Crossed the Bar

Sitrep 1, Funeral Arrangements

Sitrep 2, Remembrances.

It is with much sadness that I report that RO(A) Barrie Knapp (member 342) Crossed the Bar this morning (5 Jan 2018) aged 78.

Barrie’s funeral will take place at 14:00 on 25th Jan 2018 at the Weston Mill Crematorium (HERE for their Website and HERE for a map) Old colleagues and shipmates will be very welcome to the service and to join Barrie’s family for refreshments afterwards.

The arrangements for the funeral are being made by Morris Bros (Tavistock) Ltd, (HERE for their Website and HERE for a map).

Family flowers only by family request. Although the recipient Charity has yet to be decided charitable donations in lieu, if desired,  would be welcomed.

On behalf of the RFA Association I offer our sincere condolences to all his family,

Barrie Knapp seen here with Mike Austin.


If you have any remembrances of Barrie please email it to me at and I will post them on this page. I am also looking for photographs of Barrie for this piece and the RFA Association Gallery and Archive, If you have one please email it to me.

Sitrep 2. Remembrances.

Colin Smith Writes :

So sad to hear of Barrie’s passing. We sailed together on Appleleaf in 1984/85 whilst on gulf patrol. Barrie was the 1st R/O, with Jim McKee, also 1st R/O and myself as 2nd R/O. The photo is taken in the bar on New Year’s Eve 1984 whilst we were in transit through the Red Sea prior to taking over from Bayleaf on 6th Jan. Also in the photo (left to right) are Andy 3rd Eng, Mike (Moorhouse?) 4th Eng, and to the right John 3rd Off.
Barrie and I Joined the ship in refit at Immingham, where it was having a new military and commercial radio installation fitted. Barrie’s attention to detail and capacity to engage and get the best out of the contractors ensured that the everything was completed on time, and to such a high standard, that he received a letter of commendation from the then Electronics Superintendent, Ken Henderson MBE. Whatever the situation, and there were quite a few on that patrol, including a man overboard, being buzzed at close range by unannounced UAE jets, as well as HMS Nottingham completely losing her starboard bridge wing on completion of a drift/RAS, Barrie always remained calm and focussed, with no headless chickens anywhere in sight! Whilst on leave Barrie loved his golf, which he still played even after an operation to have his ankle fused, following his retirement. He loved his “Westies” (West Highland Terriers) and had a real passion and talent for constructing very elaborate water gardens. He also had a passion for speed and fast cars, which was not always apparent, given his gentle nature. Barrie was a true “Gent” with a great sense of humour, and will be sadly missed.
I last met up with Barrie a couple of years ago, and we kept in touch by email/letter, usually around this time of year. Barrie remained in contact and organised reunions of his old school – Tavistock School. After Barrie and his wife Lorna divorced he remained single although in later years he did have a companion, but she died a few years ago.
Richard Pocock Writes:-

Barrie grew up in Tavistock where his mother owned a pork butcher shop selling what must have been the best pork sausages in the world. They later sold the business, bought a pub away from Devon, and then retired to Gloucester.

 Whenever Barrie was on leave from his job as Radio Officer with the RFA and I was studying for all three of my Deck Officer Certificates at Plymouth Maritime, we would enjoy life together. From coffee bars to Hunt Balls to the Barbican Sailing Club (the Groin Exchange) and to a litany of Devon pubs, the best of which was the Weary Friar, known to us as the Knackered Monk. Cavalry twill trousers, suede shoes, a lick of Brylcreem and svelte cars. Barrie loved his cars – as did lots of young Devon lasses. A TR 3A followed by a Lotus S2 (tuned by Piper Racing) and an Aston Martin DB5. Marriage brought him to heel with an MGBT, Scimitar and finally a SAAB Aero.

A few years after his divorce from Lorna, Monica became his partner. Sadly, in recent years, she died leaving Barrie on his own with two small dogs, Oscar and Daisy. Barry was heart broken when Daisy was run over by a delivery van.

In recent years he had developed Myeloma for which he knew there was no cure. He was assiduous in his pursuit of hope. Brave, too. And never lost that smile. Late in 2016 he started on the last drug.

On my annual visits from Australia I would spend a day with Barrie. Always the Tavistock market and most recently a drive to Sheepstor Church to visit the burial ground of the family of Rajah Brooke of Sarawak. Having visited Borneo twice in recent years aboard Queen Mary 2 it was an ethereal experience. James is a hero of mine.

Barrie was stoic and philosophical. He knew what was happening to him and he became close to Macmillan Nursing and Derriford Cancer Care.

Our communication was impulsive and his emails petered out in the last half of 2017 apart from a joke sent on the 9th October which he prefaced with “Thought this might raise a smile “

Yes, Barrie, I’ll always smile when I think of you.

Barrie’s middle brother, Julian, predeceased him. He is survived by his younger brother, Keith.

Richard Pocock   Master Mariner FG     Sydney, Australia     15/03/2018