Ernie’s Story

99-year-old Ernie’s dreams came true when he made his 'Silver Wish' to get out on the water in Portsmouth, where his military career in the Royal Marines began. Former Royal Marine and resident Ernie had his Silver Wish granted and took to the Solent for a tour of Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard.

The boat tour sails past all the naval ships docked there and one that certainly stands out is HMS Queen Elizabeth. However, this didn't impress Ernie, who believes the aircraft carrier is simply 'too big', but he was impressed by the cleanliness of the water.

As part of his day out, Ernie was also presented with a new blue beret, his original beret marked his service under King George the sixth and the new one under the current monarch. The only difference being the crown on the emblem.

Ernie was also joined for the whole day by daughter Linda, granddaughter Dawn, Kerry Howlett from the Royal Marines Veteran Association and lifelong friend RN Chaplain Keith Robus. Ernie met Keith when he was first ordained and it was Ernie's wife, who after feeling sorry for a very young looking Keith, invited him round for dinner. They have been friends ever since, so a special day was made even more special by having Keith by his side.

Special thanks go to the team at the Royal Historic Dockyard for making Ernie’s day so special.