For the 1983-84 season the Royal Navy Rugby Union re-introduced the publication of a handbook.  I say re-introduction because they produced a handbook between the wars.  In the 1983-84 handbook 15 Life Members were listed including two members marked as 'deceased'.  This was clearly not the full list of those who Life Membership had been conveyed upon as correspondence and published minutes of the Union painted a different picture.  In later editions of the handbook the Royal Navy Rugby Union changed it's practice and only printed those Life Members still living.  This meant that over time they lost sight of other Life Members who they had recorded in the 1983-84 handbook.  Alligin Photography has always taken the view that the full list of Life Members, both past and present, should wherever possible be used to ensure that as time passes those early Life Members never become just a list of names without context.  Their stories are at the very heart of why the Royal Navy Rugby Union became the Union it is today.

The earliest record of Life Membership of the Royal Navy Rugby Union was made at a Committee Meeting held, at the Admiralty, on 4th September 1929.  At that meeting the minutes of the March 1929 Annual General Meeting were confirmed and as agenda item 4 some changes were made to the election of officers for the 1929-1930 season.  Engr Capt Start's position on the Committee is confirmed and is annotated as Life Member.  Minute 5 went on to note:

A hearty vote of thanks was passed to Engineer Captains S.P. Start R.N. for his past services, and to the Rev W. H. Goudge for stepping, at great personal inconvenience to himself, into the breach created by Engr Captain's Start's appointment abroad.

By the September 1930 meeting both Engr Capt Roberts and Engr Capt Start were shown on the minutes holding committee positions as Life Members but currently there is no available record of when the honour was conferred upon Roberts.  Both Roberts (as Captain) and Start played in the first Navy v Army match played after the formation of the Union in February 1907 and were, at the time of the match, serving together at BRNC Datrmouth.

The table of past and present Royal Navy Rugby Union Life Members is now, I believe, to be complete, but you can never be 100% sure and I am always grateful for any information that can add to the history of Navy Rugby.  A few of people of note in the table are Steve Harland, Paula Rowe and Mark Sugden OBE.  Steve was the first Life Member who did not leave the Naval Service as an officer; as with the history of selecting players it took the Union a while to look outside of the officer cadre.  Paula Rowe was the first women to be invited to become a Life Member of the Royal Navy Rugby Union.  Mark Sugden OBE remains the only Life Member who was a civilian, having worked as a modern languages teacher at Britannia Royal Navy College for many years.

Geraint Ashton Jones June 2017

All
Secretary

Start, Sydney Philip

RAdm

Life Member:1929-1969
First Cap1907
Total Caps:1

Roberts, Ernest William

Engr Capt RN

Life Member:1930-1933
First Cap1907
Total Caps:1

Forrest, John (Jeff) William

Lt Cdr RN

Life Member:1948-1963
First Cap1925
Total Caps:12

Osborne LDS, Leslie B (Ginger)

Surg RAdm

Life Member:1954-1989
First Cap1927
Total Caps:4

Browne CBE DSO, Hugh Christopher

Capt RN

Life Member:1954-1983
First Cap1928
Total Caps:3

Hammond OBE, Richard J Leslie

Cdr RN

Life Member:1959-1991
First Cap1934
Total Caps:14

Sugden OBE, Mark

Civilian

Life Member:1962-1990
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Brockman KCB CSI CIE CVO CBE KStJ, Sir Ronald Vernon

VAdm

Life Member:1966-1999
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Aldous, Alan R

Capt RN

Life Member:1966-1992
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Watkins CBE, John Kingdon

RAdm

Life Member:1967-1970
First Cap1933
Total Caps:12

Inverdale CBE, John B.

Surg Capt (D)

Life Member:1970-1987
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Callaghan CB, Desmond N

RAdm

Life Member:1971-2000
First Cap1936
Total Caps:5

Waller, M A

Capt RN

Life Member:1971-1997
First Cap1945
Total Caps:3

Kirby, TKM (Rip)

Inst Cdr RN

Life Member:1974-1976
First Cap1949
Total Caps:5

Meredith, Alun

Inst Capt RN

Life Member:1974-2003
First Cap1948
Total Caps:5

Gosling OBE, Charles G

Capt(E) RN

Life Member:1975-1980
First Cap1928
Total Caps:14

Brickwood MBE, Harry J

Lt Cdr RN

Life Member:1977-2014
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Randle, Geoff Derek O

Capt RN

Life Member:1982-2020
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Jacobsen, John

Capt RN

Life Member:1982-2020
First Cap1956
Total Caps:4

Horlick KBE, Sir Ted

VAdm

Life Member:1983
First Cap1948
Total Caps:3

Alcock CBE, R Ken

Capt RN

Life Member:1983-2007
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Lewin KG GCB LVO DSC, Rt Hon Lord Terence

Adm of the Fleet

Life Member:1985-1999
First Cap1947
Total Caps:4

Pearey, Mike A

Capt RN

Life Member:1987-1998
First Cap1954
Total Caps:15

Godfrey, A Roger

Cdr RN

Life Member:1988-2018
First Cap1959
Total Caps:16

Thomas, Glyn P

Lt Cdr RN

Life Member:1988
First Cap1954
Total Caps:16

Gatehouse MBE, Trevor (Binge)

Lt Cdr RN

Life Member:1991-2019
First Cap1967
Total Caps:14

Dow CB, Douglas M

RAdm

Life Member:1991
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Weeks, Brian F

Cdr Rn

Life Member:1991-2006
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Rowland MBE, Derek E

Lt Cdr RN

Life Member:1992-2015
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Livesay KCB, Sir Michael

Adm

Life Member:1993-2003
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Easson, R (Bob) K

Cdr RN

Life Member:1994-2016
First Cap1971
Total Caps:7

Hallett, A (Tony) P

Capt RN

Life Member:1995
First Cap1966
Total Caps:8

Crean, Dermot M

Surg Cdre

Life Member:1996-2012
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Parker, Roger M

Cdre

Life Member:1996
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Lewis CBE, Doug S

Cdre

Life Member:1998
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Williams, Roger J

Lt Col RM

Life Member:1998
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Hambrook MBE, Dave

Lt Cdr RN

Life Member:1998
First Cap1966
Total Caps:16

Tuffley LVO, Chris R

Capt RN

Life Member:2001
First Cap1966
Total Caps:9

Le Manquais, Terry W D

Cdr RN

Life Member:2002-2012
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Boyce KG GCB OBE DL, Lord Michael

Adm

Life Member:2003
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Blackett, Jeff

Cdre (Now HHJ)

Life Member:2003
First Cap1981
Total Caps:3

Lambshead, Clive

Lt Cdr RN

Life Member:2005
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Harland, Steve

CCY (Retd)

Life Member:2005
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

McClement KCB OBE, Sir Tim

VAdm

Life Member:2006
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Harris, Tim

Cdre

Life Member:2007
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Gray, R (Bob)

Cdr RN

Life Member:2008
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Band GCB DL, Sir Jonathon

Adm

Life Member:2009
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Rowe, Paula E

Lt Cr RN

Life Member:2010
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Wrigglesworth, Steve

Lt RN

Life Member:2011
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Ashton Jones, Geraint

Lt Cdr RN Retd

Life Member:2012
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Thompson CBE, Rob J

Cdre

Life Member:2013
First Cap1980
Total Caps:4

Connolly, Mike H

Lt RN

Life Member:2014
First Cap1974
Total Caps:12

Armstrong, R (Bob)

CSgt RM

Life Member:2015
First Cap1989
Total Caps:31

Melbourne, Steve

Maj RM

Life Member:2015
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Alcock OBE, Chris

Capt RN

Life Member:2016
First Cap1982
Total Caps:19

Coates, Ash

CPO

Life Member:2017
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Morisetti CB, Neil

RAdm

Life Member:2017
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Cunningham , John

Cdr RN

Life Member:2018
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Jones GCB ADC DL, Sir Philip

Adm

Life Member:2020
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a

Roberts, Chris

Cdr RN

Life Member:2021
First Capn/a
Total Caps:n/a