HMS Resolution Committee

Terry Nowell

Terry Nowell


Current Committee position:-    Without Portfolio

Other committee post held:-    None

Dates on reso:-

Served as:-    Fire Control and Missile - started as Leading Hand CEMN and ended as Chief Mech.

Currently living in:-    East Preston, West Sussex, UK

Current working state:-    I retired in 2005 at age 57 and am now living a great life after having worked up to an almost unsustainable working level in the microelectronics and photonics industries. I am only mentioning all this because it was the Royal Navy that equipped me with the basic technologies, the skill level, and the attitude to succeed. I left home aged 16 from a broken home, the worst council estate in Brighton, and no prospects. If the Polaris programme had not been launched the Navy would not have needed to go out and recruit more apprentices aged 16 - 18 who had ‘missed the boat’. Having risen to Vice President level in a global company I decided to launch my own technology start up ‘for fun’, expecting it to last for two or three years. Pressure then came from the responsibility for my 70 odd employees, huge ramping in sales to Korea and Japan, and keeping a collection of private venture capitalists happy despite their unbridled self interested greed (mostly). After five years I managed to get the business sold to an old friend and colleague in Korea who now owns the company (Powerlase) and it is doing very well manufacturing industrial lasers in Crawley UK. In my working life I have led or been part of teams winning three Queens Award for Export, then Technology, then Entrepreneurship. I served as an industry expert for the DTI, as a peer reviewer for EPSRC (Research Council), and was contracted to the European Commission for four years as an intramural expert running a program to revitalise the European Semiconductor Industry. I have managed the construction of three semiconductor factories and have run two of them – one in the USA. Walking into the Royal Navy recruiting office in 1965 was a very good stroke of luck.

Current activities:-    As a member of the Gatwick Branch of the Submarine Association I have been elected onto the Archive Committee. This is the body that wrote the three books ‘Submarine Memories’ etc., and unfortunately the earlier editors have now ‘crossed the bar’. My task is to ‘digitise’ several thousand images (slides and photos) along with written accounts from old crews. The objective is to produce a modern cross reference of crews and boats and stories in electronic form and to pass it onto the Submarine museum for a greater archive. If anyone has historical material related to submarines – especially First and Second World War, then please send the material to me.

I do NOT do any social networking, Facebook, Twitter etc. now that I have retired.

Hobbies:-    Sailing (currently a catamaran), Golf (for the walks) and building and flying radio controlled model aircraft. Since I retired I bought a motor home and have been touring all over the UK and Europe in a completely relaxed and casual way to travel – no pressure.

Best bit of advice ever given:-    Had many of these and not always taken the good advice. My deputy headmaster Mr. Crowley, a maths teacher and tough man, after several occasions of giving me a strap for minor problems, took me under his wing and helped me finish school. “Always do your best – it’s all you can do”.

Best service memory:-    We all must have many of these, usually connected with friends etc. and difficult to choose one.

I remember the beautiful smells from open air cooking in the muddy streets of Sembawang Village outside Singapore Naval Base and the very pleasant and helpful bar girls distracting a young lad on his first ship – sadly it’s all gone now but I can still remember the smells.

Alternatively the best period in memory was after I left the Polaris programme working on the sub-harpoon trials programme where we spent ages off the Outer Hebrides sometimes sea riding on trials boats and often on a torpedo recovery boat dropping into little fishing villages for the night. It was more difficult for family life but I enjoyed the laid back schedules and recognised the beauty of the islands and the sea even though it was often wet, grey and ‘lumpy’. I often go back there now. Probably all of us can remember surfacing at the end of a patrol at 0400 off the islands to a grey misty world – magical.

Best recent surprise:-    Bumping into Paul Jupp and realising that he had become a Congregational Minister and now retired but is Chaplain to the Submarine Association. He was an EA ‘tiffy’ at the time. At dinner he reminded me when we thrashed the XO and a junior officer at bridge and claimed that I cheated by kicking him under the table when I wanted him to stop bidding. Of course I have absolutely no recollection of this, but I do remember the XO giving the junior officer a bollocking for his poor performance at cards.

Person most admired:-   I imagine we are all inspired by a lot of lot of people in our life so no personal nominations. From an historical perspective it would be Winston Churchill or Oliver Cromwell – not always popular but they stayed true to what they believed was right, made tough decisions, and still kept some humanity and compassion.

Biggest regret:-    During Resolution it would be the passing of my very good friend Wally Wyatt who struck a bad patch just up from Rhu Narrows. He passed away before I reached the hospital.


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