Joe Hadley
Chief Instructor
Dover 1953 -1976


Joseph George Hadley was born on the 22nd April 1922 at 6 Bowling Green Terrace, Dover, about 200 yards from the school. At 2 years of age his mother moved to 39 The Rope Walk where he attended Trinity School until 14 years. He started work on a local farm. His father died leaving a widow, six brothers and one sister. She put the boys in Royal Naval Schools and Joe in the PWSTH at Limehouse on 30th October 1936.

When he finished there he joined his first ship SS Beaver Ford. He continued F.G through the war years including the Atlantic Convoys of which he would speak very little. He stayed deep sea until 1950 and joined the B.R Fleet. He passed for Master at the age of 27 years.

When the school came to Dover he joined as Chief Officer. He said he did so because the school had given him a good life and he wanted other lads to have the same. After the school closed he went back to  Dover Docks as Birthing Master, from which he retired at the age of 65.

Unfortunately he died two months later.

Doreen Dennard (Joes wife)


Joe Hadley










  photo courtesy of Mrs Dennard

Joe's final report from PWSTH Limehouse signed by J.C.K Dowding

Words from Peter Washington - One thought comes to mind when I see old man Hadley, he was a bit of a mystery, on an early shot he has medal ribbons but during the time I was in his class he never had them on his tunic. The story went that he had served before the mast on the old riggers, but nonetheless there must be an enthralling story to his life somewhere, to us lads he evoked an air of discipline that you never ever questioned, I still have the greatest of respect for him and his memory to this day.

He used to brew is own beer in a tin bath during his turn at night duty. I had to go across to the ward room one evening and spied the brewing tackle but the smell gave it away, he use to come down to the hall red eyed at dismissal and we new that when he was "on" we could act the fool that night.

A real mans man, Mr Hadley, I often think about those times when I tried brewing my own, he knew is hops, was he a man of Kent or a Kentish man.