Terrance (Buster) Brown, November 19th 2017

Terry was a long term member of the association. He is best remembered as a London Black Cab taxi driver often working out of Heathrow. During times waiting for a passenger Terry committed to memory all the names and pennant numbers of the Tons. He supported the TCA Display when we appeared at Chatham and other venues. Terry was awarded TCA Man Of The Year for his project where he wrote to every local newspaper in the UK so as to advertise the association.

The funeral is to take place Midday on Friday 26th January at the Downs Crematorium, Bear Road, Brighton, BN2 3PL. A reception will be held at “The Hassocks Hotel”, Station Approach, East Hassocks, BN6 8HN


Norman Ellis EM RNVR of Basingstoke, November 2017. Served on HMS WARSASH 1954-56 RIP


Captain Ian Powe

I was very sorry to learn in October’s edition of Ton Talk that Captain Ian Powe had crossed the bar.  As Commander Powe he commanded HMS WALKERTON, the senior ship of the 7th Mine Countermeasures Squadron, based in Malta, from 1967 to 69.  His official title was MCM7, but he was known irreverently, albeit affectionately, by the lads as “7 up”. I was the sparker in HMS ASHTON throughout his time in Malta and the Squadron couldn’t have wished for a better boss.

I found it very poignant therefore to learn of his passing on page 33 of Ton Talk edition 188, and then on the inside of the rear cover see a photo the then Commander Powe in HMS WALKERTON taking the 7th MCMS out of Grand Harbour for the last time. The more eagle eyed members of the Association will have noticed that although the 7th MCMS consisted of 6 sweepers – only 5 are seen departing.  Coaling Island at Gibraltar could only cope with a maximum of 5 sweepers, so HMS STUBBINGTON left a month early 

Happy Days in Jack’s Bar – Sleima!!!

Your aye

John Lawler  Lt Cdr (SD)(X)(C) Rtd.

(but known in ASHTON as “big John L”


Lt Colin Churcher MBE

Tribute by John Soanes

I was saddened to learn after the AGM (where we had been informed that at least 44 members had Crossed the Bar in the past year)  I read on the Minewarfare Clearance Divers Officers Association (MCDOA) website that yet another member, Lieutenant Colin Churcher MBE, had C.T.B. in Aberdeen on 28th September.  Colin was the author of an autobiographical book entitled “To Render Safe” in which he takes the reader through his forty years service in the RN from the lower deck to Lieutenant (SD). He joined the RN in 1943 as a Hostilities Only rating (HO), served on Russian Convoys in HMS MYNGS, and in the same ship took part in the re-occupation of Singapore after the war ended. Before the ship returned to the UK he decided to change from HO to General Service and signed on for twelve years. Whilst in the Mediterranean Fleet in HMS CHEVIOT he volunteered for a shallow water diving course, this was the start of what was to become his forte. He eventually rose through the ranks finally becoming a Lieutenant SD (D). During many years service with Royal Navy diving bomb and mine disposal teams he was responsible for dealing with many incidents including a 550lb German bomb which had been discovered under Blackfriars bridge in London and was awarded the MBE following the disposal of another German bomb found in Walthamstow Reservoir. He served as 1st Lieutenant in HMS KIRKLISTON  and HMS HUBBERSTON in the 1960’s based in Singapore.