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a model of a fairmile d motor torpedo boat
  A model Fairmile 'D' Motor Torpedo Boat which formed part of the exhibits at the 2016 International Model Boat Show
a model of a fairmile b motor launch on its stand
  A model Fairmile 'B' motor launch exhibited at the 2016 International Model Boat Show in Warwickshire

VETERANS

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

LATEST BRANCH NEWS

London Branch December 2016 newsletter

London Branch December 2016

The huge London Cross Rail construction scheme, coupled with long term modifications being made to London Bridge Station, plus a Read More
London Branch August 2016 newsletter

London Branch August 2016

Usually I take pleasure in first recording the business of our latest (17th July) Branch Meeting. But this time it's different. There wasn't one. It was… Read More
London Branch June 2016 newsletter

London Branch June 2016

As is usual, immediately prior to the recent branch meeting, members of the Branch Committee took advantage to hold a quick meeting to discuss 'urgent… Read More
London Branch March 2016 newsletter

London Branch March 2016

Our Branch Meeting on Sunday 21st February was a rather 'thin' affair but a pleasant and useful one nevertheless. Although our two Read More
London Branch December 2015 newsletter

London Branch December 2015

I am sorry to report that Wallis Randall finally succumbed to his long illness. Shortly following that sad news, we learned that Sea Cadet Read More

NEXT LONDON BRANCH MEETING

Sunday 15th January, 2017

DEATH NOTICES

Ioan Telford Hughes

24/11/2016

London Branch have been informed of the death of shipmate Ioan Telford Hughes. A member of the former Coastal Forces Veterans Association, he 'crossed… Read More

Arthur Terence Robinson

21/09/2016

Terence Robinson has died aged 98 after a short illness. Dubbed the 'Mr Coca-Cola' of Northern Ireland after the successful family run bottling business… Read More

Henry Ernest Checkley

26/05/2016

London Branch have learned of the death of shipmate 'Sparky' Henry Checkley who has gone "back to sea for the last time", having passed away peacefully,… Read More

Denis Cooke

26/01/2016

Denis Aubrey Cooke, a member of the former South Wales Branch died on 15th December, 2015 aged 92. Denis was Leading Seaman and Coxwain on ML 187, ML… Read More

Ted Childs

21/01/2016

London Branch have been informed of the sudden death of Ted Childs. As a deferred peacetime National Service candidate, Ted served at Hornet from… Read More

VETERANS INFORMATION

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

CFVA

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.

Branch Meeting

The Committee have agreed Autumn meetings on HMS Belfast should now be held in October to correct the existing gap between meetings, and address the anomaly of holding two meetings in November.

ANNIVERSARY

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 38,000 tons of cargo were destroyed with an estimated 1,000 casualties, many of whom were the victims of mustard gas poisoning, released from one of the ships sunk during the raid.

Podcast from the BBC

Listen to an eyewitness account of the Bari Raid given by Peter Bickmore to the BBC and recorded as part of their Witness series for broadcast on the BBC World Service.

PRESERVATION

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 maintained by the MTB 102 Trust based at Lowestoft

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 Launch, 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. It has now been secured for preservation by the National Museum of the Royal Navy

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