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Royal Navy Chief is a proud as punch grandfather

7 July 2016
A Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer is 'as proud as punch' that his grandson has followed in his footsteps and signed up for a career in the Senior Service.

Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Alan ‘Sharkey’ Ward join in the Royal Navy in July 1977 and is currently serving at HMS Phoenix in Portsmouth.  

His 17-year-old grandson, Engineering Technician Lewis Buckley, has recently completed his basic training at HMS Raleigh and is now learning his trade as a marine engineer at HMS Sultan, also in Hampshire.

CPO Ward said, “I’m absolutely proud as punch that Lewis has joined up. He’s now become part of the biggest and best family in the world. I’ve been keeping my eye on him from a distance. I’d never want to interfere with his career.”

I’m absolutely proud as punch that Lewis has joined up. He’s now become part of the biggest and best family in the world.

Chief Petty Officer Alan ‘Sharkey’ Ward

Approaching 40 years service, CPO Ward believes he is the longest serving member of the marine engineering branch, having served on board 14 ships including HMS Herald during the Falklands campaign in 1982.  

CPO Ward said, “I told Lewis when you get to Sultan, the base for engineering training, I’ll know 95% of the people serving there and the other 5% will know me. Before he joined I told him to get fit and to be a marine engineering technician and nothing else. I’d ultimately like to see him serving on minesweepers because I think it’ll make him a better engineer. “

Lewis hails from Liverpool and is a former pupil of Solway Community Technology College in Cumbria.  

He said, “I am 14 weeks into my Marine Engineering Course. I joined the Navy to support my country but also to travel the world, meet new people and learn new skills. I knew the Royal Navy would be a good career but speaking to my Grandad I was shown how much the Navy could do for you and that it was a job I wanted to do. 

"I love my training and I even loved the 10 weeks basic training in HMS Raleigh. I think I have done well to get to this point and hope to go much further in my career.”

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