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White Ensign









Date of Crossing the Bar

RBA Member


Lest we forget an Oppo
MARTIN Cyril 10 December 2010 Yes

Cyril joined the Branch in 1952, retiring in 1978.
He had been suffering from prostrate cancer which he succumbed to

Cyril Martin

Memories of Cyril Martin

David Addis

Cyril also known as Pincher was one of the first MAA to be promoted Fleet Master at Arms (the old rank of the now WO1 MAA). I remember Pincher when he was the Boss at HMS Pemboke he always struck me as a quiet but effective person who was a fine example to any Regulator. I also remember him as a supporter of the Association and seeing him sitting at the front table at the AGM taking an interest in the proceeding. Rest in Peace Cyril.


Roger Newlyn - Kent Police (Retired)

Having worked in the Medway Towns from the late 60's until the closure of Pembroke, we frequently worked and, more often, socialised together. A true gentleman at all times. A pleasure to work with, and an honour to have known. Once met never forgotten. Our sympathies to Molly and family.


Peter Davies

Cyril was my instructor when I qualified as a Leading Patrolman in the Sixties. you could not have wished to meet a nicer man. Rest in Peace Cyril you will be greatly missed by all who knew you.


Bob Shirley

Well, what can I say about Cyril?. he was a good man and we had quite a few hairy moments together. I believe that on a number of times he could have wished a huge hole would swallow me up. He had this strange way of speaking, mainly with his diaphram and I could mimic his voice perfectly. He used to bluster a lot when he was worked up and the results were so funny. I used to go into spasm's sometimes. The skipper in Sultan had a 3rd Off Wren PA, she was no Cheryl Cole, thats for sure and one day Cyril came in worked up about something and blurted " Ere", he says, "ya know....that 3rd Officer Wren.....works for the skipper.....looks like a sack of sh!t......well she" and whatever it was, he used to use the pregnant pause so effectively, not to mention his timing, the results were side splitting and sometimes I was in pain going home. Dave Cox, who we all know was notorious for eating and he was always chomping on something, it was quite a talking point in the office and one morning Cyril came in and said, "you eating again.....you aint got worms.....you got snakes" and burst out laughing, it was hilarious, I was so wrapped up with mirth I couldn't speak for ages afterward. He was famous too for his love of Crossroads and he always got back to the mess to watch it. At one time the story line was that, Jill, had been made pregnant by a cast member played by Jeremy Sinden and during one of the episodes it all came out into the open. The following morning, Cyril was beside himself, he couldn't get it out fast enough, "hey", he goes, "in Crossroads.... you know..... the blonde tart.......old Meg Richardson's daughter........well, she's up the stick with one of the hotel guests........and now her old man has found out". The way he came out with this first thing in the morning with us all trying to get our sections open and the usual queues forming. I couldn’t stand it and had to go into the heads, tears streaming down my face. Barry Thompson was one of the staff and he was 'something else', a bit of an armature musician and comic. On this particular day he blew up a rubber sex doll and let it fly all over the office, Cyrils face was a picture. On another occasion, he set himself alight trying a fire eating trick. Cyril burst in "you’ve got the brains of a "effin" rocking horse", he roared, not so much what he said, but how he said it. You couldn't make it up.

One bizarre incident concerned me but it shouldn't have done, Cyril was always blaming me for something and used his now famous expression to cover all eventualities, "you......you're effin bone", never a term of endearment but funny all the same.

On this occasion I was running the leave section and the last job of my day was to muster my current rail warrant book and give it to the OOD. That was for him to issue any warrants if required out of hours. I was just locking up the section when a messenger from AIB came in and said the Admiral there needed a warrant to go to London that evening. When I went to the OOD to get the warrants, the OOD said, "don't worry L/Reg, I'll write it out, send the messenger in to me". I thanked him, said goodnight and went home to my usual chore of bathing the kids and getting them ready for bed. Whilst I was doing this I could never have imagined what was to come, just over 12 hours later.

The background was this: - The OOD had written out the warrant and made it second class, the Admiral took it to the station and changed it without checking it and went into a first class seat. When the ticket inspector checked it and the Admiral said who he was, he couldn't produce his ID card as he didn't have it on him. As you can imagine he had the hump by this time and showed it. The ticket inspector was having none of it and had him taken off the train at Guildford and handed him over to the police. From then on the balloon went up. He didn't arrive in Waterloo, the car and driver didn't know what to do, nobody knew where he was because in all the kerfuffle nobody told the proper persons what was happening. During the night many phone calls were made to Sultan from everyone in the Admiralty from the First sea lord down to Uncle Tom's Cobblers. The strange thing was that the whole of the incident was being meticulously logged down by the OOD as it came in with a air of detached interest, the man, who incidentally caused it all.

The following morning I knew something was up as the Reg block doors opened up automatically to let me through, a kitbag, case and grip flung them against the wall to allow me unimpeded passage. "Strange", I thought, and as I approached my desk, all the papers arranged themselves; my biro set itself ready for use. Odd, I thought and when the combination dial of my key safe started to turn and unlock itself, I thought, 'bloody odd'. Whilst all of this was going on I kept hearing strange mumbling from the staff who wouldn't look up at me. The strange noises translated the myself into " The Fleet Jaunty wants to see you" I went into Cyrils office and lying in front of him was the incident log which was glowing 'red hot' it was almost 'radio active'. Cyril comes out with, "you wrote out a warrant........for Rear Admiral Pillar........to go to London........and you made it out second class. I then started to freeze up and the knees started to knock, my gall bladder started playing up discharging hydrochloric acid into my windpipe, I can't spell the other word. This meant that I was in serious pain, no friendly fireman hosing down my throat with gaviscon, mores the pity; I could have done with him then. I was lucky when the duty CPO who had forgotten something heard the ruckus said to Cyril that it was the OOD that wrote the warrant out. By this time I was transfixed in fear and had gone completely to pieces, 'out of it', I think is the expression. There was thirty four entries in the log from all of the senior officers in the Admiralty and were absolutely awful nothing sanguine there. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall up there. Later that day I was sent for by the Commander and told in no uncertain terms that the impression that this incident gave of Sultan in the eyes of the Admiralty left a lot to be desired and although I tried to protest my innocence it fell on deaf ears, the fact that I was never charged proved the fact as I am sure that had I been found cupable, I would have been shot. The blame rested squarely with the Admiral and nobody else. However, we are not allowed to say that are we. I admit that even today, I have never recovered from that fiasco. It took a few days to get back on Cyril's side but deep down I think he was as shocked as I was. RIP and farewell to a really funny man.

A little bit of Regulating in my life
A Little bit of discipline by my side
A little bit of Joining is all I need
A little bit of victualling is all I see
Closing the S240 in the sun
Writing the S71 all night long

Makes the Fleet Jaunty my man....



Jim MacPherson


I had a lot of time for him, a real gent of the old school who was my Fleet Joss in Pembroke after my return from Hong Kong in 1972.When I got rated RPO,I came into the reg office one morning and didn't have a clue how to work out the system of stiff collared shirts and shirt studs, Cyril didn't bat an eyelid, took me aside and showed me how it was done so at least I looked the part, even if I didn't feel it.He was a staunch mess member and I took many a good bit of advice from him when I became President of the Mess


Bob Bloomfield


I also remember and met Cyril (Pincher). A lovely man, extremely professional and a gresat advert for the Branch. He will be missed but he will always be remembered as someone who served at the top of a great branch and was also one of lifes 'characters'. He will be rememberd with affection by those who new and worked for him and perhaps also those who had reason to respect him.


Harry Summerton

I joined the Regulating Branch in November 1952 and one of my first work colleagues was "Pincher" Martin. He was a relatively new LPM but took to the job with expert professionalism, in my early days he guided me with his "work knowledge" and general, but sometimes, macabre sense of humour. To stand next to him on the Pembroke Gate or in the Reg. Ofrfice was absolute delight. He could deal with the most amazing excuses for geneneral wrong- doing from the average matelot, in that stern but friendly way of his. An amazing character, a good friend and an excellent leader.
Farewell Cyril, I have very fond memories, I have had the same illness but fortunately I recovered.