Crossed the Bar

Note, Sitrep 2 consists of a number of tributes to Paul, reproduced at the bottom of this page.

I have just received (15/1/15) the following sad news from John Littlechild:-

It falls to me to pass on the sad news that Paul (Polly) Perkins (Former Purser of this Parish) passed away peacefully on 28th December after a protracted illness.   The funeral rites will be held at Glynn Valley Crematorium in Bodmin (HERE for their website and HERE for a Map) at 11.30 a.m. on Monday 26th January, and after at Charlies Bar, Bodmin RFC (HERE for their website and HERE for a Map).  All will be welcome to attend and those planning to do so are asked to contact Peter Willmott ( or 07730 921 636 in order to estimate numbers for catering etc.
Family flowers only please.


Family flowers only.  Donations in lieu of flowers gratefully received to be split between Launceston Memory Café and Launceston Hospital League of Friends.  Donations may be made to the funeral director (below) or direct to websites of these charities or .

Funeral Director

G Gubbin, Penlaurel, Langdon, Launceston, Cornwall PL15 8NL (HERE for their website and HERE for a map. Tel: 01566 785340

On behalf of the RFA Association I offer our sincere condolences to all Paul’s family.

If you have any remembrances of Paul you would like to share please email me at . We have now received a photograph of Paul but other photos, especially of his RFA service would be very welcome. A tribute page has been set up on Facebook at


Mike Ainley writes:-

I first met Paul through a friend some years after he had left the RFA. He was living in Egham in Surrey at the time and working for British Airways.
Paul was a lovely man, who had a great sense of fun and the eye of an artist. Everything he did whether it was cooking, decorating, gardening or putting up the Christmas decorations was always a master piece.
Soon after meeting Paul my better half and I were invited to his Boxing day party at his lovely home and that was where I discovered a wall full of RFA ships plaques. Quizzing him about this I discovered he had been a Purser in the RFA.
He clearly was very proud of being in the RFA and had lots of tales to tell. Many of which are definitely unrepeatable.
My thoughts go out to all his family and friends, Paul’s loss is great but lift your head and smile just as he would have done.
RIP dear friend

John Littlechild writes:-

Paul Perkins – Colleague and Friend

Although I have known Paul for a long long time, I have to admit that I knew very little about his formative years, except that he was born in Greenock, Scotland.   It must have been about 1962 when I was in the Royal Navy, stationed in Chatham, that I was introduced to him by a mutual friend in London.   He had, I understood, recently been demobbed from the Royal Air Force and was currently working for the BBC at Telly Centre in White City (The BBC does a nice line in teaspoons I discovered) and led to several most interesting and entertaining visits to White City during the coming months.
I fear that my chronology is somewhat lacking after all these years, but it was not long before Paul decided to run away to sea, and he joined P & O, serving, to the best of my memory, mostly in Canberra and Oriana, and based in Southampton.   After all the horror stories he related regarding life in the Pazzie Boats, mostly told in the pub over a sherbert or two, I surprised myself somewhat, by deciding that when my time in the RN came to an end in 1968, I would follow suit –  I even went as far as to going for an interview at their offices in Leman Street (I think) and was all set to join my mate as a Writer with P & O.
Paul and I did not see much of each other for quite a while, then one day I received a letter from him (Yes, the very one with “Dorothy Perkins Home for Unmarried Mothers” emblazoned accross the back – which caused me not a little explaining to do!!!!   The letter was to tell me all about his new job with the RFA.   Now, in those days we matelots didn’t know much about the RFA – they just turned up when “Engines” needed juice and so I found his descriptions interesting, and I decided to give it a whirl when the time came.   In the meantime I knew that Paul had sailed a couple of trips in Retainer, one with Mike Otway, and one with the mighty O’Flaherty, and at least one trip with Andy Sykes in Resurgent.   He latterly got to sail single handed in “The Yacht” with Archie Proudlock commanding.   So, you see, Paul was largely to blame for me joining too.
He finally decided to swallow the anchor and joined the then BEA out of LHR with “daily bombing runs over Berlin and exotic night stopovers in Glasgow!   He found a nice little maisonette in Isleworth and he suggested that I share with him, and although by this time I had joined the RFA myself and was spending long periods in the Far East (Remember that chaps, nine month appointments) I agreed to join him and so began one of the most happy periods of my life.   Our abode, being very close to Heathrow was constantly besieged by an assortment of trolley Dollies at all times of the day and night.   Never a dull moment I can tell you.   I guess this  was when Paul’s Open House Christmas Lunch came to be traditional.   He was an excellent cook and loved to entertain, however, he was one of those cooks who would, if he had 100 saucepans in the kitchen, he would use a hundred, and if you didn’t mind getting your lunch at 6 p.m.?????   After this period, Paul moved first to Surbiton, thence to Wimbledon, then Egham Surrey, until he finally retired in the West Country.   We did not see a great deal of each other at this time, although we kept in touch, and his Christmas card was always the first to arrive – this last Christmas, sadly, was the first time we did not get a card, but he obviously loved living in Launceston and made a lot of friends there.   He was always kind, generous and loyal, and frequently very comical too.
In conclusion I can say that I never, in all the years that I knew Paul, found anyone who had anything but good to say about him, and he was one of Nature’s True Gentlemen.   May he rest in Peace.

John Littlechild
Nonthaburi, Thailand
24th January 2015


Richard Lewis writes:-

The passing of another RFA friend is a sad occasion indeed. My condolences to family and friends.

Although I never personally sailed with Paul Perkins, it reminded me of my time on RFA Bacchus in 1980 as a fresh faced Galley boy, doing the regular Chatham NAAFI run to Gib, Malta, Cyprus.

The purser, a larger than life chap called “Polly” Perkins (although I am fairly sure his first name was Warren).…