London Tender / HMCS PREVOST

Spread the love

HMCS PREVOST, the Naval Reserve Division in London, was established in 1938 and in 1957 had moved into custom built premises at 31 Becher Street at the forks of the Thames River where the North Thames meets the Thames.  Only seven years later, on 30 November 1964, PREVOST, along with NONSUCH in Edmonton, QUEEN in Regina, QUEEN CHARLOTTE in Charlottetown and CHATHAM in Prince Rupert as well as STAR’s Kitchener tender were closed in government defence cutbacks.

It was soon realized that the closure of all the units made it impossible for the naval reserve to fulfil the roles required of it.  There was a serious shortage of diesel mechanics so, in 1977, Cdr Dave Stock, a STAR officer who had served briefly in PREVOST from 1962 till 1964, was sent to London to establish a detachment of STAR that would focus on recruiting and training only that trade.  On 11 January 1978, the detachment opened in A Block of CFB London with LCdr Terry Lyons as OIC, Lt(N) Michael Hoare, who became OIC shortly afterwards, as Training Officer and CPO Robert Leckie as Cox’n. 

Many STAR personnel, including Chief Petty Officer Bill Ross and LCdr Paul Senechal among others, kept the London tender alive while the diesel mechanics who were trained there, like Stephen Beastall, and Jeffrey Gourlay, kept the vessels of the naval reserve running.  Their efforts were vindicated when the tender moved back to Becher Street in 1989, and on 29 September of 1990, was recommissioned as HMCS PREVOST once again.