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Haulbowline Revisited – Tom Hamilton

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Tom Hamilton was born in New Ross, Co Wexford. He joined the Naval Service in April 1963 and was to return to Wexford two months later for Naval Honour Guard for President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Trained as a chef, Tom spent many years both ashore and at sea. He was promoted to the rank of Chief Petty Office in catering in the 80s and remained as assistant catering officer until 2007.

He went on to work in the Naval Dockyard until his retirement in January 2013, having spent nearly 50 years on the island of Haulbowline.

“Having discovered that a foundation stone for the Naval Dockyard had actually existed, my quest was now to try find the elusive stone. To do this meant rolling back the years, back to the 1800s to an island of rocks and foxes.

What I discovered during my months of searching and research was truly amazing as information accumulated. I pieced together the history of an island reborn from sheer stone rock and reclaimed land.

The island which ay dormant for centuries now began to grown and a great victualing yard, dockyard and drydock emerged, encompassing an area of over 15 acres.”

Tom ordered a mixture of hardback and softback books. His first print sold out within days and he soon ordered another.

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