Brian Joseph Poole, G3MRC, RNARS No 33, FOC No 1683, 2nd May 2017

| June 26, 2017
G3MRC (SK) operating GB4LBP

‘Joe’ Poole, G3MRC (SK) operating GB4LBP

There are not many radio amateurs of whom it can be said that they defined First Class when it comes to CW operating. ‘Joe’ Poole was certainly one of the few. I had the good fortune to contact him from a number of places, starting with my own home station and whilst visiting places such as Bletchley Park, Cyprus, Malta and other people’s shacks like that of Mick, G3LIK and the Bromsgrove Club, G3VGG. A number of us have had the good fortune to spend a number of days with him and his wife Janet, once on a canal boat trip and on another occasion, a week in the Lake District for his 70th birthday. He thought he was on his way to Scotland for a fishing holiday but we held a surprise birthday party for him and even ran a special event station on site as GB4LBP, which became known as ‘Life of Brian Poole’.

Brian Joseph Poole was born in Slough, Buckinghamshire in June 1938. He joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Telegraphist in September 1953 at HMS Ganges, the training college near Ipswich. In 1955 he qualified as a Telegraphist and joined the fleet on the first HMS Ark Royal and followed by serving in the Communications Branch of the Royal Navy at various locations including Singapore, Mauritius, Gibraltar and Malta as well as in HM Submarines. He retired from the Royal Navy as a Chief Radio Supervisor in 1978. It is his skill working as a Telegraphist during this service that made him the superb operator that he was on the amateur bands.

G3MRC and XYL Janet, 15 June 2007

G3MRC and XYL Janet, 15 June 2007

He worked as a Water Bailiff in the South West of England, during which time he met and married Janet. A little while later, he worked as a warden on a country park near Birmingham and after he left that job, he worked for Oxfam in communications and IT. He later went on to work for a number of other relief organisations including the World Food Programme in many locations. It was during that time that he had the many radio callsigns from the places in which he worked in various trouble spots around the world. These included The Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Macedonia/Kosovo, East Timor and Malawi. He also had calls in other places including the Northern Territories in Australia. Janet was able to accompany him on a number of the journeys.

In amongst all this, in 2002 he had a triple heart bypass operation back in Birmingham followed by a holiday back in Africa where he was approached to take up a job in Malawi, again in communications for UNICEF. He and Janet decided that they liked Malawi enough to build themselves a house by the lake towards the end of 2004. Joe retired there and stayed on. He and Janet moved into the house by the lake early in 2005.

Joe operating as VS1FW

Joe operating as VS1FW


G3MRC’s VS1FW QSL card, 1961

Among the many callsigns he held were G3MRC, 5X1P, 7Q7BP, 9M2AN, 9Q5MRC, 9U5MRC, 9X5/G3MRC, C91MR, C91MR/3, C93MR, C96MR, C97MR, G3MRC/C9, VK8CP, VS1FW, VS2FW, Z38/G3MRC, ZB2/G3MRC as well as operating from the Singapore Naval Base radio club VS1HU and the Amateur Radio Club GM3OAE located in Faslane, Helensburgh, Dumbartonshire whilst he was in the Third Submarine Squadron. It is probably for his operations from Malawi as 7Q7BP that he was best known. Joe was a member of a number of clubs and societies including as a founder member of the Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society (RNARS), the First Class Operators Club (FOC), and a member of Bromsgrove & District Amateur Radio Club.

He had been suffering from a chest infection, which turned to pneumonia. He died on 2nd May 2017. He will be missed by many throughout the world. RIP Brian.

Tribute by Bill Mahoney, G3TZM, 9H1BX, RNARS 328

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