Commander Ben F M Hughes BA (Hons) CMA CGMA Royal Navy
Educated at Dover Grammar School for Boys, Ben read History at the University of Reading and joined the Royal Navy as a direct entry graduate in 2001. Initial Fleet Time took place on-board HM Ships CAMPBELTOWN, GRAFTON and EDINBURGH, while early career highlights included playing Rugby in Warsaw and winning the Strategic Studies Prize at BRNC. Early appointments included time in Norway and Denmark with 815 Naval Air Squadron and an appointment to the Headquarters of the Defence College of Logistics at Deepcut prior to Initial Staff Course. Following appointments as HMS GLOUCESTER’s Deputy Logistics Officer and in Navy Command’s Resources and Programmes department, Ben studied accountancy for a year, during which he was selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander.
Ben then spent 2 years in Logistics Command as HMS DARING’s Logistics Officer, deploying to the Gulf on OPERATION KIPION (the first operational deployment of a Type 45 destroyer). He then worked as a man power planner for Defence Equipment and Support, followed by another period in Logistics Command as the first Deputy Commander Logistics in HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and a third Logistics Command assignment as Portsmouth Flotilla’s Deputy Logistics Officer, during which Ben was selected for promotion to Commander.
Ben now works as the Maritime Domain Account Manager for the Logistics, Commodities and Services (Transformation) programme in Defence Equipment and Support, managing the interface between the civilian delivery partner and all maritime customers within the 13 year, £7Bn contract.
A trustee since 2007, Ben’s interest is in maximising charitable support to beneficiaries and widening the services provided by ARNO. He lives in Wiltshire with his wife Catherine, and their 2 loud and energetic children. During his sporadic free time outside of work and transporting his children around Wiltshire, Ben enjoys military history and occasionally runs around a field pretending to play rugby.
Colonel Roger Williams Royal Marines
Roger Williams was commissioned into the Royal Marines in 1966. During his early career he saw service in 40, 42 and 45 Cdo, and with 1st Bn Royal Anglian Regt in their winter warfare role. He held staff appointments in the MOD, Cincfleet and HQ Cdo Forces, and in the latter stages of his career was Comdt CTCRM, and Comdt RM Poole.
On retiring from the Corps in 1998, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association. In the same year, he assumed the role of Secretary General of the European Warehousing Logistics Federation, and from 2004 he has been the Secretary of the International Federation of Warehousing Logistics Association. UKWA is the trade association for the Logistics Service Providers in the United Kingdom.
Roger Williams is married with two ‘juvenile‘ adult sons (in their 30s), and spends his spare time keeping himself young with his grandchildren. He lives in Kent with his wife Sara. Outside his family responsibilities, he keeps himself fit by cycling and swimming, and has developed a late, but active interest in amateur dramatics.
The Venerable Martin Poll QHCBA (Hons) CTh Royal Navy
Having joined the Royal Navy in 1990, Martin has served in a number of sea-going and shore-side appointments, including HMS RALEIGH and the Commando Helicopter Force, serving operationally with them during the civil war that developed after the break up of the former Yugoslavia.
He has served at the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, (94-97) and after the Initial Staff Course he served in HMS INVINCIBLE, seeing active service in the Gulf during the no-fly operations over Iraq, and in operations off the coast of the former Yugoslavia. He subsequently served in HM Naval Base Clyde, and in RNAS YEOVILTON, there having particular responsibility for the Fleet Air Arm Memorial Church (St Bartholomew’s Yeovilton).
Two staff appointments followed; Staff Chaplain to the Chaplain of the Fleet, and then Staff Chaplain (Operations), with responsibility to CINCFLEET for deploying chaplains (Including RM). In 2007 he became chaplain to HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, and later that year Martin was part of Exercise Long Look, the exchange programme with the Royal Australian Navy, as a member of staff at the Tri-Service Defence Academy, Canberra.
After Australia Martin was appointed to HM Naval Base Portsmouth as Chaplaincy Team Leader, and with responsibility for the Historic Dockyard Church of St Ann.
Martin has been a member of the Admiralty Interview Board for prospective chaplains, and was appointed in January 09 to be an assessor for those seeking ordination within the Church of England. This is a role he performs on behalf of the Church of England at large. On 1st November 2010 he took up the role of Principal Anglican Chaplain and Archdeacon for the Royal Navy, having also been appointed an Honorary Chaplain to the Queen.
In October 2012 Martin retired early from The Royal Navy having been appointed by her Majesty the Queen to a canonry at St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle. This carries with it responsibility for Her Majesty’s private Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park. He is a Governor of St George’s School Windsor and The Royal School, Windsor Great Park.
Martin was educated in Enfield, Middlesex, prior to reading English and Theology at the University of Kent at Canterbury (Christ Church College). After training for the Priesthood at Oxford (Ripon College Cuddesdon), he served his title at John Keble Church, Mill Hill.A.
Commander Bob Grainger Royal Navy
Bob Grainger joined the Royal Navy as a Supply Specialist in 1973 and subsequently obtained a degree in Systems and Management at City University. Following various sea and shore appointments, he was promoted Commander in 1990 and appointed Base Supply Officer at RNAS Yeovilton. In 1992 he joined DNOA(SW) as the Supply Officers appointer, and over the following two years he saw the amalgamation of Supply and Instructor Officers’ appointing under DNOA(SI) and the rustication of the Naval Secretary’s Department to Portsmouth. In 1994, other opportunities beckoned and he left the RN to commence a new career in the City of London.
On leaving the RN, Bob joined Thomas Miller & Co Ltd, the managers of various Marine and Professional Indemnity mutual insurance associations, including the UK Protection & Indemnity Club. Following appointments in HR and Operations, he was appointed to the Board of the Holding Company in 2000 and since 2004 he has been the Group Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for all aspects of operational support to the business in UK and overseas.
In 2005/6, Bob was Master of the Worshipful Company of Cooks and he continues to be actively involved on various Company committees. He has also been Chairman of the Friends of Dulwich College and continues to serve on the School’s Development Council. Bob is married to Nicki and they share interests in golf, dinghy sailing and the ongoing parenting of their two post-teenage sons!
Commander Joe Turner Royal Navy
Joe Turner joined BRNC Dartmouth in January 1986 as a Midshipman UCE (S), before studying languages at Edinburgh University. After graduating, Fleet Time, and a year in the Spanish Navy’s sail training vessel, he served in HMS GLASGOW and then as SO (Tenders) in HMNB Rosyth, before legal training, qualifying as a Naval barrister in 1997. He was Supply (Logistics) Officer in HMS NORFOLK, amid a series of legal appointments in Northwood, Plymouth and Portsmouth, before promotion to Commander in 2006. A MOD appointment (DCDC Shrivenham) was followed by Cdr RP at BRNC Dartmouth/HMS RALEIGH under the revised Core Training structure. Further legal appointments followed including Op Herrick in 2010 (where he was awarded QCVS) and Fleet Legal Adviser during operations off Libya in 2011, before voluntary retirement in 2012 to become CEO/COO of a Barristers Chambers in the Temple, London.
Joe returned to legal practice in the Regulatory sector, specifically workplace pensions, at the end of 2015. Married with 3 children, Joe lives near Chichester and enjoys running, cycling and exploring the Downs and Coast with the family and dog.
Commander Eunice E Marland Royal Navy
Born in Hampshire but moving to Somerset at an early age, Eunice Marland attended Manchester University where she specialised in neuroscience and medical biology. Having been an active member of Manchester and Salford University Royal Naval Unit throughout her four years at University, she joined the Royal Navy as a direct entry graduate in January 2000.
Early Logistics assignments took place on-board HM Ships SHEFFIELD, INVINCIBLE and OCEAN and at RNAS Yeovilton and MOD. Eunice then became a Naval barrister undertaking pupillage at 23 Essex Street, London where she prosecuted and defended a wide range of criminal and civil matters for civilian clients as well as acting for Naval personnel appearing in Court Martial. On completion of legal training she applied her recently-obtained knowledge of international law as she was seconded to the European Naval Force Headquarters for Operation ATALANTA as it acted to counter piracy off the coast of Somalia. Assignment to the Service Prosecuting Authority preceded her appointment as HMS RICHMOND’s Logistics Officer and deployment with EUNAVFOR off Somalia using the Rules of Engagement she has helped develop two years previously. During RICHMOND’s upkeep period Eunice was tasked to join HMS OCEAN (for a second time) as the Deputy Logistics Officer, She then spent a busy couple of years as the Regional Legal Adviser in both the Portsmouth and the Plymouth Offices advising Commanding Officers on a wide range of issues including discipline, international law and employment / terms and conditions of Service. Eunice was promoted to Commander in June 2014 to take up the role of leading the Navy’s Service Complaints team.
Eunice lives in Wiltshire with her husband and their two small children. During her free time outside of family and work commitments Eunice enjoys travelling both in the UK and abroad. Having recently become a trustee, Eunice is looking forward to being involved in the benevolence activities of the Royal Naval Officers Charity.
PRESIDENT - Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB OBE DL
After 43 years of service, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope retired from the Royal Navy in April 2013. He was the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff for nearly 4 busy years which was the culmination of a career that included Command of submarines HMS ORPHEUS and HMS SPLENDID, the frigate HMS LONDON and finally HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. He has had a number of appointments in NATO including working for 3 years in Allied Command Transformation based in Norfolk Virginia as the Deputy Supreme Commander. He is delighted to take the tiller as the President of the Royal Navy Officers’ Charity and Association of Royal Naval Officers.
Commodore A Picton Royal Navy
Annette Picton served in the WRNS and, latterly, the Royal Navy from 1973 until 2005. She undertook a wide range of appointments throughout this time and particularly enjoyed formulating tri-Service personnel policy during the early years of ‘purple’ Directorates within the Ministry of Defence. Her involvement in personnel policy continued during the latter part of her career and her final appointment was the Director of Resettlement. She was the Chief Naval Officer for Women during her last seven years in the Royal Navy.
Annette has focused on charitable activities in retirement and has been a trustee of the Royal Patriotic Fund and is a Governor of the E Hayes Dashwood Foundation, which provides accommodation for disabled ex-Service personnel and members of the mercantile marine. She is a Trustee of the Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Fund where she also chairs the Finance Committee, She is the Vice Chair for the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity. She is involved in local branches of the Association of Wrens, St John Ambulance and Seafarers UK.
Wayland Austin spent 8 years as a Seaman Officer in the Royal Navy. He specialised as a Fighter Controller and saw active service in Northern Ireland, the 1st Gulf War and the Balkans (twice). He served in HMS GLOUCESTER and subsequently in 801 NAS, the Sea Harrier squadron and finally in 899 NAS, the Harrier training squadron.
Upon retiring from the RN, he entered the world of Corporate Finance in the City. He spent 12 years as an Investment Banker, firstly at Hoare Govett before joining Merrill Lynch and finally at Kleinwort Benson. He was then invited to join Compass Group plc, where he ran their military support services business in Germany and across Europe and the Middle East. Having sold this business, he returned to the UK to work for the CEO. He subsequently joined NetJets, the world's largest private jet business, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. He was responsible for the £150m turnover Private Jet Card business across EMEA. NetJets was the 5th largest airline in Europe. For the last 3 years, he has built his own property investment company, concentrating on the prime, central London, residential property market. He has also consulted for a number of well-known, world-leading businesses, principally around enhancing the customers' experience and profitable growth. Married with 2 small children, Wayland lives in Wimbledon. He is an avid cyclist, regularly participating in long-distance endurance events. In 2014, he rode the 225 miles from Manchester to London in 12 hours 28 minutes and from London to Paris in less than 24 hours (he got the train home!). He is also an RFU referee at Rosslyn Park FC.
Rear Admiral Paul Bennett CB OBE
Rear Admiral Paul Bennett joined the Royal Navy in September 1985 and has enjoyed an extensive sea going career. Early jobs included Navigating Officer of HMS CYGNET in Northern Ireland and HMS BIRMINGHAM for a deployment to the Arabian Gulf. As a Warfare Officer, he served in HMS WESTMINSTER, the highlight of which was an operational deployment in the South Atlantic. He has commanded at every rank; HMS BITER, the patrol vessel of the Manchester Universities Royal Naval Unit 1991-1992, the Minehunter, HMS ATHERSTONE 1998-1999 and, from 1999-2000, the destroyer HMS EXETER, the highlight of which was a return to the Gulf. As a Captain, he was the first Commanding Officer of HMS DARING, the first T45 Destroyer 2008-2009 and, following promotion to Commodore, commanded the Amphibious Task Group operating in the Indian Ocean, Norwegian Arctic and on the West Coast of the USA 2009-2011. Interspersed between sea going appointments, he has served ashore as the Fleet Operations Officer, the Maritime Desk Officer to the Director of Operational Capability in the MOD, as capability manager in Navy Command for Above Water Capability and Maritime Security, for which he was honoured as an OBE, and for 6 months in Baghdad as the Advisor to the senior Iraqi hierarchy in their Joint Headquarters. From 2011-2013, he was the Commodore Naval Personnel Strategy, responsible for reshaping the Naval Service in the aftermath of SDSR 10. Promoted to Rear Admiral in February 2013 he spent 7 months as Director of the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, setting the operational context for Defence, and then two years as Chief of Staff, Joint Forces Command, steering this new organisation through the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015. He was appointed as a Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB) in 2016.
Rear Admiral Bennett is an alumnus of Higher Command and Staff Course (2007) and the Windsor Leadership Trust, a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, a Younger Brother of Trinity House and a Liveryman of the Carpenters’ Company. He lives in Chichester with his wife Kay and their two daughters Chelsie and Grace. When not kept busy by his family and garden, he maintains ‘enthusiastic amateur status’ in his sporting interests of mountain-biking, sailing and rowing.
Elizabeth Gibson is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Elizabeth spent a number of years working for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) before becoming a self-employed financial training consultant. Elizabeth is an associate member of ARNO having been married to a Naval Officer who died a number of years ago.
Before joining the boards of ARNO and the RNOC Elizabeth served as a trustee with The Arthrogryposis Group (TAG), a national UK charity. Her experiences as a TAG Trustee and through raising a disabled child has given her a considerable understanding of the challenges faced by people with physical disabilities. Elizabeth is particularly interested in assisting in the areas of Benevolence and financial administration.
Elizabeth lives in West London. She has three children in their twenties and enjoys attending concerts, theatres and walking long distance paths.
Commander Graham Hockley Royal Navy
Commander Graham Hockley was appointed as the Secretary to Trinity House in 2009, heading the Secretariat and running its charities and looking after its maritime Fraternity.
Prior to this he had been a Director of the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology responsible for Technical and professional Affairs and Membership Services for the 15,000 members. However, his career began in the Royal Navy serving from 1973 to 2001 as an engineer officer in a variety of ships, training establishments, procurement and the MoD.
Interests comprise hill walking, photography, maritime history, and essential DIY of a 300 year old cottage. He and his wife Joanna live in West Sussex, where he is a parish councillor, they have one son James
Surgeon Commander Funmi Chirnside BSC MBCHB LLM MRCOG MRCGP FCMI Royal Navy
Funmi joined the Royal Navy in 2001 and following various training roles ashore and afloat was promoted to Surgeon Lieutenant Commander in 2004 and appointed to HMS SULTAN. On promotion to Surgeon Commander in 2006 Funmi served as the Principal Medical Officer (PMO) in HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. 2007 saw a move overseas to the Tri-Service unit in Cyprus before returning to the UK in 2009 to take up the appointment of PMO at the Northwood Joint Headquarters. Staff roles included SO1 Healthcare, Defence Medical Services and SO1 Responsibility – Strategic Commissioning Team. Her final military role was with the Household Cavalry Regiment.
Since leaving the Navy in 2015 Funmi has worked as a Locum General Practitioner for the NHS and currently covers the duties of Medical Officer at a number of Male and Female Prisons in the London area. Prior to joining the RNOC and ARNO Funmi acted, for 13 years, as a Trustee for the Redeemed Evangelical Mission.
In her spare time Funmi enjoys reading, travelling and learning about other cultures. Funmi also enjoys Cuban Salsa.
CHAIRMAN - Surgeon Commodore Jim Sykes OStJ FRCP FFOM Royal Navy
Jim Sykes joined the Royal Navy as a Medical Cadet in 1971. Graduating from the University of Dundee in 1973 he began a Short Service Commission which progressively extended to a Full Career Commission from which he retired in November 2008.
As a specialist in Diving and Undersea Medicine he enjoyed an Exchange appointment with the United States Navy in Bethesda, MD. After a period as Head of Undersea Medicine at the Institute of Naval Medicine he diversified into the broader reaches of naval occupational health and occupational medicine specialist training. Senior appointments included the Director of Health (Navy) and Professor of Naval Occupational Medicine. He was the Defence Postgraduate Medical Dean from 2002 until 2005 and from then until retirement was Medical Officer in Charge at the Institute of Naval Medicine.
He became an Elected Member of the Board of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine in 1994, was Director of Continuing Medical Education from 1995-97, and Academic Registrar between 1996 and 1999. He was elected President of the Faculty in 1999 for a three year term of office.
Married with a son and daughter in their thirties, Jim lives in Alverstoke with his wife Liz. Their interests include travel, cooking, sailing, narrowboats and walking.
DEPUTY CHAIRMAN - Commodore David Marsh CBE Royal Navy
David Marsh was educated at the Royal Hospital School, joined the Royal Navy in 1975 as a University Cadet Entrant and graduated from Aberystwyth University with a Joint Honours degree in Politics and Political Science.
As a Logistics Officer he completed four Charge appointments including RNH GIBRALTAR, HMS DOLPHIN and both HMS COVENTRY and HMS OCEAN as they each emerged out-of-build into operational service.
Amongst the normal range of sea and shore appointments he was involved in Operation TELLER providing humanitarian relief following the impact of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and Nicaragua, successive deployments to the Middle East and NATO deployments in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
He was the first Royal Navy Officer to be appointed as the Deputy Commander of an Army Logistics Brigade and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan with the Joint Support Command Headquarters as part of Operation HERRICK.
David left the Royal Navy after 36 years of service in 2011 in the rank of Commodore and was awarded a CBE in the Birthday Honours List that year. He then joined BAE Systems initially responsible for their Supply Chain and subsequently had the Industry lead for Naval Base preparations for the arrival of the QEC aircraft carriers.
He is a Trustee of his local Sea Cadet Unit, as a former member of the Lawn Tennis Association Council he retains a strong and active interest in tennis and has recently been selected as a Magistrate assigned to the SE Hampshire Local Justice Area. David lives with his wife Sally in Warsash and they have a son and daughter both now following their respective careers.