WELCH, J.E.N. (Jack)

Display Number: 1708  
Name: Welch J.E.N. (Jack)
Rank: Rear Admiral Service Number:  B16584
Date Joined:  1959 Date Discharged:  1997
Rear Admiral Welch joined the RNZN in 1959, going through training in the United Kingdom at the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth.  He returned to New Zealand in the newly commissioned frigate HMNZS TARANAKI and continued service in her on the Far East station until joining the submarine HMS TAPIR in late 1963. He was one of a very few New Zealanders to have served in Royal Navy submarines.
Early on in his career Welch served in PUKAKI, TARANAKI and INVERELL before receiving specialist training as a gunnery officer at Whale Island, the Royal Navy’s gunnery establishment in Britain. After completing the course he was posted as a Gunnery Officer of TARANAKI, OTAGO, and BLACKPOOL. He was then served ashore with the Directorate of Defence Intelligence before he was posted to the newly commissioned CANTERBURYas Gunnery Officer.
Welch was promoted to Commander in 1977 following postings as Commanding Officer of INVERELL and Fleet Operations Officer.  In 1978 he was posted as the Commanding Officer of OTAGObefore serving at Defence Headquarters in Wellington.  He became Commanding Officer of CANTERBURY in 1983 and during his command the ship was deployed to the Indian Ocean in support of the Royal Navy task group in the area.
In 1987 Welch was posted as the Defence Adviser in Ottawa, Canada. On return he was promoted to Commodore and posts of Assistant Chief Operations and Assistant Chief of Development in Defence Headquarters.  In 1994 he was promoted to Rear Admiral and appointed as Chief of Naval Staff. When his term expired in 1997 he retired from the RNZN.
Welch died in Auckland on 12 September 2014 and his medals have been kindly donated to the museum by his family.


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Medal Description (First three medals only, Left to Right):  
  • Companion of the Bath medal;
  • NZ Operational Service Medal;
  • General Service medal 1962-2007 with Borneo clasp;
  • NZ General Service medal 1992 with Indian Ocean clasp;
  • Special Service medal (nuclear testing);
  • Jubilee Medal 1977;
  • NZ Armed Services with clasp (+ 15 years);
  • NZ Defence Service Medal with regular clasp;
  • Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal.