The veteran's section contains latest branch news and announcements, as well as up-to-date information on boats that have been preserved. You can also learn something of the history of the Coastal Forces Veterans Association, and of the London Branch


South London Branch September 2015

The Merton Sea Cadets are holding a Trafalgar Day Dinner on 24th October to which all are invited at a cost of £27.50 per head. I am pleased to report… Read More

London Branch September 2015

This page was to have been written by our Chairman Ken Gadsdon, but due to his indisposition I have been volunteered. The main thing to report is that… Read More

London Branch June 2015

This edition plays catch-up to combine branch reports from March and May of 2015. Recently appointed Branch Chairman Ken Gadsdon writes on the subject… Read More

London Branch February 2015

The February edition of the newsletter carries a message from the new Chairman Ken Gadsdon who carries the very best wishes of the branch in his new post.… Read More

London Branch December 2014

The December Christmas edition of the newsletter brings a raft of news concerning the recent appointment of a new committee for the London Branch, including… Read More


Douglas G Elliott


London Branch have been informed that shipmate Douglas Elliott has 'crossed the bar'. A former branch committee member and resident of London, Douglas… Read More

Dennis Reeve


London Branch have learned of the death of long-time member Dennis Reeve. The Branch had earlier been informed Dennis had broken his hip and was recovering… Read More

Allan Phillips MBE RNR


London Branch have been informed of the death of Allan Phillips. Allan, who served in the Royal Navy, was also a Lieutenant Commander with the Sea… Read More

Patrick Macnee (1922–2015)


The actor Patrick Macnee has died at his home in California age 93. A star of film and television, his best known role was that of debonair secret… Read More

Wallis Randall (1922 – 2015)


Tributes have been paid to long-standing London Branch member Wallis Randall, who died peacefully on 9th June, 2015 after a long illness. Quietly spoken,… Read More


poppy wreath

On this day: 1st December

Leading Stoker John Chadwick (H.M.M.L. 300)

At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them


The Bari Raid

The Morning After The Big Raid At Bari. A painting by the war artist Bernard Hailstone which is part of the IWM collection © IWM

Bari, Italy: 2nd December 1943

The 2nd December sees the anniversary of an air raid on the Port of Bari, Italy, in which a convoy of some 19 ships which had entered an already congested harbour became an easy target for the German Air Force. Sixteen ships and 38000 tons of cargo were destroyed with an estimated 1000 casualties, many of whom were the victims of mustard gas poisoning, released from one of the ships sunk during the raid.


Book of Remembrance

The Book of Remembrance honours the memory of those who died in service on this day. The book also lists all casualties for each month of the year. A full search of casualties by name, or unit is available from within the casualty database

Coastal Forces Veterans Association

The Coastal Forces Veterans Association (CFVA) was founded in 1974 and ran until the official laying up of colours in 2007. Former CFVA Chairman and London Branch veteran Peter Bickmore recounts the early days of the association

London Branch

News articles and announcements from the London Branch based on HMS Belfast on the Thames near Tower Bridge in London.


The Surviving Coastal Forces Boats

Over 2000 vessels of various types were constructed for use by Coastal Forces during the Second World War, including motor torpedo boats, motor gunboats and motor launches. On the cessation of hostilities nearly all boats were sold or otherwise disposed of. Some were donated to sea scout groups, while many more were converted for use as leisure craft, houseboats, or in some cases ferries. Over the decades the number to remain seaworthy has inevitably dwindled, leaving a precious few to be saved for the nation, or preserved for posterity by private individuals or trusts.

  • HDML 1301

    Known for a time as Meda, this former Harbour Defence Launch is currently undergoing restoration in Holland. It originally served in the Mediterranean taking part in the invasions of Sicily and Elba, as well as the Salerno Landings

  • HDML 1387

    Known as Harbour Defence Motor Launches, these boats were actually used in all forms of operations at sea in areas as diverse as Home Waters, the Mediterranean, and West Africa. HDML 1387 (Medusa) performed the role of navigation beacon during D-Day

  • MGB 81

    This boat was completed as a Motor Gun Boat (MGB) but converted along with others for use as a Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB 416) in September 1943. It has since been restored to its original gunboat specification and secured for preservation by Portsmouth Naval Base Property

  • MTB 71

    MTB 71 was built for the Royal Norwegian Navy as No 7 but requisitioned for the Royal Navy in July 1943. MTB 71 survived the war and was sold in 1945. It was acquired for restoration in 1993, and is now preserved as part of the Imperial War Museum collection at Duxford

  • MTB 102

    An important craft in the development of the motor torpedo boat, MTB 102 was originally constructed by Vosper in 1937 as a demonstration model, before being sold to the Admiralty in 1938. It is now looked after by Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

  • MTB 219

    MTB 219 was originally built for the Greek Navy as T4 before being requisitioned by the Royal Navy. MTB 219 survived the war and was transferred to Staines Sea Scouts in 1945, before being sold in 1948. It is currently being restored after use as a houseboat for over sixty years

  • P 1041

    One of only twelve Gay Class boats designed by Vosper and built in the early 1950s for use by the Royal Navy as fast attack craft. Gay Archer (P1042) was the last of the motor boats to be powered using petrol engines

  • RML 497

    As a Rescue Motor Launche, RML 497 carried out air sea rescue work in conjunction with the RAF in their high-speed Air Sea Rescue (ASR) launches, often putting to sea when weather conditions were too rough for the RAF boats

  • RML 526

    A Rescue Motor Launch, RML 526 is a version of the multi-use Fairmile B Class of motor launch, the largest numerically of the boat types crewed by Coastal Forces

  • SGB 9

    The Steam Gun Boat Grey Goose, one of only seven to have entered service with the Royal Navy, and famously commanded by Sir Peter Scott, Senior Officer of the SGB Flotilla based in the English Channel. It is currently a houseboat