- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- Biographies and personal histories, Obituaries
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Nirimba
- September 1994 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Anybody who served in HMAS NIRIMBA between 1956 and its closure in 1994 would have known Jack Shepperd. He died on Wednesday, 17th August, 1994 aged 86. Apart from family members, NIRIMBA was represented by Captains David Blazey, Brian Swan and Garry Stewart as well as Mr Charles Loines and Lieutenant Vince Fazio.
Jack was born on 2/1/1908. His father was a Stoker in the Royal Navy and at the age of 11, Jack was enrolled at the Greenwich Hospital Naval School, thence at HMS FISGARD, completing his apprenticeship at Chatham Dockyard and graduating as an Engine Room Artificer, later serving in a number of ships in that capacity.
During the 1930s Jack specialised in Aircraft Hydraulic Catapult Machinery, was promoted to CERA in 1939 and was at sea in HMS ILLUSTRIOUS at the Battle of Taranto and promoted to Warrant Engineer in.1944. He was invested with the DSM by King George VI in 1946 as a result of numerous improvements and modifications he had made to Catapults and Flight Deck machinery.
In 1948, aged 40, Jack retired from the Royal Navy but did not have a long retirement as the RAN knowing of his skills, and having taken delivery of HMAS SYDNEY, asked for his services. He rejoined the RN for two years and was sent to Australia. Two years became eight and in 1956 Jack transferred to the RANVR.
In 1956 among others, Jack was instrumental in setting up HMAS NIRIMBA as the RAN Apprenticeship Training Establishment, using his Greenwich and FISGARD background to formulate training programmes for Engineering Apprentices as well as Basic Fitting training for all categories. In 1968 Jack retired but remained at NIRIMBA for a further six years. He was awarded the MBE for his efforts in 1967.
Jack died after a long illness. His contribution to RAN Apprentice training was immense and valuable and thousands of young and not so young Australians would have just cause to remember Jack and his contribution to their skills and progress in life. He is survived by his second wife Nell, sons Barry (USA), Mike (MUDGEE), grandchildren and great grandchildren. His first wife Joan died on 4/6/79.
Vale Jack, your life’s work was well worth while!