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William Peter “Pincher” Martin

Born in Bournemouth Dec 11, 1933. Died April 1983

“Pincher” at Gibraltar

Peter joined the Royal Navy in October 1951 for 12 years continuous service. He started as an assistant steward and worked his way up to Petty Officer Steward.
He served on the HMS Maidstone, HMS Bulwark, HMS Leopard, HMS Adamant and the HMS Forth. His time between ships was spent at HMS Victory, Ceres, Hornet, Osprey, Excellent, Heron, Cambridge and Drake.

Peter was passionate about his navy career, especially his time spent on the HMS Leopard’s 1st commission as the Captains flunky, I mean steward. He lived for exotic destinations and never tired of telling the stories of his many adventures and misadventures to his friends and family.

He had a great sense of humour and always enjoyed a good laugh with his mates on the many memorable and not so memorable runs ashore. He could be sly and mischievous at times but he had a big heart and was a true friend to those around him.

“Pincher” on the left. NAAFI Club Gibraltar

He was the type of man who would give you the shirt of his back if he thought you needed it more than him. He was well known on the ship for looking after his mate the pantry man (“Jock” Bailey) and the mess lads by supplying a few drinkies when cleaning up after cocktail parties in the Ward Room.
Peter enjoyed a pint (or six) with his mates in any pub or club in any port of call. He was very fond of South Africa.

He talked about his runs ashore in Durban, Cape Town  and Simonstown, the Edenroc Hotel, Zulu rickshaws and chatting with the locals and making new friends. I’m sure he was a true Jack and lived up to the reputation.

Durban Zulu’s



Tony, “Pinchers” son, with hockey poster from Durban

I bet the the hockey poster from the Durban Icedrome was one of those purloined items because the ship left port a week before the game was scheduled.


Note: All photo’s on this page were taken by “Pincher”.

Peter enjoyed the tropical climate of the Seychelle Islands and the old world charm (and the drinkies of course) of South America and the 1400 mile run up the Amazon River before the ships return to the UK. 

After his retirement from the Navy in 1963, Peter and his family moved back to his home town of Bournemouth.

He started his life back in  Civvy Street working for The Royal Ballrooms putting the skills he learned in the Navy to good use. In 1972 he took his wife and 2 children and emigrated to Canada. His love of travel and tropical climates never waned, Peter and his family enjoyed few vacations on tropical Islands in the Caribbean and an extended driving tour of Mexico.

Sadly Peter’s health started to deteriorate and he passed away at the all to early age of 49 in April 1983.

With the assistance of the Royal Navy “Pincher’s” ashes were buried at sea in Plymouth Sound. God Rest Him.

Comittal of Ashes at Sea

Peter and Maura, March 29, 1958

My name is Tony Martin and I am his son. He is also survived by my sister Cheryl and our mum Maura, his wife of 25 years.

I am proud to be able to share the memories and pictures of dads time in the Navy with this website and all who visit it.   Thanks and Cheers Robby G for all the time and effort you have put into the creation of Royal Navy Memories and all you help putting together this memorial to my dad “Pincher” Martin.



Here are some photos and keepsakes, that “Pincher” snapped during HMS Leopards 1st Commission:



Forces pool-Gib

Leopard at dock-Gib







Peter Lagos 1959

Lagos jetty 1959

Summary of visit to Lagos, June 12, 1959

Summary of visit to Lagos Pg. 2






South Africa

View from Table Mtn

Ships crest-Simonstown dry dock

At Sea-Maybe Capex excercises

Seaforth beach-Simonstown







Tavern of Ye Playhouse, Durban

Beach at Durban

Bush fire-Simonstown

Durban Zulu’s







Tortoise at Aldabra Island. Seychelles

Church at Mahe

Beach at Mahe, Seychelles

Alphonse Island







Seychelles visit programme summary, Nov 1959









Mauritius Mountains





South America


Port Stanley. Falkland Islands







Helo from HMS Protector.

Punta Aranas-Chile

Beagle Channel glacier. South America







Beagle Channel again

Quartermaster glacier-Beagle Channel

Same Glacier

Terra Del Fuego








Ushuaia-Southern most town in the world

Cape Horn Mtns

Visitors at Puerto Belgrano-Argentina







Mar Del Plata-Argentina







Amazon River

Manaus-Amazon gateway

600 miles up the Amazon

Santos-1200 miles up Amazon

Belem, Amazon







Town Hall at Belem

Belem, Amazon

Cajos-1400 miles up Amazon

Amazon somewhere








Obidos market-Amazon

Amazon river boat

River view on the Amazon

Grande Hotel Belem






Odds & Sods


Crossing the Line






HMS Leopard Stokers mess 1959

Pincher “mug shot!”

Tot Time on the Leopard







RN education test 1

Report of wound

Peter’s Resting Place

Peter and wife Maura, Weymouth 1958







“Pinchers” Ships


HMS Adamant

HMS Maidstone

HMS Forth at Malta

HMS Bulwark

HMS Leopard





By Robby G

Many thanks to Tony, “Pinchers” son, for supplying all this material.

On one of the visits to see our old  skipper, Commander Bob Gaunt, he  recalled some good memories  of “Pincher” his steward and said how reliable he was and yes he knew he was a fun man but had no need to mark the booze bottle! He worked and played hard….well didn’t we all?

RIP “Pincher”
















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