Newly-qualified warfare officer relishing amazing experience

News | Published:

A GUERNSEY man is fulfilling his dream of naval service as he takes to the sea for the first time as a newly qualified Royal Navy warfare officer.

Sub-Lieutenant William De La Mare on the bridge wing of HMS Duncan as the ship transited through the Northern Turkish Straits.

Sub-Lieutenant William De La Mare, 23, from the Vale and formerly of Elizabeth College, set sail last month aboard HMS Duncan bound for the Black Sea in support of Nato Maritime Security Operations having graduated from Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, only six months ago.

William’s father, Richard, also served in the Navy, retiring as a Lieutenant-Commander a few years ago. William explained that his father’s service heavily influenced his decision to join.

‘The Navy has been in my life for many years,’ he said.

‘I recall as a young boy visiting my father’s ships and also going sailing with him around the island. This is where my desire to be at sea first developed. To now be on my own ship, so soon after graduating from Dartmouth, fills me with immense pride.’

William will serve around four months aboard HMS Duncan before heading to the Maritime Warfare School at HMS Collingwood for further training on how to navigate warships.

‘The experience so far has been amazing,’ he said.

‘I’m currently undertaking common fleet time, which involves spending time with most of the departments on board. So far I have worked with weapons engineers, have spent time with the executive branch – which enforces discipline on board – and have had the chance to assist in driving the ship by working with the navigator and watch officers on the bridge. It’s a fantastic opportunity to really get to grips with the inner workings of a warship.’

HMS Duncan is a Royal Navy Type 45 air defence destroyer – the same class as HMS Daring, which is affiliated to Guernsey. However, while Daring is the oldest of the vessels, having been launched in 2006, HMS Duncan is the newest, having been launched in 2010.

HMS Duncan entered the Black Sea at the end of January and has participated in various training and reassurance exercises with partner nations in the area, including Turkish and Romanian naval forces.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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