Belper man graduates Royal Navy school to follow in grandfather’s footsteps

editorial image

A former supermarket worker from Belper is celebrating the completion of his initial Royal Navy training and is now set to join his first ship.

Able Rate Nicholas Baker, 25, recently graduated as a warfare specialist from HMS Collingwood, in Fareham, to mark the end of his training with Victory Squadron.

The former Morrisons employee, whose parents Michelle and Michael still live in Belper, joined the Royal Navy in January to pursue a career while travelling the world and provide himself with a positive future.

Nicholas said: “The challenges that I have faced whilst on course has helped to build my character and also allowed me to make life-long friends. Joining the Royal Navy is the best choice I’ve ever made. I only wish I’d done it sooner.”

Nicholas said there had been numerous highlights from his training, such as fire fighting while on the basic sea survival course.

The choice of a career in the Armed Forces means Nicholas follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, who fought in the late years of the Second World War.

Nicholas is now looking forward to joining his first ship to put his training into action.

By focusing on a specialism in warfare, he has learned to set up and operate some of the world’s most advanced electronic systems, which provide information to ships on air and surface activities.

On board ship, e will be part of the team detecting threats, identifying targets and making crucial tactical decisions.

HMS Collingwood is the home of the Maritime Warfare School which contributes to the operational capability of the fleet by providing training to all officers and ratings in professional areas such as weapon engineering, communications, and warfare.

Training is designed to make seamen’s knowledge relevant, agile and flexible in order to keep pace with challenging operational needs.

The school’s commanding officer Captain Andy Jordan presided over the graduation ceremony and presented Nicholas with his certificate.

During his time at Collingwood, Nicholas said he was also proud to represent the Navy as part of the Lord High Admiral’s Divisions at Britannia Royal Naval College—the formal passing out ceremony for recruits which was overseen by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne in April.

For more details of careers in the Royal Navy, visit or call 08456 075555.