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The morse code you can hear heralds a fraternal greeting RN sparkers sent to each other. It reads.
"Greetings everyone and welcome. John  Eilbeck at 25 WPM " [words per minutes]

Note: Recorded on top of a B11A F1/850/1/75 transmission from a CJA receiver on board HMS Eagle in 1965.  Orestes key cards are still available but at a price!!

Click to enlarge click to enlarge the picture. Taken May 2004

 

NAME John  Edward EILBECK
RANK IN ROYAL NAVY Fleet Chief Radio Supervisor [Warrant Officer]
RANK IN SOUTH AFRICAN NAVY Adjutant Officer [Warrant Officer First Class]
BRANCH IN BOTH NAVIES Radio Communications
SPECIALIST Wireless Telegraphy in RN.  
Electronic Warfare [Communications Intelligence] SA Navy, SA Defence Force. 
DATE JOINED RN AND BASIC TRAINING ESTABLISHMENT 6th September 1949
HMS Ganges. Official Number 
Jx 865861
DATE LEFT RN AND DISCHARGE ESTABLISHMENT 13th October 1975. HMS Victory
DATE JOINED SAN AND ENTRY ESTABLISHMENT 28th November 1975. S.A.S. Simonsberg Simon's Town
DATE LEFT SADF AND DISCHARGE ESTABLISHMENT 31st May 1988. Maritime Headquarters, Silvermine, Western Cape.
CIVILIAN JOB IN SOUTH AFRICA Training Development Consultant. LOGTEK [Pty] Ltd.
An international project support and services company.
DATE RETURNED TO THE UK TO RETIRE IN SUNNY HAMPSHIRE.  1st April 2001

       It is with much regret and sadness that I have to tell you that John Crossed-the-Bar on the 20th October 2012 at the age of 78 not too far off his 79th birthday. John died in the Queen Alexandra Hospital Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, leaving behind two daughters [twins Karen and Alison] and a son Paul. He had several grandchildren. His wife Valerie predeceased him several years ago. John had been ill for approximately two years and the severity of that illness grew during his last six months of life. He endured his pain with courage and a goodly amount of humour.  He will be much missed but his friendship will endure with good memories. RIP

At his funeral I spoke on his behalf about his naval career and the ships in which he served. A Eulogy reflecting upon his family life was read by a civilian friend of John and Val.

This is what I said.

FROM ALL YOUR MANY NAVAL FRIENDS, PRESENT AND AFAR, WE SAY FAREWELL DEAR JOHN AND MAY YOU RIP IN GOD’S CARE.

GOOD MORNING.

A WARM WELCOME TO YOU ALL.  JOHN ASKED ME TO SAY A FEW WORDS ABOUT HIS NAVAL CAREER AND TO READ OUT THE LIST OF HIS SHIPS. THIS I NOW DO.

SINCE JOHN AND VALS RETURN FROM SOUTH AFRICA IN 2001, WE, CHARLIE CHALLINOR AND HIS WIFE RITA, JOHN AND VAL UNTIL HER SAD PASSING, PRESTON WILLSON AND HIS WIFE BRENDA, MYSELF AND MY WIFE BERYL BONDED IN A NAVAL FRIENDSHIP WHICH IS SPECIAL. IN THAT FRIENDSHIP, TOGETHER WE TOOK HOLIDAYS, ATTENDED NAVAL ASSOCIATION REUNIONS, ATTENDED ONE ANOTHERS GOLDEN WEDDING CELEBRATIONS, DINED OUT REGULARLY, AND VISITED ONE ANOTHERS HOMES SOMETIMES WITH SLEEP-OVERS. OUR FRIENDSHIP IS KNOWN AS “THE GANG" BUT IN SOME WAYS, BY US MEN, AS A KIND OF THE LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE. ONCE, WE WERE EIGHT – NOW WE ARE SIX. JOHN WILL BE MUCH MISSED.

John joined the Royal Navy in September 1949 and trained at Ganges as a Boy Telegraphist. As soon as he left training he was at war in Korea in the Far East serving on board the famous frigate HMS Amethyst.

Thereafter, and throughout his career in the Royal Navy, John was a consummate professional communicator and a consummate sailor. He served in every type of vessel except for submarines and survey, which included a BATTLESHIP, no fewer than SIX AIRCRAFT CARRIERS, a CRUISER, a DESTROYER, TWO FRIGATES, TWO ALGERINE BLUE-WATER MINESWEEPERS, an INSHORE MINESWEEPER and an ML [Motor Launch] the list being:-

VANGUARD – INDEFATIGABLE – PERSEUS – EAGLE
VICTORIOUS – ALBION - ARK ROYAL – BERMUDA -
DEFENDER – AMETHYST – SCARBOROUGH -
JEWEL – LAERTES – CHILLINGHAM -
MSML 2154

IN BETWEEN HIS SEA JOBS, HE SERVED IN THE FOLLOWING SHORE ESTABLISHMENTS:-

DRAKE– DILIGENCE – KRANJI – SHEBA – MERCURY -
NEPTUNE – PEMBROKE – PRESIDENT – GANGES both as a boy and as a CPO Instructor.

Whilst in Mombasa John served in HMEAS MVITA/ROSALIND/BASSINGHAM.

John undertook every task within the Wireless Telegraphy branch both at sea and ashore, qualifying as a Radio Communications Instructor in 1969.  He wore his two stars with great pride. He was also very successful out of branch specifically when appointed to the Naval Man Management Utilisation Team.

He was a highly professional man, well known throughout the Fleet, much respected and admired.

In 1971 he was selected for promotion to the Warrant Rank and in March 1972 received his Warrant. In the Autumn of that year, he was selected by the Captain of HMS Mercury, Captain Roger Morgan to become the Mess President – an honour and a recognition of merit.

His tenure in that office was regrettably short lived for he was whisked away, back to sea, to the aircraft carrier Ark Royal. He was in this ship for two years, and during this time John and Val decided upon adventures new. John applied to transfer the SAN and upon being accepted resigned his warrant leaving the RN in October 1975 and joining the SAN at Simons Town the following month.

In the SAN he became an ADJUTANT OFFICER [WO1] and changed professional direction becoming an Electronic Warfare/Communication Intelligence specialist. He served in that capacity both in the SAN and in the SADF. He left the SAN at the end of May 1988.

His total naval service [RN + SAN] was therefore near on 39 years. As a relevant comparison, the President of the HMS Ganges Association, Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent served for 35 years.

On leaving the SAN John was employed as a Training Development Consultant working for an International Company called LOGTEK.

John and Val were in SA for 25 and a half years and they returned to the UK on the 1st April 2001.

Thank you.

 

 

John never got around to finishing the Chapters on this site, that last one being Chapter 8.

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