The April edition of the London Branch newsletter brings important news of the discussion held at the recent AGM, in which the Secretary highlighted the dwindling attendance at branch meetings. It has been proposed that the branch should remain functioning for at least another year, with the situation to be reviewed again in March 2014. There is also information on the Heroes Return 2 scheme, as well as an offer of boat trips to be had at Gosport, and on the River Thames
London Branch April 2013
The April edition of the South London Branch newsletter provides a summary of their recent AGM, and posts notice of the deaths of valued shipmates Doug Hylands, and George Lane, who 'crossed the bar' in April and May respectively.
South London Branch April 2013
London Branch member Peter Bickmore is currently organising a return visit to the Croatian island of Vis. Veterans interested in joining this trip may be eligible for a grant from the Big Lottery Fund's Heroes Return 2 scheme. Full details may be found in the link below.
London Branch has received news of the death of Len 'Rover' Reynolds, who 'crossed the bar' on the 18th April 2013, at Maidenhead, Berkshire.
Len served for some two and a half years on MGB 658, and after the war, led a long and successful career as a teacher and headmaster, and then as an author of a set of definitive histories of Light Coastal Forces.
April sees the anniversary of the sinking of MTB 710, a Fairmile 'D' Dogboat lost in the Adriatic on the 10th April 1945, after striking an acoustic mine. A large section of her crew were below decks at the time of the incident, and sixteen members of crew drowned as her forward section sank.
George Chandler MID, one of the survivors from the boat, provides a poignant account of the day's events, in an article linked to below.
The National Lottery backed Heroes Return 2 scheme, which helps fund veterans' trips to attend commemoration events at home or abroad, has been extended to permit those who have applied successfully once before, to fund a second trip.
The night of the 28th–29th May 1944 saw the largest single loss of life suffered by Coastal Forces through friendly fire, when MTB 732 was sunk by gunfire from the Free French destroyer La Combattante in the English Channel, after being mistaken for an E-boat.
MTB 732 acccompanied by MTB 739 had been ordered to search for two E-boats, sighted in an area of the Channel where La Combattante was also conducting a sweep. Despite both MTBs sending up recognition flares, the destroyer opened fire on MTB 732, sinking the boat, and killing 15 crew.
Able Seaman Edward Bates (H.M.M.L. 1039)
Stoker 1st Class Dennis Bowen (H.M.M.L. 1039)
Able Seaman Harry Hobson (H.M.M.L. 1039)
Able Seaman Harold Launder (H.M.M.L. 1039)
Lieutenant Robert Morton (H.M.M.L. 1039)
Lieutenant Bryan William Rylands Thomas (H.M.M.L. 1039)
Able Seaman Stanley Ritchie Thompson (H.M.M.L. 1039)
Motor Mechanic Robert Laurence Wall (H.M.M.L. 1039)
Petty Officer Ronnie Westgate (H.M.M.L. 1039)
Able Seaman Anthony James Thomas Gilmore (H.M.M.L. 1069)
Leading Seaman Charles Frederick Hewlett (H.M.M.L. 1069)
Able Seaman James Vincent Lang (H.M.M.L. 1069)
Midshipman Desmond Cyril Gurney Simpson (H.M.M.L. 1069)
Ordinary Seaman Alexander Dickie (H.M.S. Mosquito)
Lieutenant Lionel Peirce Douglas (H.M.S. Nile)
The articles section contains accounts written by veterans detailing aspects of their service in Coastal Forces during the Second World War.Read our articles
Find information on a specific Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB), Motor Gunboat (MGB), Motor Launch (ML) or Harbour Defence Motor Launch (HDML).Search the database
Visit the veterans area to get up-to-date news and information from the world of Coastal Forces Veterans by reading the latest branch newsletters.Visit the veterans section
The photo gallery forms a visual record of the history of Coastal Forces and contains many records of the working environment of boats and their crews.View the photo gallery
The Maps Room employs Google map technologies to chart the location of all former Coastal Forces bases world-wide with a note on the history of each.Visit the Map Room
In the War Reports section you can read official war reports written during the Second World War that offer revealing insights into the role of Coastal Forces.Read the War Reports