Flag lowered to half mast in memory of former sea cadet

John Dunne
John Dunne

Tributes have been paid to a former sea cadet and ‘real character’ from Ore.

John Dunne, also known to many as Gunga, ‘crossed the bar’ on December 3 after a brave fight against Pulmonary Fibrosis.

John was ex-Royal Navy and treasurer of the local Royal Navel Association for several years. His family says he was well known locally for his whiskers and cheery wave, a real character.

He was born in Chester in 1946. He joined the sea cadets in the sixties and did his year at HMS Ganges.

He was drafted to the Far East in 1963 serving on HMS Alert, which was involved in the Indonesian confrontation in Borneo.

He then joined the Cavendish and then joined the Scarborough. Back in the UK, he served on a new ship HMS Sirius, which sailed to the Far East.

On his return he did a Quarter Armouries course and then was drafted to HMS London. His last ship was the Apollo in the seventies.

He then went on to do a training course for plant fitting and worked at British Gypsum Mines at Mountfield, and then to the Brickworks at Bexhill until his retirement.

He then volunteered his services on the HMS Belfast in London every week for many years. HMS Belfast is a ship originally built for the Royal Navy, currently permanently moored as a museum ship on the River Thames and operated by the Imperial War Museum.

John helped maintain the guns and showed many visitors around.

He was so well thought of on the ship that on the day of his funeral, the Ensign was lowered to half mast for an hour – a rare occasion for a volunteer.

At the funeral, the volunteer co-ordination of the HMS Belfast came down to attend, along with many ex navel friends bearing standards from many ships. His family said it was the most fitting send off.

John leaves his wife, son, daughter and three grandchildren.