Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Larkinley Lane
- Media Type:
- Street Name: Larkinley Lane
Name of Veteran: Malcolm ‘Alf’ Larkin 1946-
Rank: Chief Petty Officer
Ship Served: HMS Ajax Frigate
Date of Service on Ship: 14th April 1976 to 6th March 1978
Year of Visit/Dedication: August 27, 2016
Veteran or Family Visit: Alf Larkin
Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: No
Died at Battle: No
Malcolm ‘Alf’ Larkin was born in Luton in 1946, after his father returned from four years as a Japanese Prisoner of War. In 1962 he joined the Royal Navy at the age of fifteen and entered the notorious HMS Ganges Training Establishment. He served on a number of ships and shore establishments as a Stores Accountant, looking after food, clothing and in the earlier years, rum. It was in July 1971 that he joined the newly formed Catering Branch as a Petty Officer Caterer.
Throughout his naval career Alf was a keen Boxer and in 1970 he was the Combined Service Champion of the Far East Fleet. Two years later he became the Welterweight Champion of the Royal Navy. While serving HMS Ajax he coached a team and on entering the Plymouth Command Championships seven Ajax boxers reached the finals; six winning and five inside the distance. It was a new record for a small ship.
While onboard HMS Mercury he met Mary, a Leading ‘Wren’ (Women’s Royal Navy) who worked in his Office, and they later became engaged.
In April 1976 Alf was promoted to Chief Petty Officer Caterer and joined HMS Ajax where he was responsible for ordering the food supplies for 240 men, menu planning and running the accounts. In December 1977 Alf and Mary were married in Saxmundham, Suffolk. Eleven Ajax crew members and one ‘Wren’ acted as a guard of honor outside the Church.
Alf left the Royal Navy in May 1978 and began work as a self-employed Double Glazing salesman for Anglian Windows, the largest Home Improvement Company in the UK. In 1983 Alf became the Top Salesman in the Country, smashing the previous record by over a £100.000.
In 1994 Alf set up his own company, Larkin Windows, in Weymouth, Dorset where he and Mary had settled after leaving the Service. Within five years Larkin Windows had grown to be the largest Company in West Dorset, employing over 50 people and having 22 Fitting Vans on the road. In 2004 the Company was sold to Apple Panels and is still trading as Larkin Windows. Alf and Mary have now enjoyed eleven years of retirement, keeping themselves busy with charity work and fundraising. Alf is on the Committee for the HMS Ajax and River Plate Veterans Association acting as Treasurer, Standard Bearer and Rum Bosun at the reunions.
- Copyright Statement:
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
- Location of Original:
- Original document and image located in the Ajax Archives.
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