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HMS Calliope celebrates senior sailor’s dedication

HMS Calliope celebrates senior sailor’s dedication
1 August 2016
When Petty Officer Jim Hudson joined the Royal Navy, Bohemian Rhapsody was topping the charts and platform shoes were all the rage.

And now the 57-year-old from HMS Calliope, the north east’s Royal Naval Reserve unit, has been presented with a certificate of valediction to mark his retirement after more than 40 years of dedicated service.

PO Hudson joined the Royal Navy in November 1975 – well before many of HMS Calliope’s current reservists were even born.

He said: “When I joined the Royal Navy in 1975, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody was topping the charts and platform shoes were in. During my time in the service, I’ve made life-long friends and have been all over the world.

If I could turn back time, there is no doubt that I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all again.

PO Hudson

“I’ve really enjoyed my time in the service and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. If I could turn back time, there is no doubt that I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all again.”

As a member of the logistics branch at HMS Calliope, PO Hudson was responsible for training, mentoring and leading the younger members.

As a senior rate, his experience, infectious enthusiasm and can-do attitude was highly sought after and valued.

Over the years, he also played a key role in organising the unit’s annual expedition to Ypres, Flanders, to carry out a 100km march and participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Menin Gate to mark the sacrifice made by those who fought in the First World War.

PO Hudson’s practical skills were always in demand, and one of his final tasks was to make a replacement bell rope for the ship’s bell, which he presented to the unit’s Commanding Officer, Commander Ian White.

Cdr White said: “We will really miss Jim. He has been a loyal member of the ship’s company. I am grateful to his wife and children for their support over the years and we look forward to welcoming them to unit events as a member of our extended family.”

PO Hudson was presented with his certificate of valediction – the Royal Navy’s way of formally bidding farewell and thanking its sailors when they leave the service – at HMS Calliope’s base on the Gateshead quayside.

But perhaps the most special award given to him on the night was an engraved pocket watch, presented to him by his proud family.

HMS Calliope is the Royal Naval Reserve unit associated with Tyneside and is the principal training unit for the north east of England.  

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