Royal Navy recruits first in half a century to complete training at HMS Collingwood

THE first men and women to be transformed from civilians to sailors at HMS Collingwood in more than half a century have completed their training.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 4:14 pm

Eleven recruits finished three months of training at the Fareham base, passing out as able seamen as they prepare to begin professional careers as engineers, warfare specialists and nurses in the Royal Navy

Read More

Read More
Watch a video of HMS Prince of Wales leaving Portsmouth

They are the first of 500 raw recruits to be trained at Collingwood this year – with another 1,000 expected by the end of 2022 as the navy looks to boost numbers by 3,000 to meet the global missions expected under the Defence Review.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The 11 members of the Perkins division, named after the first black commissioned officer, Captain John Perkins, an 18th Century contemporary of Admiral Nelson complete their three month training at HMS Collingwood.

Collingwood is due to take on training for the next two years due to the usual base at HMS Raleigh being at full capacity. Training was undertaken at Collingwood during the Second World War before ending in the 1970s.

Training finished last week at Browndown Camp near Gosport after the recruits started out in Collingwood in January.

The 11 members are part of Perkins Division, named after the first black commissioned officer, Captain John Perkins, an 18th century contemporary of Admiral Nelson.

Jasmine Savage, from Canterbury, has now reported for duty at Queen Alexandra Hospital as a newly-qualified Naval Nurse.

The 11 members of Perkins Division, named after the first black commissioned officer, Captain John Perkins, an 18th Century contemporary of Admiral Nelson complete their three month training at HMS Collingwood

‘Training has been challenging at times but it’s meant to be. I have been able to grow as a person while doing it. I think I have taken to it like a duck to water,’ she said.

Luke Gaskin, 17, from Darlington will remain at Collingwood to complete his training as a weapon engineer.

‘The training has been very difficult for me. Because of my age, it has brought a lot of new experiences. Sharing a mess with an older bunch of people was something I had to get used to, it was hard to adapt to that,’ he said.

Divisional instructor Leading Hand, Sam Mullane, said: ‘A highlight for me has been seeing the final product. When they were in week one, they were working as individuals, were stressed and time management was bad.

‘But now, they are a well-oiled machine and you can see them less stressed and coming together and working well.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.