BESSELL-BROWNE, Graham De Whalley

BESSELL-BROWNE, Graham De Whalley

Graham Bessell-Browne, aka ‘B-stroke’, passed away on 12 February 2018 after a battle with cancer.  

He had a long and varied career after enlisting in January 1959 in Western Australia as a Naval Airman ( Aircrew ).   He became a Midshipman A/SBLT (O) before gaining a permanent commission. 

He spent some time at HMAS Waratah which was the RAN Administration post in Washington DC.

In later years he was CO of 816 Squadron. ( Trackers )

His Memorial Service was held in St Mary’s Anglican Church in Mirboo North (Victoria) on Friday 23rd February at 1330, attended by a few FAA personnel such as Frank Doe, Jeff Dalgleish, Albert Riley and Robin Spratt, amongst many locals. 

Rest in peace, old friend.  

Comments (6)

  • Frank Doe

    B/- was a bloody great bloke and a damned good CO. I only spoke with him (in hospital) last week, and sensed he was doing it pretty tough. But in in own implacable style, he was brave to the end. It was a pleasure and an honour to know him all these past 40 years. RIP Old Mate. Frank Doe.

    February 15, 2018 at 9:30 am
  • Eaglebeak

    I first met B Stroke when, as a very raw boned Mid, I was attached to 816 prior to pilot training in early ’66.
    I think he was detailed off to look after us. He impressed me and I thought if he is an example of the FAA then count me in.
    Unfortunately I never served directly with him but socially he was always ready with a laugh and a story.
    Fair winds.

    February 15, 2018 at 1:26 pm
  • owennicholls

    B Stroke was a memorable character and a great C.O. I was particularly touched when he tracked me down in 2011 to pass on his condolences just after I lost my wife. Considering I had no contact with him in the previous 30+ years I think that is an illustration of the kind of person he was. RIP Stroke.

    February 16, 2018 at 10:52 pm
  • Farmer

    Margaret and I fortunately visited him the week before he passed away, we had a great time going back over old times. He was an inspiration to everyone who served with/under him. Sadly missed old mate

    February 17, 2018 at 12:52 pm
  • Tony Gallen

    I’ve just heard that an old friend has passed away this afternoon, 12 February 2018. His name was Graham Bessell-Brown but we knew him as B Stroke.  He was a Naval aviator with the Royal Australian Navy and flew off the HMAS Melbourne back in the old days. 

    The man was a lovely bloke and a funny bugger too. He had a million good yarns and was great company.  In true sailor fashion, last time I saw him, he told me he had “…cancer of the arse and I’m a f*cked duck.” He had decided to go with the flow rather than trying fight it off with ops and chemo and I suspect that he maintained a good life right up until the last possible moment that he could. 

    Chocks away old mate as you catapult off the deck one last time, this old bubblehead salutes you!

    February 20, 2018 at 6:31 pm
  • bykerboyo

    Graham B-B was my commanding officer 816 squadron ’75, only ever spoke to him twice, once at Broome for Operation Trochus and later that year commending me after I won the 1500m at Albatross Athletics. Both memorable moments. To me as a rating he had that quiet dependability and a knowing smile. Good on you Gazza.

    April 8, 2021 at 10:34 am

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