Captain Bailey

Captain HMS Mercury Oct 1978 to Jan 1981

Written by Godfrey Dykes

© RN Communications Branch Museum/Library

  This picture shows Captain John TAIT [right] handing over his Command of HMS Mercury and CSS to Captain David BAILEY on the 6th October 1978. Captain Tait was a TAS Specialist and Captain Bailey was a Gunnery Specialist. By this time the die had long been cast, and many senior officers found themselves Commanding "parts" of the navy out of their specialisation. A good example of this was the appointment in 1967 of Vice Admiral Michael Pollock, a Gunnery Specialist, as FOSM, and at a time when Polaris was being tested and Faslane was being re-built for the nuclear age. Two years later he became Sir Michael Pollock with the award of the KCB.

  A typical wintry scene at HMS Mercury. Captain David Bailey greets Admiral Sir David Williams Commander-in-Chief Portsmouth who has arrived to inspect Divisions of HMS Mercury in February 1979. Thank goodness for the shelter provided by the Drill Shed and the Recreation Centre!