Hartlepool siblings in the Royal Navy family

IN THE FAMILY: Matthew and Lucy with their father Gavin Owen-Henderson
IN THE FAMILY: Matthew and Lucy with their father Gavin Owen-Henderson

A BROTHER and sister from Hartlepool have become the first to train at the same Royal Navy base at the same time.

Matthew Tierney, 21, and his sister Lucy Fears, 17, have both been studying to become engineering technicians (ETs) within the Defence School of Marine Engineering, HMS Sultan.

With Matthew’s course complete, he now goes on to further specialised training to prepare him to serve within the submarine branch as an ET marine engineering submariner.

Sharing her brother’s passion for engineering, Lucy followed Matthew through the Royal Navy recruitment process and is due to pass out in February next year as an ET.

It is the first time a brother and sister have been studying at HMS Sultan at the same time, however recent changes within the Royal Navy’s training through ‘Programme Faraday’, which came in between Matthew and Lucy’s date of joining mean Lucy is one of the first trainees on the new engineering technician initial career course.

Lucy said: “Matthew had picked engineering at school and had been talking to me about engineering and introduced me to the subject. It was when I chose my options at school that I really fell in love with engineering.

“My brother and I decided that we both wanted a job and we both wanted to be an engineer. Matthew had been looking into the Royal Navy and he suggested it to me and we went to the careers office together and we went from there.

“Life in the navy has been really good and I have met all sorts of different people, really interesting people, that I probably never would have met if I was working in civvy street. The work we do is really interesting and being involved with things like humanitarian aid will be really rewarding. It will also be really exciting to work on all the diesel engines.”

Matthew said: “I had looked into the navy before I started a motor sports engineering course at university. Once I started the course I found that there was a lot of design work but not much of it was hands on working with proper machinery. It was then that I looked at the becoming a submariner and thought ‘yes that’s definitely for me’.

“The deployments are going to be really exciting on a submarine; it’s going to be great to just suddenly turn up somewhere; that has really intrigued me. I hope that I will get to see the world a bit as we go.”

After following her brother to join the Royal Navy, Lucy is also interested in working on submarines.

Matthew and Lucy’s father, Gavin Owen-Henderson, also from Hartlepool, said: ”I am over the moon that they are both going to pass out. Their grandfather was an aeronautical engineer and he would have been well and truly proud of them if he had been here today. It’s nice to see the family links within engineering are being maintained.”