Fred Brisley (Deceased)

Hi Richard,


I knew Fred Brisley in 1950 when he was a B/Cpl and used to poke fun at Glory band being the first in the new-fangled RMSM kitted up with the "bootneck" rig of collar-dogs & broad red stripes. Every time we went in to the M Company dining room in the old J Block North Barracks he used to call out "Gobble gobble gobble" in reference to the then custom of Band ranks referring to Booties as Turkeys, and telling us to go to China. "Yes Fred, that`s just about where we`re going", we replied.

He was just about finishing his 12 and then entered the RAF Central Band where he progressed to WO, being awarded a MBE.

So, his RMB detail:

RMB/X 772 B/Cpl Frederick B Brisley, joined 48 squad around 1934-5. He may have been an oboist, (Solo Clarinet according to Tom Lambert) but I can`t be sure of that. Ships include Gloucester 1939-41 ( he must have been drafted off before the sinking), and Nigeria. A real old "character". God bless him.

All the best

Terry (Freestone)

I was Googling my grandad Fred Brisley when your page popped up. I read a message that had been sent in with fond memories of him by a man named Terry. It named my grandad's ships, including HMS Gloucester, and said that he must have been transferred off before it was sunk, however this was not the case.

My grandad, and shipmates, were given shore leave in the Mediterranean (I can’t remember where) and they went to visit a few of the local watering holes. Grandad got a little bit too tipsy and passed out and missed the Gloucester sailing. When he woke up, he was, obviously, in a bit of trouble. Grandad was arrested and thrown into jail. Within days HMS Gloucester was sunk, and with her went most of the crew. My grandad was immediately released. He was previously of impeccable conduct and his missing the ship entirely out of character. The Navy decreed that his missing the Gloucester was an Act of God, and it wasn’t his time!

My grandad carried on serving in the Navy as the report said and was actively involved with the ‘Fighting G’ Club, up until his death. He was very proud of his service, and his whole family are proud of him.

I thought you might like to know.

Kind Regards,

Charlotte Atherton (nee Brisley), Fred Brisley’s granddaughter

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