Barrie Downer’s Patron’s Commendation

Barrie Downer Presentation

Admiral Sir James Perowne, the SA Patron, gave a short introduction before the Secretary summarised Barrie’s career, achievements, and contribution to the submarine community.

Barrie Downer

Barrie served for 32 years as a nuclear submariner, both as an Artificer and later as a Special Duties Weapons Engineering Officer. On retirement from the Service, he transferred to a Civil Service post in the Defence Procurement Agency that established him in the Astute program at Barrow in Furness.

He joined the Barrow in Furness Branch of the Submariners Association in 2003 and within 18 months, became their Branch Secretary. He later joined the National Management Committee, was elected as ‘Branch Vice Chairman’ and is currently Branch President.

Barrie is a noted submarine ‘historian’ whose services have been much welcomed over the years. He produces the Association’s ‘In Depth’ quarterly newsletter that has a wide distribution, now boosted by internet channels.

Additionally, he produces the Barrow Branch monthly newsletter ‘Periscope View’ and is the first point of contact for submarine Veterans requiring information on submarine related issues.

Barrie is a member of the Friends of the Submarine Museum Committee and is currently researching the stories of submariners lost on duty for incorporation into the On-Line Book of Remembrance. He is also the editor of their yearbook ‘All Round Look’.

Barrie was elected to be the Submarine Association Chairman to fill a sudden vacancy. This was a busy and complex period of change as the Association members were introduced to the formation of the Submarine Family and other measures under consideration to modernise the conduct of the association business. After two years, the main objectives were achieved, and the remainder are ‘work in progress’. A long-term health issue now has required Barrie to step down from the Charmanship.

We all wish him well.


Barrie’s family, the Morecambe Bay Branch, the National Treasurer, and others joined Barrow Branch Members and Associates for this prestigious occasion.

Barrie Downer Presentation

Sir James read out the wording of the Commendation and presented Barrie with a framed copy.

I wholeheartedly commend him for his dedication and total commitment to the Submariners Association. He has given exceptional service over so many years.

Admiral Sir James Perowne KCVO KBE

Patron, Submariners Association

Despite his health issues Barrie managed to stay the pace and enjoy the afternoon with all those assembled.

Margaret, Barrie’s wife, was presented with a gift in thanks for her support to Barrie enabling him to continue with his relentless pursuit of all things submarines.

Sir James was wished happy birthday as his birthday was on the following day and presented with a token gift to help celebrate it.

After the Loyal and Absent Friends toasts, group photos were taken, and a light buffet lunch was enjoyed by all.

I echo Sir James’ comments regarding the presentation, BZ all round. What an accolade for Barrie to receive from the Submariners Association, delivered by the Patron himself, surrounded by his family and friends from the club and beyond must have been a real treat and tonic at this most difficult of times.

Thank you for inviting us to join you and for sending the Admiral’s comments, it really does seem that he has accepted the offer for our next Trafalgar Night, I will have to get on with the invitation pronto. Thank you again for including us in Barrie’s Presentation and refreshments afterwards.

Yours Aye

Mark Lister

Morecambe Bay Branch

From Sir James:

Thanks for organising the presentation so well and getting so many attendees there. Barrie seemed to enjoy it and by the end, he was looking almost his old self and forgetting his awful medical problems.

It was good to meet so many old friends and I am looking forward to the Morecambe Branch Traf night next year. I have loosely pencilled in 18-20 Oct 2024 awaiting firmer dates from the branch.

Many thanks again to you and Sue for all you did to make it such a successful event and serve a perfect light lunch.

Very best wishes


Listening to Sir James’ words and reading the Commendation I almost thought that it was all about someone else!  It is very nice to know that my limited efforts on behalf of the Barrow Branch and the wider Association have been appreciated.
Barrie Downer