Telegraph: Admiral Of The Fleet Sir Julian Oswald - Obituary

A sad day indeed. I note with interest that Tommy Gould VC has also passed away recently. I wonder if there wil be a memorial service for him in the near future...


Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
Very sad. A nice bloke. I went gliding with him at Daedalus a few times in 1990 but did not realise who he was as he told me to call him Julian. Got a re-brief next time I was on the gate checking ID cards as he stopped to talk and I still only called him Julian. The OOD and CPOoW were fuming that I delayed him at the gate and didn't salute.
I only knew him as Julian from the Gliding Club.
RIP Sir.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
He treated everyone he talked to as his equal and took an interest in what they were saying, however insignificant they were.

It is a privilege to have once served with him, in HMS Newfoundland, where he was Action OOW the night we sank the Domiat. He was elevated to that ringside seat from OOQ of A Turret after the usual Action OOW broke his ankle leading his landing party over a cliff (they didn't follow - Jack can be quite careful sometimes).

Any information about the funeral would be appreciated (via PM of course).


War Hero
Very sad day, he was my gliding instructor many years ago on an introductory course at Daedalus in (I think) 1987, introduced himself as Julian and I didn't even know he was an officer let alone CinC Fleet until I came across him a year or so later, he was the one who remembered me, I was a bit surprised to see all the bling, he even asked if I'd taken gliding up properly as a hobby since. I explained that I hadn't and he offered to take me up again if I wanted to get back into it - this was on Divisions and he had a meaningful chat with everyone in the platoon. Whilst it made the parade drag on you really got the feeling he was interested in everyone, as a young AEM I couldn't believe that he even remembered where he'd met me let alone my name and where I was from. Totally unpretentious gent and a great gliding instructor.
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My favourite memory of Sir Julian is of the occasion when he, as CINCFLEET, braved the mid-morning traffic to come into Northwood from Main Building specifically to give me and a fellow CO (and, indirectly, our ships' companies) his best wishes before we deployed to the Gulf for eight months during the Iran/Iraq Tanker War.

A great man. Rest in Peace indeed.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
(According to D Telegraph as read out to me over the phone by an old shipmate) The funeral is at Our Lady Queen of the Apostles, Bishop's Waltham, 1200 Saturday 23rd and there will be a memorial service in Westminster Cathedral (NB Cathedral) after the general summer break.
I can remember when he was FOF1 or FOF2 and he came aboard the Ark in 1986 and I was working as an Intel Killick sparker in the SIO. I was showing him around the RNINTEL equipment and he was enjoying playing with the JZY.

Next thing CT1 Mathewson (Matty) came in with two coffees from the machine up forward and Julian said: "I hope one of them is for me Chief?" Matt replied, afraid not, they are for me and my killick, but the machine is in 5F if you want one" Next thing he wandered off and re-appeared with a coffee in his hand. Top bloke indeed.


War Hero
No-one is insignificant Seaweed.

Sorry to hear that this chap has died.
He was more than a chap, mate. He was a decent, honourable and very respectful senior officer, who never threw his weight about and earned admiration and respect from all those around him because of his manner. No doubt, he could probably be a bastard when he wanted, but officers like JO have an inane ability to detect bullshit, fend off crises and manage situations and personnel without aloofness, aggression or malice. Only some are blessed with that, and the RN recently lost them either to the bar or to civvy street. Soon, all will be left will be an odd collective of incompetents, blow-hards and tyrants, all blessed in turn with ideas of grandeur and ability, and replete with all the management catch-phrases that Downing Street ********* want to hear. The 'people-people' will be phased-out and the Navy run by berks set on the revolving door of industry and business. In twenty years, you won't be able to differentiate between a retired Admiral and a senior board-member in the ether of business, because they will run their business from an Access database, rather than with the skill and guile of a warship captain. This isn't as romanticised as it sounds, by the way. Just have a gander at the whale-sized, lorry load of dogshit that the 2-6 pages farts out every month from it's 'missing the point exactly' pages. It's all driven by consultancy focus groups, efficiency initiatives, 'drilling down' and manning metrics. The result? Bugger all ... save for the promotion of the incompetent. Think I'm wrong?

I give you 'Operator Mechanic'. Your move.

Published in The Times on 6 September 2011:

A Memorial Mass for Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Julian Robertson Oswald, GCB will be held in St. John's Cathedral, Portsmouth, on Friday 28th October at midday; the service will be followed by a reception in The Wardroom, HMS NELSON.

Those wishing to attend are invited to apply for tickets no later than 26th September either by email to [email protected] or by letter to Mrs S Dickinson, Royal Navy Command Headquarters, MPG-2, West Battery, Whale Island, Portsmouth, PO2 8DX. Applications should include full names and addresses and indicate whether the applicants wish to attend the reception. Tickets will be despatched from 3rd October.

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