Celebrating the Life of Lt. Cdr. Terence Walter Appleby, Royal Australian Navy 27 Sep 1931 – 30 Apr 2019 by John Buchanan.
Terry joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Telegraphist in May 1947 at HMS Bruce, a Boy’s Training Establishment in Crail, East Fife, Scotland and he and I were in the same class, Collingwood 102. Our paths in the RN never passed, so it came as a surprise to me that we should meet up later when he visited the UK with his wife Bette to show her where he did two courses in HMS Mercury in his chequered career.
He was mentioned in despatches as a Telegraphist whilst serving onboard HMS Cardigan Bay during the Korean War in 1952. Other ships he served in were Vanguard, Jamaica, Diadem, Wakeful and for three years at Kranji 1954-1956 and Londonderry in 1957 after which he decided to leave the RN and join the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1958
Soon promoted to Petty Officer. In 1967 I believe he attended a training course in HMS Mercury as a Sub Lt. and completed a Long Course in 1976 as a Lt. Cdr. RNZN having been promoted in 1975. It was in 1977 that he left the RNZN and simultaneously was appointed to the Royal Australian Navy Emergency List as a Lt. Cdr. (C), Ironically, he was seconded back to the RNZN for training purposes. On finally returning to Australia he took up various Staff appointments before becoming the Executive Officer in HMAS Lonsdale, a training base in 1982, retiring in 1985.
Not for long though, because in 1987 he was asked to rejoin and took up an appointment at The Defence Establishment HMAS Nirimba as Naval Training Officer until, yes you guessed it, retiring in 1993.
Finally! Terry suffered terribly before he passed away and I had a most moving letter from Bette and a copy of the Order of Service at his funeral which contained the following Irish Blessing:
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sunshine warm upon your face
May the rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand
Added to which was ‘ May your spirit soar and the love of your family sail with you’. I understand that the RSL in Eastbourne Road, Capel Sound, South Victoria was a great help to Bette and her family. A truly remarkable man.