R.J. Fidler (44-48)

Obit - Fidler


Commander Robert James Fidler (44-48) MBE RN  died peacefully on January 20th, 2018, aged 87. A funeral service will take place at Wessex Vale Crematorium, West End, Southampton on February 7th at 12.15pm.


Cdr. Fidler sent his son Simon to the College. He writes:


Cdr Robert (Bob) Fidler MBE [40-44] died on 20th January 2018, aged 87. He entered Dartmouth on leaving the College, and his early naval career was mainly ship based (HMS Kenya, Gurkha and Eagle) before switching to shore postings starting in Bahrain in 1969 before returning to the UK, where the remainder of his RN career was spent in the Portsmouth area (HM Dockyard, HMS Collingwood, Whale Island and Excellent).  He received an MBE in 1980.  


“He left the Royal Navy in 1981 and subsequently joined the Royal Oman Navy, as Chief Staff Officer Logistics.  He retired to West Meon in 1988, where he and his wife Day became very involved in the local community, and in particular in supporting the fundraising efforts for the RNLI.  Following Day’s death in 2000, Bob remained an active figure in the area (still umpiring hockey for a few years), until latterly when he unfortunately was diagnosed with dementia.”


Simon (77-82 also ex Macquarie) now lives in the same village, Ashley Green, Bucks as one of Bob’s OP classmates Courtney Edenborough (45-48), who remembers Bob as not being the most conforming of cadets, which came to no surprise to the Fidler family!


OP Society President Richard Shuttleworth (57-62) adds:

“I joined HMS Gurkha in 1963 in Plymouth where Bob was the Supply Officer, and the ship had recently been commissioned before going round UK and off to the Gulf based at HMS Jufair. Our Captain, a Commander and failed submariner, was a fiery tempered Irishman especially after a few glasses of John Jamieson, his tipple of choice. He bullied his officers, but Bob, who had little time for him, stood up to him. The rather unpopular man would come in to the Wardroom uninvited, which is not acceptable in the RN, and Cdr Fidler used to ask him politely who had invited him.

Lt Cdr Fidler, as we knew him, was a very competent Supply Officer and was always extremely kind to the two Midshipmen. He was friendly and amusing. In those days the RN had a tradition of drinking which is not so acceptable now and Bob could certainly hold his drink.  I recall that once we visited Diego Suarez in Madagascar where the French Foreign Legion had been sent from Algeria to build an airfield as they were not welcome in mainland France. The rather thuggish officers attempted to get your father and the rest of us drunk in their Mess. On the way back to the ship one of their cars crashed and I remember having a glass or two with him on board seemingly completely sober wondering where everyone else was.

I was in Oman from 1976 and was delighted when Bob arrived there looking fit and slimmer but still the jolly person he always was. In later years we met occasionally at Pangbourne and he had changed very little.  Suffice it to say that he was a popular person everywhere he went being quietly irreverent and non-conformist -  as was the OP style in those days.”


Obit - Fidler#2




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