Island Life - February/March 2011
Jonathan pictured at a Passing Out Parade at HMS Raleigh, as the Captain he had the privilege of welcoming a new group of 60 sailors into the Royal Navy every week.
Jonathan's amazing journey both at sea and on dry land
Commodore Jonathan Woodcock OBE is not quite sure why he chose a career that kept him at sea for so long, bearing in mind he used to get seasick sailing in and out of Bembridge Harbour. But he eventually overcame that inconvenience to engage in a profession that has seen him travel the world and become an integral part of the Royal Navy, serving on some of the most iconic ships of the modern era, including HMS Ark Royal and the Royal Yacht Britannia. Commodore Woodcock was born in Sandown in 1962, and moved to St Helens shortly afterwards. He was educated at Ryde School and admits: “I had a wonderful time there. The education set me up for what I wanted to do. “I learned to play the violin, and played a lot of music in those days, as well as doing some public speaking, but I didn’t do much sport. Even so we never used to let our parents take us away on holidays because we preferred sailing our Solent Scows from the Brading Haven Yacht Club. It is nice to see that the Solent Scow class is still sailing. “I used to love sailing, but it did make me horrendously seasick, even sailing my own boat, so I am not quite sure why I chose the Navy.” He stayed on the Island until he was 18, and then joined Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth as a Midshipman. From there he moved to the Royal Naval Engineering College at Manadon. After four years of study and with a degree and officer training behind him, he joined his first ship, HMS Exeter, as the Deputy Marine Engineering Officer. Since then Commodore Woodcock has undertaken a variety of sea-going and shore-based appointments, including the position of Electrical Officer on Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia. He also found himself on a NATO exchange appointment in British Columbia working with Canadian and US forces in the Pacific. A spell as Marine Engineering Officer on HMS York followed, where he joined and left the ship during operational deployments to the Gulf. Despite his many tours of duty, Commodore Woodcock returned to 71
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