Friends of the Navy reunited with Post article
TWO former friends of the Navy were reunited via the post.
Mr David ‘Syd’ Morris reached out to us after spotting a 2010 article online titled ‘Boyton Man Receives Malaysian Government Medal’.
The Boyton man in question was a Mr. Peter Meakins, who was a former Navy buddy of Mr. Morris, and someone he had been trying to reconnect with for many years.
Mr Morris said: “Peter Meakins and I served together on HMS Dartington in 1963/1964, both in communication.
“The Dartington was a Ton-class coastal minesweeper with a crew of only 32 people. The ship was based in Singapore and we spent much of our time at sea in the waters around Borneo during the Indonesian confrontation. I was the ship’s flagman and Peter was the radio operator, so between us we took care of the ship’s communications. We had a close working relationship and we were good friends.
“We have met several times since then, but we lost contact many years ago. Peter was one of my privileged colleagues and friends in the Royal Navy and I have been looking for him for a long time. Would it be possible to contact him through your journal?
The Post was only too happy to try and help reunite these long-lost friends. A call was made through our letter page in mid-July, and finally someone responded with a lead.
By the end of the month, Mr. Christopher Darwin of Bridgerule had contacted the Post, with interesting information. He said: “I was intrigued to read about HMS Dartington in 1963/64.
“I was a very junior officer on board for about six months during that time and I remember David Morris who I think was a top radio operator.
“We were based in Singapore, but we spent a lot of time in North Borneo to help prevent Indonesians from entering during the ‘Confrontation’ by patrolling the sea routes to Sarawak.
“Please send him aspirant Darwin’s compliments and suggest he try the TON class minesweepers association website (tcaminesweepers.co.uk). He probably already knows all about it, but it’s worth a try.
Mr Morris was grateful for this lead, however, he was quick to report that the website search had failed – and so Mr Meakins’ search continued.
More than a month passed without a word before this story continued. Fortunately, a keen-eyed Post reader and former neighbor Boyton of Mr. Meakins, spotted the letter and forwarded a copy to their friend.
Mr Meakins, who now lives in the countryside, then contacted the Post himself to say he would be more than happy to resume the conversation with his former boyfriend.
He said: “The letter titled ‘Navy man seeks friend’. The author is David ‘Syd’ Morris and he’s looking to make contact with a Peter Meakins, I’m him. Yes, we spent some time together as members of the crew of the “Ton Class” minesweeper HMS Dartington, and at the time we were great friends. As Syd says, we met after that date, but we lost contact after leaving the Royal Navy in 1979. I would be more than happy to reconnect if you could possibly give me more details on how. to do.
The couple have since corresponded and a delighted Mr Morris told the Post: ‘In 1963 we came back to the UK together and went our separate ways. The last time we met was in Portsmouth in 1970 and when I left the navy in 1988 I often searched for Peter without success until I found the article in your newspaper. I contacted the editor and it led Peter to call me and renew our friendship. I am very grateful to your article for making this possible.
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