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Royal Naval Writers Association

Formed in 1887 - The Oldest Military Association

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Meet the Committee

Colin Hughes


Colin left the Royal Navy as a Temporary Lieutenant (SD) (W) in 1995, after 35 years’ service. He undertook consultative administrative work until employed by Flagship Training Limited as the Pay Cash and Records Manager in HMS SULTAN. He oversaw the civilianisation of HMS Sultan Unit Personnel Office (UPO) and trials of pay systems until instigation of the tri-service Personnel Administrative System in 2006. He also undertook inspection work whilst responsible for 3 UPOs in the Portsmouth area, manned by Flagship Training Limited personnel and subsequent other Private Finance Initiative companies.

He retired in 2009 and devotes his time to RNWA, gardening and DIY.

Pat Prior


Pat joined as a Writer(G) in 1968 and left as a CPOWtr in 1983. She then joined the Reserves the following month as the Writers’ Training Design Leader, and instructed on all the professional qualifying courses. She was mobilised in 2003, retiring in 2005.

A Branch Secretary of the Royal British Legion, she has held positions of County Recruiting Officer and Welfare Worker, and is currently the County Poppy Appeal Co-ordinator and the organiser for five areas.

Widowed, with one son Pat lives in Gosport.

Don McGeorge

Membership Secretary

Don left the Navy in 1998 at age 41, having spent his final 7 years a WOWtr, serving at HMS RALEIGH as a non-branch Divisional Officer in the Part 1 Training set up, Sec X to FOSM at JHQ Northwood and as an analyst on the Joint Service Job Evaluation Team based in the MOD. He spent his first 8 years in “civvy street” as the CEO of a small but beautifully formed professional membership association (see the link there?) and his final 15 years prior to retirement in 2021 as a Manager and Director in the world of Primary Care in the East Midlands.

Don lives with his very long suffering partner in Lincolnshire with their 15 year old son, a monstrous garden and a passion for elderly but open-topped modern classic cars – driving them, rather than playing with the oily bits! He has, from a previous life, two elder children and 3 grandchildren all of whom live in the West Country.

Lyn Gannon


Lyn served in the Wrens/Royal Navy from 1976 until 2000 when she was medically boarded (having been medically downgraded for her final 12 years’ service!) due to a back injury and bad knees. She then worked for the RNBT for 17 years, firstly as PA to the CEO then became the Executive Assistant – eventually went part time and became the Office Manager.

Married to Mick (former Army Warrant Officer in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps), they live in Fareham, Hampshire where they enjoy lots of holidays and looking after friends dogs.

Jim Donaldson

Committee Member

After 33 years, 5 ships, several shore bases (primarily as a part of the Scottish Navy!) and a stint in both the Falkland Islands and at BDLS Australia, Jim retired as a CPOWtr in 1997. He has been the SSAFA treasurer for Hartlepool for the past 23 years and is the founding member of the HMS Carysfort Association – his first ship from 1966-69. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1994. On retirement from the Navy, he worked for 15 years for Santander.

Married and living in Hartlepool, he has 2 children and 2 grandsons.

Tony Mason

Committee Member

Tony Mason joined the RN in October 1966 as a JEM. He quickly saw the light – and recatted to Writer on his 18th birthday! Commonly known as “Foreigns” Mason (as he had 3 accompanied drafts to Hong Kong, The Bahamas and Gibraltar). As a WO1 he transferred to the Careers Service at 45 and spent the next 11 years as a recruiter. He left the RN Careers Service in July 2005 and went on to spend the next 11 years as a Community Service Officer in the Dorset Probation Service, prior to retirement.

Tony has a son and a daughter (from a previous marriage) and 4 grandchildren. He lives in Nottingham with his wife Clare and enjoys travel, pubs and is a Town Councillor.

David Spicer

Committee Member

David left the Navy as a CPOWtr in 1990, having gone full circle in terms of drafting – his first, as a young Wtr was to RN Barracks Portsmouth (later HMS NELSON) and, as a CPOWtr it was his final role as the Centre Desk in the UPO there. In between times, he served in several ships – spent two stints east of Suez totalling 18 months in HMS EAGLE and saw at first hand the traumatic events of the Cod War in HMS CHARYBDIS. He served in two further ships (HERMES and INTREPID) as well as spending time on LFSs in both Naples and Hong Kong. He enjoyed service in various Command HQs – CinCFLEET, FONAC, and CinCNAVHOME.

On leaving the Navy in 1990, David became a Finance Bursar at Trent College until 2008 when he fully retired. He lives near Nottingham with his partner Melody and has three sons. He is a proud and active member of the Derbyshire Freemasonry, and has been for over 30 years.

Tony Webber

Committee Member

Having retired as a Lt Cdr (SD)(W) in 1993, Tony spent the next 10 years as an RO2, finishing his career as the Establishment Security Officer of HMS DRYAD. He was always very active and involved in sports and was the RN Volleyball Secretary for 15 years, and the Adventurous Training Officer for a number of establishments in which he served.

Following his Service career he worked for 12 years as an overseas Expedition Leader to various developing countries. In between Expeditions, he became involved in “Mass Participation Sports Events” as a member of various event Delivery Teams. Triathlon is the sport he was and still is mainly involved with as a British Triathlon Official – at all levels up to and including World Championships.

WO1 Ian McHugh

Committee Member (Co-Opted)

Ian joined the RN as a MEM back in 1987- seeing the light he transferred into the Writer branch in 1989. He has served afloat in Submarines, Frigates and Aircraft Carriers and his shore service has included UPOs and the Promotions Office, along with Career and Branch Management roles. He is currently serving as the LTO of the Writer Training Squadron at DSLA and is a Co-Opted member of the Committee, offering strategic support and a current perspective on all things “Writer”.

Ian lives in Stubbington with his wife Sarah and daughter Eleanor. He spends his weekends working on his allotment or playing table top role-playing games at conventions around the UK.