Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 11, 2014 19:42:19 GMT 12
New Zealand has lost one of its great Navy heroes, and a truly wonderful old gentleman. Very sad to see, but what a great innings he had.
THODE, Connell Percy (Con) OBE, Lieutenant Commander, RNZNVR (Ret) died peacefully on 9 October 2014, aged 103. Dearly loved husband of the late Marcia, father and father-in-law of Scott and Lenore, Sally and Paul, John and Waveney, Andrea and Dale, and the late David. Grandfather of Carl and Stefanie, Kristie, Dayna and Steve, Aron, Simon and Hana, Tristan and Esther, and Jamie and Tomas; great grandfather of Joshua, Lottie, William, and Sofia. "I must go down to the sea again to the lonely sea and the sky, and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by..." Con's funeral will be held at St Christopher's Chapel, HM Naval Base, Devonport on Wednesday 15 October 2014 at 11.30am, followed by private cremation.
Con began sailing at age 12 and was still sailing his yacht aged 100, perhaps older. When I met him he was about to turn 100 and was still living at home, still driving, still sailing, and still very with it. One of the most remarkable men and he had a very interesting wartime career.
Also of interest his father owned the Waipapakauri Hotel when he was a kid/teen and he lived there. Years later that hotel became the RNZAF Station Waipapakauri hospital and Officers' Mess.
Apparently, according to a write up in the North Shore Times (World War II submariner dies, by Michael Field, October 17, 2004) there was a U-class submarine, HMS Uproar, commanded by a New Zealander, Larry Herrick. Connell Thode was a first lieutenant on the U-class HMS Ultor and later commanded HMS Scythian.