Royal Navy sailor retires after four decades at sea

CPO George Mitchell accepting his leaving gift from Commodore Duncan Lamb
CPO George Mitchell accepting his leaving gift from Commodore Duncan Lamb
Ricardo Rodriguez, seven, on the minitrain Picture: Habibur Rahman (170915-97)

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A CHIEF Petty Officer has retired from the Royal Navy after more than 40 years service at sea.

CPO George Mitchell, a father-of-three, from Portsmouth, received his RFA retirement commemoration vase on board RFA Argus, from Royal Fleet Auxiliary head of service, Commodore Duncan Lamb.

CPO Mitchell said: ‘I have had an exceptionally fulfilling and rewarding professional career at sea and I am extremely proud to have served my country as a member of both the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary.’

Born and educated in Scotland, he joined the Royal Navy as a boy sailor junior radio operator in 1973, at HMS Ganges, completing his specialist communications training at HMS Mercury.

He rose steadily through the ranks, leaving the Royal Navy in 1997 as a Petty Officer (Radio Supervisor) after 24 years’ service.

During a wide and varied career, which included both shore and seagoing appointments, he experienced active service on board HMS Hermes, which was the Royal Navy task force flagship, in the South Atlantic, during the Falkland Island conflict of 1982.

He also served on board HMS Ark Royal, appearing in the ground-breaking naval documentary television series Sailor, screened during the late 1970s.

CPO Mitchell joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Communications Branch, in 1997 and over the subsequent years has completed more than 30 seagoing appointments on most classes of ship within the organisation – again rising through the ranks and promoted to CPO (Communications) in 2005.

His final appointment, from 2014 to his leaving the service, has been as Staff RFA CPO (Comms) to Flag Officer Sea Training, responsible for continuity of Tactical communications training output within the RFA.

His colleagues across the flotilla clubbed together to buy the keen golfer an electric golf buggy. He said: ‘You can rest assured that the trolley will see plenty of use in the coming years.’