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45


“We acted as part of a response task group, dealing with terror or pirate threats. It was a privilege to be in charge of a ship of that calibre and an exceptional team.”


It was earlier this year that Roger


received news that he had been selected to take the top post at the Royal Naval College. He said he was humbled but he had to psyche himself up for the challenge of taking the Captain’s chair: “I won’t lie, it was a daunting prospect, and I was nervous. I stood at the entrance and started adjusting my tie and ensuring my back pocket was secured as if I was a cadet again! I drew breath with the responsibility ahead of me but then I just got swept along with the atmosphere and the ethos. You realise you’re part of an inspiring team all working together to help mould the naval officers of the future. It’s a privilege to shape, mentor and coach these impres- sive young men and women.”


Bertie His first passing out parade will take


place later this month and he is look- ing forward to the event. “A passing out parade is a special day in a young officer’s career. It’s the culmination of a challenging training programme and is a chance for the men and women to celebrate with their families and an oppor- tunity for me to thank them for their loyal support. I’ll make sure I work hard on my drill before the big day and get my number one uniform ready. I still wear the one I was issued with when I first arrived as a cadet in 1991!” During his time in office Roger would like to maintain the strong relationship the college has with the town. “We are one of Dartmouth’s biggest employers and we take that very serious- ly. We want to support the town - being present at events, helping with community projects and working with schools.” How- ever, he says he has already come across a few unpleasant locals - the seagulls! “We


went into town during the food festival and a seagull swooped down and took my wife’s kebab!”


Roger’s son George is now 16, there’s


also Rory who’s 14 and Annabel who’s 12 and they’re all settling nicely into their new Dartmouth lifestyle. “They’re relishing being so close to a town, our house in Hampshire is a little isolated,” Roger explains. “They haven’t had to change schools as they still attend their boarding school in Dorset. We pick them up from the Totnes train sta- tion each Friday to come back here for the week- end.” When they packed for Dartmouth the family


didn’t bring everything from home but Roger says the one thing they couldn’t leave behind was their fleet of sailing din- ghies which will soon be a regular feature on the Dart. Crabbing is the other activity on their ‘Dartmouth to do list’.


Roger says as a boss he is quite low


“It’s a privilege to shape, mentor and coach these impressive young men and women.”


maintenance for his front office staff - ask- ing for a little sprinkle of chocolate on top of his cappuccino is about as demanding as he gets! He’s enjoying running around the college grounds with Bertie coming along for security! “He’s a real character. He’s a working cocker but he doesn’t do any shooting work as he isn’t as obedient as he could be (I think it’s the fault of the owner rather than the dog!)” The family are getting him a squeaky pheas-


ant for Christmas in the hopes that it might inspire him! They’re spending Christmas up at the college. Roger will take the role of head chef in his James Bond apron. His favourite festive treat is a warm mince pie with a dollop of Devon clotted cream and on Christmas Day afternoon you’ll prob- ably find him taking a welcome break on the sofa watching his favourite festive film Love Actually. “I would like to wish all Dart- mouth and Kingswear residents a Happy Christmas and prosperous new year.” •


Keep up to date with life at BRNC via the college Twitter feed @ DartmouthBRNC.


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