Committee Biographies

President – Brian Todd

I Joined the RN in November 1956 and during my service career I served in the following, after training at RNH Haslar, RNH Chatham, HMS Victorious, RNH Haslar, HMS Ganges, RNH Haslar, 3rd Cdo Bde (42 Cdo, 846 NAS)
HMS Mercury, HMS Intrepid, RNH Haslar, HMS Mercury RNH Haslar RNH Mtarfa, HMS Royal Arthur, HMS Blake, HMS Mercury then I retired in 1979 as CPOMA.
I re-joined the Royal Navy 5 months later and was employed as Admin Chief for the mechanics training school at HMS Collingwood.
In 1983 I was pensioned again after 4 years , moved back to my home town of Harwich to my family
I was employed at Harwich International Port in a security role alongside the Immigration and Border Force, which involved cruise ship passengers passports and baggage.
I retired completely in 2012.
P.S. I joined RNMBR & SBS Association in 2006.

Chair – Ray Holyer

Ray Holyer joined up at HMS Raleigh in December 1969 as a JPMT.  Completed MA Basic Training and commenced Physiotherapy Training in October 1970 at the RN School of Physiotherapy in RNH Haslar.  Qualifying in July 1975, Ray consolidated his Physiotherapy Training at RNH Haslar before a year at sea onboard HMS Hermes.  Back on dry land Ray spent a year with the Army and RAF both at JSMRU Chessington and DSMRU Headley Court before returning to RNH Haslar to run the Rehabilitation Gymnasium and as an aside be the Hampshire County Cricket Club Physiotherapist for 7 years.  Commissioned as the first SL(MT)(P), Ray spent a short period of time at RNH Plymouth before going to Southampton University for a year undertaking an MSc in Rehab Studies thence a return to RNH Haslar to oversee the RN Rehabilitation Services. Ambitious for promotion, Ray was appointed to COMAW and HQRM before entering the Tri-Service arena serving with SCART, DSCA and DMETA before becoming DNM(Med) in 2SL’s HQ.  Back once more to the Tri-Service arena at DMSTC as the CO and then to Birmingham as the Director of Training.  Ray left the RN in early 2008 but then continued as a Consultant for SG working on the MMA Project at Litchfield for 18 months before finally retiring.
Ray is an avid cricket enthusiast and his Umpiring, Scoring, Tutoring and Match Referring activities as a Consultant with the ICC has seen him literally travel the world.

Vice-Chair – Mel White

Joined the RN at HMS Vincent as a JMA in 1967. First draft to the Triumph in Singapore in 1969. OT training and draft to Malta. SRN Training and return to theatres. Deployed to the Falklands conflict as MT1(N). BRNC Dartmouth and All Arms Commando training and to Medical Squadron as a Troop Commander. RNH Stonehouse as Admin Officer and then to HQRM as SO3 Med(Staff Officer.) Short spell as Rehab Officer at RNH Haslar which included deployment to “Operation Safe Haven” as AO SST in Northern Iraq then to the Institute of Naval Medicine as Training Officer. Back to Medical Squadron as OC Med and then to the Royal Naval Medical Staff School as Executive Officer which included the transfer of RN training to DNMST Keogh Barracks as OC Medical Wing. Extended appointment at Keogh to take over as Chief of Staff from the Army. Having bought a nice little cottage in Cornwall and received a promise from my appointer that I could get a bit of stability and opportunity to renovate my cottage by doing the OC MDHU Derriford job – I was duly appointed as XO to HMS Argus for Op Telic 2. Now lives in South Yorkshire with CINCNAVHOME and an energetic Springer Spaniel. Both siblings work within the NHS – Radiotherapist and Dietician.

Secretary – Phil Davey

I Joined Harvey class for part 2 training from Ganges in September 1975 and escaped Haslar for CTCRM 9as a blue beret draft in 77. I returned to the RN School of Nursing for SEN training in July 79. First sea draft followed mainly mapping the Irish Sea on HMS Fawn. Declining the option to further my nursing career with the QARNNS, I leapt between sea and shore until joining RNMSS as School Manager in time to close and relocate to the Defence Medical Services Training Centre at Mychett in 1996.
After a spectacular two years with FOST Mobile Training Portsmouth I was offered 2OE and back to Haslar before returning to Mychett (Keogh) in 2000 as a training developer and in time for Pickle Night. During these latter years people realised my spelling and typing skills were reasonable so ‘sec’ often appeared on my dairy entry.
Honing my business management and distributed education skills I left to pension in 2004 and joined the civil service in the newly formed Defence Medical Education and Training Agency (DMETA). With the closure of the agency I relocated to the Training Development Wing back in DMSTG managing several IT business process areas and finally the civilian team relocation to the newly built DMS Whittington. Having reached my index-linked pension age I decided to take early retirement and enjoy my family, Naval history, cycling and drinking coffee.

Treasurer – Joe Kirk

Joe Kirk served as a MT, Health Inspector, 1971 – 83.  After qualifying, he worked under the Fleet Health Inspector and NMOH Fleet at INM, subsequently serving on the staffs of Area Flag Officers.  On leaving the RN he trained in accountancy, qualifying Chartered 1987.  He served in the RNR 1988 – 98, initially at Sussex Division RNR then at Sussex URNU, with stints in HMS Arun, HMS Pursuer and at BRNC Dartmouth.
He has acted as accountant, auditor/examiner and Treasurer to a range of charities and associations small and large, also filling most other “committee” posts.  Now retired in West Sussex.

Membership Secretary – Dave Grist

Joined RN in 1978 as a PMT(N). Served until 1996 then left on redundancy as CPOMT(N). Joined RNR as MS Sub Lt in 1996 until 2005 then transferred to the QARNNS(R) as a nursing officer. Left RNR in 2017 as Lt Cdr (Q). 1 Operational tour in Afghanistan in 2011. Also worked at INM’s Environmental Medicine Unit as MOD Civilian from 1996 to 2022.

Ceremonial Officer – Frank Biscoe

I Joined the RN as a PSBA at HMS Raleigh aged 17 in September 1962. I completed Part 2 training at Haslar in May 1963 and joined CTCRM in October 1963 for commando training, which I completed with 793 Squad Royal Marines, before joining 40 Commando in the Far East. The rest of my service was then predominantly spent with Royal Marine Units and Establishments with the following exception:  30 month commission as LMA on HMS Lynx, POMA 845 NAC/Red Dragon Flight and CPOMA HMS President before finally darkening the doors of my first and only naval hospital since part 2 training as the Hospital Warrant Officer in RNH Plymouth.

 I left the RN in November 1990 and promptly took a year’s sabbatical and my wife Jennifer (Jen) and I set off on a bike packing adventure in the Far East and Australia. We then worked together in the Pyrenees as Couriers for Eurocamp before I got a proper job with Black Rod in the House of Lords. Finally I worked for Devon & Cornwall Police as a Field Officer dealing with all manner of enquiries but mainly firearms. I have been married to Jen for 55 years.

QARNNS Representative – Elaine Grist

I am a theatre nurse who joined the RNR in 1987 at HMS Salford, Manchester.
During my 34 yrs I have deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan (twice) and been on various sea exercises . I am now on FTRS recruiting all medical personnel mainly for the reserves but also for any branch any service as a service career is a good career, which takes me all over the country.
I am based in Fareham and married to David Grist.   

Slops Bosun – Trisha Bolt

1976 – 1980, Direct Entry SEN, RNH Plymouth, HMS Neptune.

Magazine Editor – Steve Garth

I joined the RN in 1976 and served until 1986. I was a MT4(N) until I transferred to the QARNNS as an LRGN in 1983 after the Falklands Campaign, during which I served in SST2 at Ajax Bay. Like most Nurses of my time I served in Haslar, Stonehouse and Gibraltar, and also had the privilege of serving in HMS Cochrane and just under a year on HMS Jupiter. After the RN I served as a Nurse in the NHS, working my way up to Senior Nurse Manager in Doncaster, where I now live retired with my wife. I have two adult children and three toddler grandchildren.
I have always had an interest in computers and now design and build websites as a hobby, and I am also proficient in MS Publisher, which we use to produce the magazine.