John Kingwell was a Captain in the Royal Navy when Cap John Rodgaard USN invited him to write the Foreword to the new edition of the book on HMS Venomous written and self published by Bob Moore
in 1990. He explains in his Foreword how he came to meet Bob in 1985
while studying history at Loughborough University and joined him on the
staff of the Sea Cadet Unit, TS Venomous.
In October 2013 John Kingwell was promoted to Rear Admiral on taking up
his current appointment as the Director of the Royal Navy's
Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC).
Rear Admiral Kingwell joined the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer
in 1984. He has had four commands: Sussex University Royal Naval
University Unit and its attached patrol vessel HMS Pursuer, the Type 23
frigate HMS Argyll and the Assault Ship HMS Albion. As Commander United
Kingdom Task Group (COMUKTG) he commanded the Response Force Task Group
off of Libya in 2011.
He has also served in the Ministry of Defence on
four occasions. As a Lt Cdr in Operations, as a Capt as the Military
Assistant to both the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff and the 2nd
Permanent Under Secretary and twice within the Directorate of Naval
Resources and Plans – as an SO1 and most recently as the Head of what
became Finance and Military Capability (Navy).
Capt John Rodgaard USN on left with Capt John Kingwell RN in 2009 (left) and HMS Albion, the ship John Kingwell commanded in 2010 when he wrote the Forward to A Hard Fought Ship Courtesy of Rear Admiral John Kingwell RN
A Hard Fought Ship:
the story of HMS Venomous
is both a pleasure and an honour to contribute a foreword to this,
significantly enhanced, edition of Bob Moore’s book outlining the life
of the destroyer HMS Venomous.
I met Bob in 1985, when, after passing out of Dartmouth and having
completed Fleet training, I was sent to Loughborough University to read
history. During these three years I became the seamanship and
navigation officer at the local Sea Cadets unit, named after the town’s
Second World War affiliation, HMS Venomous. I was fortunate, therefore, to become a friend of Bob, then a fellow instructor at the unit, and to learn a little about Venomous. Hence the invitation as a Sub Lieutenant to proof read the original book and some 22 years later to contribute to this.
I commend this book to you. It tells the story of one of the many Royal
Navy destroyers that served in the inter war years and went on to play
such a critical role during the Second World War. But perhaps more
importantly this book tells the story of the officers and men that gave
Venomous, and the ships like
her, their character. It is clear that she served the nation well and,
in the best traditions of the Royal Navy, did all that was asked of her
thoroughly deserving the description as a hard fought ship. Indeed,
having had the enormous privilege of commanding three ships I can think
of no greater tribute to the men of Venomous, and her sister ships, than this book and its title.
J M L Kingwell
Captain Royal Navy
John Kingwell served as seamanship officer, midshipman and sub lieutenant at TS Venomous, returning to his ship during the summer vacation. TS Venomous is
one of very few SCC units to have had a regular Royal Navy officer on
its books and it is particularly appropriate that John Kingwell should
have written the Foreword to the new edition of this book.