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’.
Alan Aberg worked for Ipswich and Southampton museums before joining the University of Leeds as a lecturer in archaeology. In 1976 he joined the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments for England as Director of the National Archaeological Record. Since retirement he has served as Chairman of the National Archaeological Society and SNR, and has been a member of the Trustees of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and a Vice President of the Trustees of the Royal Navy Museum. Currently a member of the Ship’s Council of the SS Great Britain, and a Vice President of the SNR he is also trustee of the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, council member of the Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association, Vice President of the Medieval Settlement Research Group, and Hon. President of the European colloquium, Ruralia. Awarded the Fellows Medal of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2011 and the Fellowship of the SNR in 2015.
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.
Jonathan Coad, MA, FSA
Jonathan Coad was an Inspector of Ancient Monuments responsible for research and conservation of the state’s monuments in East Anglia and later in south east England. He directed major archaeological excavations at Denny Abbey near Cambridge and at Castle Acre Castle in Norfolk.
Early on, he was asked to identify the historic importance of buildings and engineering works in the Royal Navy’s operational home bases, working closely with the Ministry of Defence and later with the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust to secure a future for these. In 1997 he evaluated for UNESCO the Swedish Naval Base of Karlskrona for inclusion in the list of World Heritage Sites.
He has written numbers of guidebooks for English Heritage properties as well as lectured extensively on the Royal Navy’s built heritage at home and abroad. His latest book Support for the Fleet. Architecture and engineering of the Royal Navy’s Bases 1700-1914, is joint winner of the Association for Industrial Archaeology’s 2014 Peter Neaverson Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Industrial Archaeology.
He was one of the SNR representatives on the Victory Advisory Technical Committee, later becoming Chairman from 2005 to 2012. He is former President of the Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
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 Eric Grove
Professor Grove has had a distinguished academic career which spanned the Royal Naval Colleges of Dartmouth and Greenwich, and the Universities of Cambridge, Salford and Liverpool Hope. The author of many books including Vanguard to Trident, The Future of Sea Power, The Royal Navy Since 1815, Professor Grove has been a long serving Vice President of the Society of Nautical Research, and is a Vice President of the Navy Records Society. He is a member of the British Commissions for Military and Maritime History, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an Honorary Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy.
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.
D G Law, MA, FIInfoS, FLA, FKC
Derek Law is an Emeritus Professor of Informatics at the University of Strathclyde. He has been a member of SNR Council for many years, is a former Hon Secretary of the Society and a current Vice-President. He has specialised in the bibliography and historiography of the Royal Navy in the Second World War and has published the standard bibliography on this topic. It is regularly updated and is now available on-line at the University of Exeter’s Centre for Maritime Historical Studies and can be found here.
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.