The presentation of the NZGSM (Timor-Leste) medal by CNR (Capt C. A. HOLMES) to LTCDR David Grinlinton (RNZNVR) at HMNZS Ngapona on Wednesday 27 July 2011 marks a milestone in a family naval history that stretches back over 90 years. LTCDR Grinlinton’s maternal grandfather, Thomas (‘Tommy’) Charlesworth joined the RN as a boy in 1916 and served in the RN until 1946.
This included 3 postings to Devonport as part of the NZ Division of the RN. The first was in August – October 1919 as an AB on HMS New Zealand, which also carried the Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Jellicoe on his visit to New Zealand. He was posted to Philomel in 1930-33 where he assisted at the Napier earthquake in 1931 aboard HMS Diomede. On this posting he met and married LTCDR Grinlinton’s grandmother, Catherine Davies, and when in port lived at the family home at 12 St Leonards Rd, Devonport. He returned to Philomel again via HMS Dunedin in 1936-1937 before returning to Britain to serve on a number of ships in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and North Sea during WWII. LTCDR Grinlinton’s father also served in the merchant navy on convoys in the Atlantic and North Sea in WWII.
LTCDR Grinlinton has been a VR officer since 1991. He served in Afghanistan as part of the NZPRT at Bamiyan on its 9th rotation from Sep 2006-Apr 2007, and as a UN Military Liaison Officer in Timor-Leste from October 2010-May 2011.