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Navy mourns loss of stalwart ‘Sid’ as fundraising rugby lover loses cancer battle

18 August 2022
The Royal Navy family – and the sport of rugby union – have lost one of their biggest characters with the untimely death of Chief Petty Officer Graham ‘Sid’ Street.

In his day job, Graham was an underwater warfare specialist, but it’s for his support for his favourite sport and charity work that many shipmates who got to know him over a 35-year career will perhaps best remember the senior rating.

Diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2017, the 58-year-old – originally from Little Clacton in Essex but now living in Portsmouth – devoted much of his spare time to his family and fundraising for charities fighting the disease and helping families with it, not least Rugby Against Cancer.

His various efforts for charities – another favoured cause was Charlie’s Beach Hut, which provides families of children experiencing a life-limiting illness the chance to enjoy a holiday together – saw him raise more than £250,000 and earn the British Empire Medal in 2020.

Graham excelled in his contribution to Rugby Union (Wasps and Croydon) and Royal Navy Rugby Union in the front row both as a player and coach.  He ran in the legendary Field Gun run for Portsmouth on several occasions and did anything to promote sport in the Senior Service. 

He joined the Royal Navy in February 1987 and served in many Portsmouth-based units including training establishments, earning nine Service medals during his time in uniform, as well as the Meritorious Service. 

A huge character with an even bigger heart Graham was renowned for naval anecdotes (known as ‘Sid dits’) and was an inspiration and role model to many, continuing to pass on his passion for and experience of the Navy to new generations of sailors, most recently at HMS Collingwood.

“Throughout his battle with cancer, he demonstrated fortitude and immense resilience in abundance; never allowing his trademark sense of humour and razor-sharp wit to wane,” said Major Steve Cox RM, in charge of the Hasler rehabilitation centre at HMS Drake in Plymouth – where Graham spent his final serving months.

“His desire to help and support those around him never faltered and his positive influence will endure within every staff, whether civilian or military and personnel assigned to the Royal Navy Recovery Centre Hasler. It was a privilege to serve alongside him – he will be missed.”

A Service funeral will take place at St Barbara’s Church, HMS Excellent, Portsmouth – date to be confirmed – with Graham’s family asking for their privacy to be respected at this difficult time. Family Flowers only and donations should be made to Charlie’s Beach Hut.

Any funeral queries should be directed to the RN Funeral Officer WO1 Steve Micallef 07833 451105.

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