It’s a real joy to come here and be with young people and the Navy again

Ernie Searling

The boat sailed past the destroyers and frigate alongside there, but the highlight for all had to be viewing from the water the new Aircraft Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

Ernie said: “It’s a real joy to come here and be with young people and the Navy again. I looked in the water; everything that hit me in the eyes was the cleanliness of the water. 

“The harbour control here must be jolly good. I thought the new carrier was a terrific ship, but I really thought it was too big.”

Ernie signed up for the Royal Marines the day the Second World War was declared, hence his blue beret, and started his military career in Portsmouth. 

As part of his visit he was presented with a new beret representing the current Monarch to go alongside his original one, which marked his service under King George VI.

“They are both good monarchs to serve under and a darn good country to fight for.” said Ernie

Keith has kept in touch with Ernie throughout the years exchanging letters and Christmas Cards. In December 2016 Keith paid Ernie a surprise visit and found out that he was fast approaching 100.

Keith said, “It was a tremendous joy to be able to show Ernie about the Dockyard and to show off some of the new ships in the Royal Navy.

“He is a very loving man, an exemplary Christian and it was marvellous of Quantum Care to make the whole evolution possible.”

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

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