Commander Chris Roberts
SANO regrets to report the death of Commander Christopher Jeffrey Roberts FNI RD* RNR.
Chris had been a SANO member since 2007, having served 1967-92 at Sussex Division RNR on List 1. He was regarded as a fine example of an officer committed to helping others and furthering themselves. His service included 2 years RN recall 1986-87 as Merchant Navy Staff Officer at the School of Maritime Operations.
A Master Mariner, his main naval career was in the merchant navy, where he reached Captain. He spent much of his career in vessels trading in the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, notably with P&O and Clan Line, when Master often accompanied by his wife Wendy. He then became Master of the Gulf Navigation and Buoyage Authority’s tender operating out of Bahrain, forming a close relationship with RN ships in the Gulf. He was intensely proud that in the Gulf he was exempt from taking a pilot, and thus an acknowledged expert ship handler. Once when on RNR training, he was asked by the RN CO to berth the ship, in strong onshore wind with no tug available, by using the merchant navy practice of dropping an anchor upwind.
He was a prominent figure in East Preston, where he had been Chairman of the parish council and made a huge contribution over many years. He was a former Chairman of Littlehampton Sea Cadets, remaining a trustee at the time of his death, where he gave the cadets great support and was regarded as most professional in all his dealings
He was one of the few SANO members capable of wearing his uniform right up to the last function he attended, shortly before Wendy died.
Chris Roberts died in the early hours of 22 June after a fall at home a few days previously. He had been ill for some time. His son and daughter survive him.