First female officer appointed as 1st Lt

Written by Godfrey Dykes
© RN Communictions Branch Museum

  Back in 1979, a major Fleet Establishment (HMS Mercury), saw a woman appointed as First Lieutenant, the first female appointment ever made. She was a First Officer WRNS {two and a half stripes} and her name was Rosie Ball. I had the honour and privilege to be her Standing Officer of the Watch. This is a picture of those times.

  A few days ago, Captain Julia Beatrice SIMPSON RN, a Warfare Branch Met officer, a friend of Rosie’s, communicated with ex FCRS Godfrey Dykes (Jeff Dykes) to tell him that Rosie was in the final phase of life suffering from terminal cancer, and domiciled in a Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight. Rosie has asked Julia to “say some words at her memorial service” when that sad event occurs.

  It is with great sadness to report that Rosie passed away in the Earl Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight on the 9th November 2018. She was of course well known and well liked by the Leydene wardroom and by virtue of her appointment an honourary communicator and she was very proud of this. RIP Rosie.