BARNOLDSWICK: Royal Navy man leaves service after 27 years

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A NAVAL officer from Barnoldswick has left the Armed Forces after 27 years of service.

Warrant Officer 1st Class Andrew Whale (43) was based at HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Hampshire, where he was employed in the Royal Naval Leadership Academy.

A former pupil at Gisburn Road Primary School and West Craven High, Mr Whale first joined the Navy in May, 1984, at the careers office in Blackburn because he wanted to become an engineer.

Mr Whale’s varied career has spanned the globe, taking him from the Caribbean to the United States, the Far East, Australia, around Europe, the Baltic, the Falklands, Africa and the Persian Gulf.

He even spent two and a half years in Barbados assisting the Caribbean Coastguard.

Other jobs he was tasked with include co-ordinating manpower on behalf of the Navy for events such as Armed Forces Day, November Remembrance Ceremonies and Wimbledon.

In his spare time, Mr Whale was also able to indulge in his passion for golf, representing the Navy all over the world, and is currently the Portsmouth Command Champion. He has also represented the Navy playing tennis.

Now settled in Fareham with his wife Helen and their son, Lewis (9), Mr Whale keeps close ties to his hometown of Barnoldswick where his parents still live.

He is a proud member of the Solent Clarets and has carried his beloved team all over the world wearing the strip aboard ship.

Father Christopher said he and wife Ann are very proud of their son’s achievements over the last three decades.

He said: “Andrew has done extremely well and he got as far as he could go. He’s had a fantastic life and travelled all over the world.

“He has served on the HMS Intrepid, HMS Chatham, HMS Iron Duke and he served on HMS Edinburgh with Prince Andrew in 1988 during Australia’s bicentenary celebrations, representing our Navy.

“Now he’s moving into the cutting edge of technology working in an engineering management position for a firm that burns refuse to turn it into electricity.”

Mr Whale was presented with his valedictory certificate charting his long period of service and achievements by Commodore Tim Lowe, the Commodore of the Maritime Warfare School based at HMS Collingwood.

Mr Whale said: “I have no regrets over the time I have spent in the service.

“I have achieved all the goals that I set out to achieve many years ago.

“An opportunity has now arisen for a second career with Veolia Environmental Services and with many fond memories of the Royal Navy it is now time to move on.”