|Obituary - Lieutenant Commander The Reverend Ron Paterson, Chaplain to the Association - 16 December 2009|
Ron Paterson, our Padre since we started the Neptune Association in 2002, died on 16th December 2009 aged 93 after a long illness.
He joined the Navy as a Boy Seaman in 1932. After training he went to HMS Hood and served three years in her (1933-36). His next ship was HMS Neptune where he was recommended for promotion to officer.
In World War 2 he served in the destroyer HMS Sandwich and the battleship HMS Nelson, before commanding Landing Craft (Gun) 831. During the Normandy landings he was the Staff Officer to the Beach Commander on JUNO beach where he spent 5 weeks living in a German Pill Box until Cherbourg was captured. At the end of the war he served in the Far East Fleet in the war against Japan. In August 1945 he was placed in charge of 600 American released POW's on board his ship in Manila. He saw at first hand the appalling physical condition to which they had been reduced after 3 years of captivity. It was then that he resolved to devote the remainder of his life to the cause of peace, justice and reconciliation. After the war he commanded the Minesweeper HMS Albercore engaged in clearing mines and wrecks in the Mediterranean, and in 1955 he was awarded the MBE.
Ron left the Navy in 1958 and was ordained Deacon in 1959. From 1962 to 1985 he was the Vicar at St Barnabas Church in Swanmore. His later years were overshadowed by three bereavements: twice a widower and the death of his younger son at the age of 25. Ron retired in 1985 at the age of 69 and lived for the remainder of his life in Bishops Waltham. It was there in St Peters Church that a Service of Thanksgiving for his life was held on 23rd December. Six verses from Psalm 107 were read by representatives of the six Associations of which Ron was Chaplain. John McGregor read the verse on behalf of the Neptune Association
Ron was a very kind man, one of nature's gentlemen and will be greatly missed by many people from the Navy and in the areas where he lived.