DRAFT – Meet Jack Case – DRAFT


Born in April 1939, Cmdr Jack Case (Retired) joined the British Royal Navy at HMS Ganges in 1954, at the tender age of 15. About 6 boys, including Jack, used to stand on the button of the mast which had a diameter of about 12 inches. Nobody used safety lines in those days. As a newly qualified boy signalmen after 18 months Jack then went off to join his first ship, HMS Newfoundland, in Hong Kong where he served for 2 years.

Within just 12 months he found himself in the middle of a firefight in the Suez Canal; watching tracer rounds heading towards his position – where he was on the lamp highlighting enemy positions for gunners. An accomplished Navy Diver, Navigator and Seaman, Jack served alongside a young member of the Windsor family (Prince Charles, now King Charles III) and has many tales to tell, including some of trips ashore with the young Prince.

The Domiat

October 31, 1956 Jack was serving onboard HMS Newfoundland as a 16 year old boy signalman. He was tasked with operating the searchlight and told by the Captain to “illuminate the target”. The target was an Egyptian frigate “Domiat” which had been harassing British merchant ships leaving the Suez Canal.

"Captain Hamilton ordered the Domiat to surrender; at which point she [the Domiat] opened fire on us. They were aiming at the searchlight but by some miracle, I wasn't hit. Sadly though six other people were killed or injured. We immediately fired back with our six inch guns and sank the Domiat within a few minutes".

According to official records there were 69 survivors. The sinking of the Domiat is the last time that a ship was sunk by traditional warship gunfire from another ship. The Domiat was later confirmed to have been carrying mines.

Inspiring Minds

By the end of his distinguished career he was a Lt Cmdr on minesweepers having worked his way through the ranks and attended officer training.

Not content with having defended his Country for 25 years in the Royal Navy, Jack then enlisted as a school teacher in Dorset, teaching mathematics to Portland’s future councillors and engineers. Speaking to Jack’s past students, every single one of them has warm and fond memories of “Mr Case”, a fair and fun teacher. Jack was head of ICT at Royal Manor and championed the importance of computer literacy from the very beginning of ICT in schools.

Jack taught for 25 years before finally retiring in 2001 and focusing on nursing his sick wife until she finally passed just prior to the COVID outbreak

Author Author

An accomplished author, Jack has published several books on Celestial Navigation and often outsells other distinguished authors such as Tom Cunliffe. Most recently his books have become de facto reading for the British Joint Armed Services sailing teams.

Originally taught astro navigation in the Navy and having used it for years to navigate the high seas, Jack discovered, whilst preparing to teach Astro Navigation to College students and through Open University, that there were no suitable/viable books on the subject so he decided to write his own. Having written the first book, he was then asked to explain the mathematics behind the calculations so he wrote a second book and then went on to write a third book about the Astronomy of Astro Navigation itself.

These books are available through Amazon and are incredibly well priced at only about $12 each! (Affiliate links below).

Jack’s Books are available on Amazon

Astro Navigation Demystified

 The ultimate book of the series; a complete course in astro / celestial navigation

Applying Mathematics To Astro Navigation

This addition to the ‘Astro Navigation Demystified’ series focuses on the mathematical principles upon which astro / celestial navigation is based and it will appeal to anyone with an interest in these subjects whether they be navigators or mathematician

Astronomy For Astro Navigation: Colour Edition

This book focuses on those aspects of astronomy that are essential for a complete understanding of astro navigation – a must for sailors, navigators, nautical colleges and navigation tutors

Whilst in Portland we introduced Jack to the Bumbling Sailor, and this video interview is the result!

Interviewed by The Bumbling Sailor in 2023

A local character within Portland, Jack can never be far from the sea and in recent years has found himself a Captain once again, this time initially in a Drascombe Lugger, before upgrading to “Wild Affair”, a Jeanneau Arcadia before upgrading to a 29 foot Westerly Konsort Duo named “Curlew” in 2022.

Jeanneau Arcadia
Drascombe Lugger

Not surprisingly; (a) boat, and (b) Murphy’s Law, when we went to collect Curlew from her previous owners, there was chaos and drama. Weymouth marina was in the midst of a bomb scare thanks to one of the berth holders having been magnet fishing and had managed to dredge up an unspent explosive from near Worbarrow Bay which he then went and listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace (no, you really can’t make this stuff up!).

The ordnance was later detonated on Weymouth Beach by the Army Bomb Disposal Team. This is a video filmed during the second attempt to collect Curlew and ferry her to her new berth in Portland Marina.

These days, when not on his own boat, Jack can often be found crewing on Pamela C or aboard Moonfleet giving talks on Astro Navigation to passengers as they sail around the Jurassic Coast. Jack’s talks are both informative and enthralling as he waxes lyrical about the old days and Naval traditions, whilst at the same time explaining how to determine your position with just a sextant and the stars.

Davis Instruments 26 Mark 15 Sextant


The Davis Instruments sextant. A modern day plastic replica of the traditional Bronze/Alloy sextant

Why does the King owe Jack money?

The then Prince of Wales joined HMS Jupiter in January 1974 to relieve a then Lt Case as the Signal Communications Officer (SCO).

Well, the story goes that they were on shore leave from HMS Jupiter and on an island in the South Pacific somewhere; Jack, the young heir and his body guard were out for a walk in the town when the Prince found some local wares he wanted to purchase as a gift, but he didn’t have any cash and the body guard was a little short too, so they turned to Jack and asked if he could lend them a few bob (Pa’anga). 50+ years on this debt has still not been repaid. (3 AUD back in 1974 is the equivalent of roughly £20 today before interest. With interest this compounds to approximately £300)

HMS Jupiter

Personally I think that this lengthy service to the Crown should be rewarded with a Knighthood. What do you think?

Taken in Mombasa (on the flight deck and surrounding areas). The captain was Jock Slater – 1st Lt was John Dykes. The SCO was Jack Case – 2nd row from front, 6th from right.
HMS Jupiter in Venice

SCO Jack Case and team
Crew of HMS Jupiter
HMS Jupiter under way
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