Mr Marcel Paul Henriette
Friday, October 7, 2016 - 13:13
A RYDE man who, as a 17-year-old Royal Navy seaman witnessed the infamous Christmas Island nuclear bomb tests in 1957, has died aged 76.
Marcel Paul Henriette, of Upton Road, Ryde, later recalled how the crew of his ship, HMS Warrior, were ordered to stand on deck with no protective clothing and place their hands over their eyes.
As the bomb exploded, he remembered seeing straight through his hands like an X-Ray and a felt a flash of intense heat. He and the crew then reeled in dead fish and ate them.
Mr Henriette was born on the Channel Island of Jersey, in 1940, and spent his early childhood there during the German occupation.
He lied about his age and joined the Royal Navy when he was 15 years old and served on a number of ships.
After serving 13 years, he left the navy to be closer to his wife, Janet, and two daughters, Josie and Julie.
He became a police officer with the Metropolitan Police in London’s East End, where he served for many years and received a medal for 22 years’ service before he retired on health grounds.
He moved to the IW in 2006 to be closer to his daughter, Julie, as his wife’s health was in decline as well. The couple attended St Peter’s Church, Havenstreet, and Mr Henriette became a member of a member of a former seamen’s group, that met at Simeon Arms, Ryde, for a short while until his ill health prevented him from attending.
As Janet’s Alzheimers worsened, he cared for her until he had a stroke in 2013, which left him unable to speak or walk. Janet moved in with their daughter, Julie, until she died in 2014, and Mr Henriette went to Solent Grange Nursing Home, where he was cared for with kindness.
He died on September 9 after developing a blood clot with his family by his side.
He leaves his two daughters, five grandchildren, two step grandchildren, one great grandchild and five step great-grandchildren. His funeral took place at the IW Crematorium on September 28 with donations to the RNLI.