A memorial celebration of life took place for Frederick ‘Tug’ Wilson, a former Royal Navy diver and bomb disposal expert from Brompton who recently died at the age of 77. It was held at the Plough & Chequers in Danes Hill, Gillingham on Tuesday 25th September.
Tug - who lived at Melville Court for many years - joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15 and served for 30 years, eventually leaving as a Chief Petty Officer Clearance Diver.
Tug spent the whole of his working life with explosives, and after leaving the Royal Navy he ran a gun shop on Medway City Estate. Then he joined the staff of the tri-service Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Chattenden as a civilian where he stayed until his retirement.
Tug was an enthusiastic member of the Chatham Branch of the Royal Naval Association, helping to bring the national conference of the organisation to the Medway Towns in 2003. He was chairman of the Chatham Branch for a number of years and became Area Chairman with jurisdiction over RNA branches in Kent, Surrey and East Sussex until he was forced to step down due to failing health.
In that role, he was involved in the plan to erect a monument to honour those involved in mine warfare, diving and bomb & mine disposal to be erected in the basin of the former HMS Vernon in Portsmouth. Donations will be taken at the memorial event.
There was a good turnout of those who knew or worked with Tug. A collection was held and the proceeds very kindly donated to the monument.