Farewell Jim Hutchison
Family, friends. old comrades and many from the society gathered at the Garden of England Crematorium, Sittingbourne to bid farewell to Jim. The cortege was led by 4 flag bearers and the packed congregation joined in a service celebrating a remarkable life, which will be recalled in full in a future Historical Diving Times. Jim was born in Bedfordshire in 1922 to a family with no connections with the sea. Nevertheless, he lied about his age to join up, training at HMS Ganges, where he became a ‘button boy’, climbing to the very top of the Ganges mast and standing on the truck (diameter 2-3 feet) at a height of 140 feet. No safety aids in those days, of course! On ceremonial occasions he would have been rewarded with a shilling for this feat!
He became, at 16, the youngest diver in the navy and his war service included Arctic and Malta convoys and D-Day. Subsequently he served on HMS Belfast in the Korean conflict and retained a close connection with that ship, now moored in the Thames as a museum.
Back in civy street he set up Medway Diving Contractors in 1970, running it successfully for many years before handing over the reins to his son, Peter.
Jim’s display commentaries, willingness to answer questions, whether on diving or his navy career and infectious grin will be sorely missed by the society and public alike.