Vice Presidents

The society’s vice-presidents are usually senior and highly respected figures in the field of maritime research. They have made significant contributions to the work of the society over many years, and continue to do so by providing continuity and ‘corporate memory’.

Cdr J M Bingeman, CEng, MIMechE, RN

John Bingeman is an amateur nautical archaeologist and was a Government historic wreck licensee for 33 years. After diving on the Mary Rose, he was given responsibility for the wrecks of Assurance (1753) and Pomone (1811) off ‘The Needles’ (1978-86). In 1980 he identified and achieved the designation for the 74-gun Invincible lying in the Eastern Solent; his final report The First HMS Invincible (1747-58) – Her Excavations (1980-1991) was published by Oxbow Books in 2010. He was Chairman of SNR(S) 1990-95, and is a Vice-President. He has twice served on SNR Council 1997-2001 and 2004-8 and is a Vice-President. He was a founder member of the Nautical Archaeological Society and later Secretary (1983-86); he is currently the Chairman of Maritime Archaeology Trust incorporating the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology. His writings include papers on: Copper Sheathing, Military Buttons, and Pre-history in Langstone Harbour.

Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton, GBE, KCB, BA, FREng, FSNR

Following graduation Sir Kenneth joined the Royal Navy. From witnessing an H Bomb test at Christmas Island in 1958 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, he was in the forefront of naval technological and electronic developments.  From early digital computers, he successively worked on development programmes for satellite communication systems, guided missiles and torpedoes.  In 1987 he commanded Portsmouth dockyard and, amongst other things, became responsible for the care and maintenance of HMS Victory.  He became Controller of the Navy in 1989 and on retirement in 1984 became Chairman of Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital Trust, and Chairman of the UKAEA.

Sir Kenneth became a Trustee of the Mary Rose in 1995 and Chairman from 2000 to 2008, during which time the conservation of the hull and artefacts recovered in1982 were nearing completion, and he led the planning for the new museum building.  A member of the SNR since the mid-1980s, he joined Council in 2010 and became Chairman the following year until 2020.

Professor Richard Harding

Richard Harding is Head of Department of Leadership, Development and Organisation and  Professor of Organisational History at Westminster University. He is currently chair of the University’s Research Degrees Committee and has particular interests in the development of doctoral education.   Editor of The Mariner’s Mirror for five years from 2000, Richard Harding was then Chairman of the Council during the years leading up to the celebrations of the Society’s centenary in 2011.  

Cathryn Pearce, MEd., MA,PhD, FRHistS

Cathryn Pearce taught history at the university level for over 30 years, in Alaska and the UK. She holds an MA in History with a Maritime History emphasis from the University of Victoria (Canada) and a PhD in Maritime History from the University of Greenwich. She is on the founding committee for Greenwich Maritime Centre. Her additional duties include serving on the Board of Trustees for the British Commission for Maritime History and editing the online, refereed journal Troze for the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. She joined SNR in 2000, becoming a Member of Council and Secretary of the Publications Committee in 2010. She is also on The Mariner’s Mirror Editorial Board and a member of the Navy Records Society. Her book Cornish Wrecking: Reality and Popular Myth, 1700-1860 (2010) led to several TV documentary and radio appearances. She is currently researching the history of coastal communities and lifesaving.

Lt-Cdr Lawrence Phillips, RD, TD, RNR

Lawrence Phillips is a Vice-President and former Hon. Secretary of the SNR, which he joined in 1956, and a Vice-President of the Navy Records Society. He was a media specialist in the Ministry of Defence and on the staffs of naval and military commanders at home and abroad, principally the Commanders-in-Chief Fleet and Naval Home Command. He is the author of The Royal Navy Day by Day, the RN’s semi-official naval history reference book which is issued to all HM ships and establishments. Lawrie Phillips was born and raised in Pembroke Dock and his latest book, Pembroke Dockyard and the Old Navy, was published in 2014 to mark the bicentenary of his hometown. He is a former Lieutenant-Commander, Royal Naval Reserve, and Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Engineers in the Army Reserve.

Dr Pieter van der Merwe

Pieter van der Merwe read Drama at the Universities of Manchester (1967–71) and Bristol (PhD 1979). Nautical interests led to his joining the staff of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, in 1974 and, as its General Editor since the early 1990s, he has been editor and author / joint author of many NMM publications – including an illustrated history of the Queen’s House, Greenwich, in 2012. In addition, as its Greenwich Curator, he was involved in both the early development of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site (inscribed by UNESCO in 1997) and remains so in aspects of its on-going management. His other published journal and exhibition contributions have included maritime art and archaeology, and theatre (primarily scene-painting and related public exhibitions). He was appointed MBE in the New Year Honours 2012 for services to heritage and the local community in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London in October 2012 and has been Representative DL for Greenwich since January 2013.

Susan Rose, MA, PhD

Susan Rose was first elected to the Council of the SNR in the 1960s while still working on her PhD thesis on the navy of the Lancastrian Kings. She was later elected as Trustee under the old Articles of Association and eventually as a Vice-president. She has thus been closely involved with the affairs of the Society for over fifty years. During that period she has also continued her research into medieval shipping publishing a number of book and articles including Medieval Naval Warfare, (2002), The Medieval Sea, (2007) and England’s Medieval Navy, (2013). She is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Mariner’s Mirror.