Chairman of the Submariners Association

Chairman of the

Submariners Association

Chairman of the Submariners Association

Chairman of the Submariners Association

Barrie Downer joined the RN in January 1962 as an Artificer Apprentice at HMS FISGARD.  After completing the five-year training in HMS COLLINGWOOD, in the Frigate HMS RELENTLESS in the West Indies and in HMS DOLPHIN he qualified as a Radio Electrical Artificer in 1966

He further qualified as Submariner in HMS VALIANT in which he served as the Sonar Maintainer from June 1967 to October 1972.  Then followed two years in the Submarine School in DOLPHIN teaching sonar theory and maintenance techniques.

Next was a year in AUWE Portland for AIO & Fire Control Courses and working in the DCB Project before being promoted SD Officer in November 1975.

More courses followed at RNC Greenwich, RNEC Manadon, DOLPHIN and Faslane RNPS plus six months in Faslane Workshops before joining HMS SPARTAN for two years in build and at sea as Deputy WEO.

Next was two years as Radio, Radar & EW Sea Riding Trials Officer in HMS VERNON followed by three years as a Torpedo Trials Sea Rider with STWG at Faslane.

After a move to FOSM Gosport as Maintenance & Refitting Officer (Weapons) for eighteen months came promotion to Lieutenant Commander and a return to FOSM Faslane as Submarine Weapons Trials Analysis Manager.  His final job in uniform was back in Faslane as Deputy Officer in Charge of the Module Repair & Calibration Facility, Property Manager for PSTO(N) and Senior Officer Mixed Manning (Faslane).

After leaving the Navy in 1994 he became a Retired Officer Grade 2 and was the Officer in Charge at the RN Wireless Station at Crimond for eight years followed by eight years as the Weapons System Acceptance Officer for the ASTUTE Class Project in Barrow working on the first four ASTUTE submarines.

Barrie joined the Submariners Association in Barrow in 2003 and was Secretary of the Branch twice covering most of the years between 2005 and 2020.  Since retirement in 2012 he has, in addition to Branch duties, concentrated on researching Submarine and Naval history, setting up the Australian Submarine Memorial in Barrow, assisting various authors in writing their books and editing both the Barrow Branch and the Submariners Association Newsletters.

Barrie is married to Margaret and they live in Barrow in Furness.  Their five children and nine grandchildren are scattered around the UK and Australia

About our Association

The Submariners Association is an Association of ex and serving Submariners which seeks to maintain the special bonds of friendship, loyalty and comradeship, together with a pride in the Submarine Service, formed during service in Her Majesty's Submarines.

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Contact Info 


  Barrie Downer

National Membership Secretary 

  David Woolterton

National Webmaster 

  David Woolterton

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