Commander C J Bryning Royal Navy

Chris was educated at Tavistock School and at King’s College, London where he took a BSc Degree in Engineering before joining the Navy as a short service Seaman Officer in September 1975. Having passed out of Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth he completed his sea training in HMS DIOMEDE for which he was awarded the Queens Telescope. While serving in DOIMEDE he took part in the 1976 Cod War in which the ship was rammed 6 times by various Icelandic patrol boats until she had to retire hurt with a 40 foot by 6 foot gap in the port side which provided a lovely sea view from the Wardroom. He also volunteered to transfer to Aircrew as advised by his Commanding Officer, Captain Bob McQueen.

His first complement billet was in 1977 as Gunnery and Mine Hunting Control Officer in HMS BILDESTON during which he completed his Bridge Watch keeping and Ocean Navigating Certificates. Short of Watchkeeping Officers the Appointer offered a transfer to Aircrew with two caveats; a pier head jump to the Fisheries Protection Minesweeper, HMS BICKINGTON, as Navigating Officer and a transfer to the General List. Accepting both Chris joined BICKINGTON at the end of 1977. For his last 4 months he took over as First Lieutenant on the medical landing of the appointed Officer.

Flying Training started in September 1978 with EFT at RAF Leeming followed by selection for helicopter training at 705 Squadron, AFT and OFT in 706 Squadron as an ASW pilot. He joined 820 Squadron in 1980 for his first tour during which the squadron transferred to HMS INVINCIBLE for her first commission. In 1981 he moved to 829 Squadron for Wasp training and joined HMS DIDO as Flight Commander in early 1982. Although part of the Spring Train exercise initially sent south to the Falklands, DIDO was soon recalled and dispatched to defend Gibraltar against possible Argentinian threats from Algeciras!

He returned to the Minehunting world in 1984 as Commanding Officer of HMS HUBBERSTON and subsequently HMS NURTON during which he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander.And it was during is time that his close links with the town of St Ives were forged as HMS NURTON was the town’s affiliated ship. In 1985 it was back to flying as Senior Pilot 820 Squadron and the first commission of HMS ARK ROYAL. After a short period as Commanding Officer of the Aircrewman’s School at Culdrose he was appointed to the Navy Secretary’s staff as the Pilot’s Appointer.

Promoted to Commander in 1991 he completed the Joint Service Staff Course at Greenwich before joining FOST Staff at Portland as Staff Officer Operations. During this appointment his major responsibility was the study and subsequent paper which decided the move of FOST to Plymouth and the closure of the naval base at Portland. His next appointment was as Commander (Air) RNAS Culdrose during which he was selected for sea command. He assumed command of the Type 23 frigate, HMS IRON DUKE, in 1995 where he served until 1998. During this time the ship was the first surface vessel to visit the Russian port of Murmansk to represent the Royal Navy for the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the death of TSAR Peter the Great, the father of the Russian Navy. His last appointment in the service was as DACOS J2 Ops in the Permanent Joint Headquarters at Northwood. He left the service at the end of 1999.

He joined the Royal Navy Reserve (Air Branch) on leaving, as a Lieutenant Commander, and as DSOO in the FONA Embassy at Northwood. This soon morphed into supporting J3 and J5 Operations under COMNA and then Fleet Aviation on the move to Leach Building, Whale Island. The post did not survive the Fleet First review and so he was re-rolled in Commander (Flying) at RNAS Culdrose. He was promoted Commander RNR and assumed the duties of SO1 RNR at RNAS Culdrose from 1 Jan 12 to 1 Jan 14.

In civilian life he now works as a commercial pilot flying a Twin Otter to the Isles of Scilly from Land’s End and Newquay. Chris lives near Helston and is married to Lindsay. His interests are skiing, golf and gliding; he is presently the Secretary of the Royal Navy Gliding and Soaring Association.


Keith Thomas Hodge

Keith joined the Royal Navy on the 12 September 1960 aged sixteen for entry as an Artificer Apprentice at HMS Fisgard Torpoint Cornwall.  After sixteen months at HMS Fisgard He volunteered for Ordinance Artificer Training at HMS Caladonia Scotland.  However he completed his Training at HMS Collingwood Fareham Hampshire and qualified as an Electrical Artificer 3rd Class ie Leading Hand and joined his first ship HMS Cambrian with the responsibility of ASDIC (SONAR) and Mortars.  He thoroughly enjoyed this experience and was determined to remain at sea for ever on small ships cruising the waters around  Singapore and Hong Kong

After one year in  HMS Cambrian and requesting “Any small ship anywhere” he went to HMS Collingwood as a Petty Officer for Pre Commissioning Training (PCT) as Gyro EA and Ships Inertial Navigation Sytems (SINS) joining  HMS Eagle (The biggest ship in the Fleet).

On the 9 May 1969 HMS Eagle docked at Portsmouth and Keith left the ship. On the Saturday the 10th May He married Susan, a Pompey girl whom he’d been courting for eight years. (Damned ship should have docked at home port of Plymouth).  

After eight weeks leave, consisting of absolute boredom and poverty, He joined HMS Collingwood as a CPO for instructional duties, estimated duration 36 months. On the 4th January 1970 Keith walked through HMS Dolphin (Fort Blockhouse) gates for Submarine Training, still muttering “You have got the wrong man”. After 4 Months he Joined HM Submarine Walrus for part three training, remaining on it for three years.  He took the Submarine into Rosyth Dockyard for refit.

Because he was going to be there for at least two years he moved his wife, young daughter and cat to Scotland.  Six months later he was drafted to Flag Officer Submarine Staff at HMS Dolphin.  Having served in HM submarines, Sealion, Otter, Sealion, Odin, Sealion.  He left the Service on 10th April 1984 and joined Marconi as Senior Trials Engineer (Submarines and weapons).  After weekending to St Ives for a considerable time Keith retired to St Ives in May 1999 and helped Sue his wife run their small hotel.  He became the Manager of the National Coastwatch St ives which post held for 10 years.  He Joined the RNA in 2001

Vic President

Brian Jones

Born 17th January 1954. Brought up in St.Ives and educated at the Stennack infant and junior school (now the surgery) from there to the Belyers school.  Joined the Royal Navy 13th of October 1969 at HMS Raleigh as a boy seaman.  Part two training was at HMS Pembroke, S and S training school.  Drafted to HMS Seahawk (RNAS Culdrose) 1972, joined HMS Bulldog (survey ship) until 1974,then re joined RNAS Culdrose.  Other ships and shore bases were RNAS Yeovilton, RNAS Prestwick, HMS Sultan (A I B), 824 sqdn RNAS Culdrose (HMS Ark Royal).  HMS Ajax for one week cows week I.O.W.   Other ships HMS Cuxton (fishery protection),  HMS Leeds Casle (patrol).  CMDR Mine warefare for 18 months then went to Wembury Point for small arms and patrol training for Northern Island, then joined HMS Cuxton for Northern Island patrols (SNONI). 1990 received had a back injury and drafted off Cuxton to HMS Cochrane where  was declared medicaly unfit for sea and for the last three years of service worked in the Disipline Office with the R N provost staff until 1993, when was medically discharged. Was married to a WREN and  have two grown up children both living in Scotland and two grand children (that are know of).   Moved back to St.Ives around 2006 and iam very happy with my partner and have met good friends through the Royal Naval Association and the Royal British Legion.

Vice Chairman and Chaplain

Patricia Spencer


John Williams


Patricia Spencer

Social Secretary

Jean Lea

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