Commander Leatherby retires from the Clyde Naval Base at Faslane

Commander James Letherby RetiresCommander James Leatherby (centre) with his wife Beverly and son Peter. 

One of HM Naval Base Clyde’s most well-known faces has retired – for the second time.

Commander James Leatherby was joined by his wife Beverly and son Peter as Naval Base colleagues at Faslane bid him a fond farewell.

After a distinguished 35-year career in the Royal Navy, James retired from service in 2006.  After a two-day break he was back at his desk as a uniformed civil servant serving another twelve years at HM Naval Base Clyde.

“James will be truly missed,” said Commodore Mark Gayfer, Naval Base Commander Clyde.  “His encyclopaedic knowledge of HM Naval Base Clyde, its workings and its history, have been invaluable to me in my time as Naval Base Commander.

“I would like to extend my personal thanks, and those of my predecessors, for his dedication and support and for his truly remarkable ethos of public service.”

James joined the Royal Navy in 1971 and served a full career on operations and in support, including submarine service on HMS Renown and with the frigates HMS Lincoln, Cleopatra, Minerva and Norfolk.   Ashore he also spent time as the Captain’s Secretary at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) Dartmouth, Naval Assistant to Director General Submarines and Secretary to Flag Officer Submarines.

Joining HMS Neptune in 1996 as the Base Supply Officer he later went on to Rosyth where he was Commanding Officer of HMS Caledonia and Queen’s Harbour Master Rosyth.

In June 2001 James returned to HM Naval Base Clyde as the Commander of HMS Neptune and completed his service on the Active List as the Requirements and Programme Manager for the Captain of the Base.

After 13 years continuous association with HMS Neptune, as a civil servant he become the Chief of Staff to the Naval Base Commander Clyde.  Most recently he was employed as the Liaison Manger for NBC’s Board of Directors while, in the background, he retained his role as one of the Duty Base Incident Commanders throughout.

“I’ve had a very good career in the MOD,” said James.  “I returned to Faslane for one final appointment in 1996 but have never left its influence since.  I have been very lucky; I’ve enjoyed both the jobs I’ve held and the company of the people I’ve worked with.”

Despite retiring, James plans to keep busy volunteering for Armed Forces charity SSAFA, lecturing, and as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Dunbartonshire.



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