeable he was about a lot of subjects. When I went underground at the Ryhope Pit, I had a mentor allocated to me to show me the ‘Ropes’ on handling my new pit pony called Don, my mentor, gained from years down the pit, was the font of all knowledge, his words of wisdom saved my life twice when I was let loose on my own with Don, two situations occurred whereby I had occasion to recall what I’d been taught by the ‘Old Blue Checked Hen’, that was his nickname, he kept pigeons. My ‘Sea Dad’ on the Corunna, Pete (Porky) Cutler must get a mention, the whole of HMS Greatford ship’s company who held my life in their hands daily over 18 months out in Singapore. My time in boats, 11-07-67 – 11-08-86, made many many good friends, Officers, Senior Rates and Junior Rates alike, you all know who you are if you’re reading this, but there is one who ranks highest with respect to moulding me into becoming a ‘Clone’ of he, he being Harry Deacon, what an enigma of a man (RIP), he taught me how to be a Co’xn in the forenoon, and how not to be a Cox’n in the afternoon, if you require clarification on that issue, seek advice from our own Ken Dickson Ha! What a man.

Biggest Regret:    I only have one regret. It’s one that can never be corrected as it happened when I was in my tearaway days, I broke into an old lady’s house and stole three shillings and a glove (what’s the use of only one glove I ask, okay if you’ve lost a hand, providing it’s the correct hand as well) Ha! She never knew who done it, neither did the police until I confessed, I didn’t know who lived in the house until I became her paper boy a year or two later. To atone for my actions I used to pay her paper bill, often leave a bag of groceries on her doorstep, always helped her along from the bus stop when I saw her in the street struggling with her bags, she never knew who I was other than her paper boy.

That’s me.

B. Dob.


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