Naval Officer Honoured by Robert Gordon University
Rear Admiral Nick Harris was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Law at a graduation ceremony at the Music Hall on Thursday 9 December 2010.
Born in East Sussex and educated at Malvern College Worcestershire, Rear Admiral Nick Harris had known from the outset that he wanted to become a Naval Officer.
After leaving school at 17½, he began his first of four years of training at Britannia Royal Naval College, including a term at sea in the Mediterranean. As a Midshipman he served in HMS Wasperton with the Fishery Protection Squadron based in South Queensferry before going to, and remaining in, the Far East in HMS Scylla. The 4th Year saw him training in specialist naval subjects of all types – predominantly in Portsmouth – and then a prolonged period in Chatham at the RN Supply School, to become a Supply & Secretariat Officer.
An offer to serve in submarines for a limited period of two years followed Rear Admiral Harris’s training, and thereafter followed a complicated and unique career path until 1979.
At age 30 Rear Admiral Harris was selected to undergo the submarine command course, Perisher. Passing Perisher is a career changing moment, and from this Rear Admiral Harris went on to command the diesel powered conventional submarine, HMS Oberon, after which he was honoured with an MBE, and the nuclear powered HMS Sovereign.
Further highlights of his career included studying at the US Naval War College, two years as the submarine advisor to the British Naval Staff in Washington, working in the Ministry of Defence during the 1997 General Election and defence review, command of a squadron of seven nuclear submarines and working up to become Deputy Submarine Force Commander.
Rear Admiral Harris was awarded the US Legion of Merit for his role as British Naval Attaché to the USA, which covered the loss of the submarine ‘KURSK’, 9/11 and the attack on the Pentagon, and the start of the second Gulf War in Iraq. He then spent three years as Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland.
Rear Admiral Harris is now working as Clerk to the Merchant Taylors’ Livery Company in London and lives in Hampshire with his wife of 36 years, Jenny. They have two daughters, Kate and Ellie, and a grand daughter, Emily.
Robert Gordon University