top of page

Colin Way, who has been a Gosport branch member since retiring as the secretary of the Dolphin Branch of the Association, sadly crossed the bar recently  and the funeral service was held on his home patch on the Isle of Wight. Several Gosport branch members attended including George Guthrie who has submitted the following 'dit' and photos etc. 

WO (Coxn) (SM) Colin Way (“Bear”)


I had the honour and privilege of attending the final farewell service yesterday for our submarine comrade – ex WO(Coxn) (SM) Colin Way (aka “Bear”) . The service was held in the Whippingham Crematorium chapel, Isle of Wight and the service conducted by the Life Celebrant, Mr Jonathon Skeet.


Colin Crossed the Bar on 11th February after a long battle with cancer and spent his final hours being made comfortable by the staff in the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport, IoW. Thankfully he was in no pain and passed away peacefully.


The turnout at the service was impressive with the chapel full to capacity and standing room only for some. Mourners attended from worldwide including retired Commodore Paul Branscombe, (Bear’s CO on Swiftsure), who flew in from Australia the previous evening!


The service was conducted with dignity by Jonathon and the eulogy delivered by Colin’s cousin, Beverley, which was both touching and humorous. It gave us many insights into Bear’s early life living on the Isle of Wight, and also included anecdotes of his service life in submarines, including when he met the then PM Margaret Thatcher, who was visiting a submarine in Faslane and he was introduced to her as “Bear”. She used that name to address him throughout her visit to the submarine!


A final tribute of the Submariners Prayer was read out by Tony Smith of the Gosport branch


The standard was paraded by Phillip Barrington of the IoW (Vectis) Branch of the Submariners Association and a large contingent of SA members from the Wales branch also made the journey to pay their respects to Bear.


Colin was a legend in the Submarine Service and will never be forgotten.


The wake (or celebration of life) was organised (and paid for!) by Colin himself at the Binstead Arms, (formerly the Fleming Arms), just outside Ryde. A superb lunchtime buffet, and, more importantly, a free bar, was enjoyed by all who attended!


George Guthrie

Membership Secretary

Gosport Branch



bottom of page