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Torpoint sailors set to pass out of Raleigh

21 April 2016
They saw the ships of the Fleet moving up and down the River Tamar every day and now two former pupils of Torpoint Community College are a step closer to being onboard.

Trainee sailors Sam Trethewey and Dominic Miles will be among the latest group of recruits set to complete their 10 week initial naval course at HMS Raleigh tomorrow (Friday 22 April), marching out before their friends and families for their passing-out-parade.

Both trainees come from a military background. Sam’s late grandfather Fred Trethewey and his twin brother Albert, who lived in Millbrook, were both in the RAF during World War 2. 

Dominic’s connection with the Service is more recent. He has an uncle, Warrant Officer Ian Hodgetts, who is currently serving at Flag Officer Sea Training and his step-dad, Band Sergeant Jason Finch, is a member of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth, based at HMS Raleigh. 

In fact Dominic and Jason have at times been on the parade ground together over the last 10 weeks.

I realised I wanted to travel and have a better career, with promotion opportunities so I decided to sign up.

Sam Trethewey

Dominic, aged 18, said:  “Jason gave me a lot of parade polish and advice about shining my shoes before I joined.  It’s been good seeing him on parade, but he’ll be watching us from the stand with the other families and friend for our passing-out-parade.  

"I always feel proud when I’m standing on Divisions, but our own will be extra special. My family has always been part of the Navy and I aspire to be like my uncle and step-dad.

"I’ve developed a lot of close friendships since I’ve been here, which has been great."

Sam looked at joining the Royal Navy at 16, but put his plans on hold after being offered an apprenticeship as a bricklayer. The 21-year-old was assessed as PT Superior joining the course and was awarded the Captain’s prize for best kit.

He said: “I realised I wanted to travel and have a better career, with promotion opportunities so I decided to sign up.

"I’ve really, really enjoyed the last 10 weeks. There’s a lot of focus on kit and I’ve enjoyed the physical side of it.

"The morale in the mess and making new friends will be the things I take away from this.

"It’s definitely changed me in many ways; I’ve grown up a bit more and I’m more disciplined and confident, plus I feel a lot fitter too. 

"I want to do a full career and push for promotions.”

With Torpoint being a close community, the two recruits were aware of each other before they joined up and have mixed feelings on whether training in their home town is an advantage or disadvantage.

Dominic said: “We know each other vaguely and found out that we were both selected for the same Royal Navy Acquaint Course prior to us joining, so we met up before that.

"It’s certainly helped having someone I know here even though we’ve been in different classes. On week six driving past my house every day to go to Jupiter Point was quite hard, but a lot of our friends work here in the galley and areas like that, so we’ve been able to see them most days.”

Sam said: “In some ways it’s been hard being in Torpoint, but in other ways it’s been a bit of a comfort. It does feel nice being so close to home and we’ve had two afternoons of shore leave, one in week seven and the other in week nine, and it was nice to be able to go home.” 

With Sam opting for a career as an Air Engineering Technician and Dominic choosing to become a Warfare Specialist, the two recruits will be heading to Portsmouth for their professional courses. Sam’s next port of call will be at HMS Sultan, while Dominic will be training at HMS Collingwood.

Members of the public can take their own look around at HMS Raleigh when the establishment opens it’s gates to the public on Wednesday 27 July 2016 from noon until 5 pm.

There will be a range of interactive displays and demonstrations to show visitors the diverse range of training carried out at the base in Torpoint, from initial training to submarine operations, catering and supply chain courses to teaching sailors how to fire weapons and deal with floods and fires at sea.

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