This website uses cookies

We use cookies to personalize content, remember visitors and to analyse our traffic. Cookies are small files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalize and enhance your web experience. By continuing to use our website you are agreeing to our use of these cookies.

The Fisgard Association

Royal Naval Artificer Apprentices

Peter Anthony Hodges (1944 Anson) (1928 - 2013)

It is with great sadness that we report that Peter Hodges of 1944 Anson, passed away peacefully in St Barnabas Hospice Lincoln on 19th December 2013 aged 85, following a long and brave fight with cancer.

Peter HodgesBorn in St Pancras, London on the 5th May 1928, Peter was educated at Hampton Grammar School, Middlesex where, in the summer of 1944, he gained a School Certificate in Mathematics, English Language and Literature, Geography, and History. He also passed the Civil Service national open competitive examination for entry into the Royal Navy as an Ordnance Artificer Apprentice.

Peter joined RNATE Torpoint, (renamed HMS Fisgard in 1946) on 2nd August 1944 as a member of 1944 Anson, the last class of apprentices to complete all of their four year Artificer apprenticeship at Torpoint. He won the Admiralty prize as top qualifying apprentice in ordnance engineering before undergoing the 5th year of his training in HMS Excellent. on Whale Island, Portsmouth to qualify as an Ordnance Artificer.

Throughout his technical training, (which he cheerfully took in his stride), Peter shone as a popular leading light in divisional activities, as the bass drummer of the Fisgard Band, and as an accomplished artist, cartoonist, talented writer and a remarkable innovator.

Peter HodgesAfter being advanced to OA 4th Class (Petty Officer), he went out to the Far East in a troopship to join the sloop HMS Alacrity in which he served from Nov 1949 to February 1952, seeing active service during the Korean War and the communist Malayan Insurgency, and played his part in saving South Korea and Malaya for democracy. On return to the UK, he married Diana Cross, sister of his Anson classmate at HMS Fisgard. (shown above right of Peter in the photo above taken in Aug 1948). Peter and Diana's marriage was blessed with his two sons, Robert and Nicholas.

As an OA 3rd Class (CPO), Peter served in Scotland for 33 months on the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Adamant before being advanced to Chief OA. He subsequently served in the destroyer HMS Chevron in the Mediterranean until he was promoted Acting Commissioned Engineer Officer on 15 August 1956. A year later, after completing the professional courses, he was promoted Engineer Sub Lieutenant (OE) and joined the Fleet Aircraft Carrier HMS Victorious in which he served for 25 months. A year on the staff of Whale Island was followed by promotion to Lieutenant and by 33 months in the Fleet Weapons testing team. His last ship was the frigate Arethusa in which he served for 3 years. In recognition of his extensive expertise in all RN weapons systems he spent the final 12 years of his 34 years service in prestigious high profile appointments in the XP department of Weapons Trials based at Whale Island, at MOD(N) at Bath, in HMS Collingwood and in the Portsmouth Fleet Maintenance Group. During this period he was elected a MIMarE and a Chartered Engineer and, in his spare time wrote, illustrated and had published, 5 books on modern naval history.

Peter retired from the RN on 5th May 1978 and took up employment as a Professional Engineer with Pall at Portsmouth. Sadly his wife Diana passed away the following year.

Peter & Rosemary HodgesIn July 1982 Peter married Rosemary and they subsequently enjoyed 31 supremely happy years together. During those years he continued writing books on the history of naval weapons and freelance articles on a variety of subjects for magazines and journals.

Peter will be sadly missed by his family and friends and by all of the many 'tiffies' and other naval personnel who had the great good fortune to have known this exceptionally gifted gentleman – engineer, artist and author.