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ML 269

Posted: Sat May 29, 2010 12:56 pm
by skiphaddon
hi everybody. my grandad served on ML 269 his name is john haddon was just wondering if anybody has any info or can tell me some good books or websites to look on.

thanks, skiphaddon.

Re: ML 269

Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 11:48 am
by Admin
Hello skiphaddon

Welcome to the forum. I have a small amount of information on ML 269, though Mr Brian Holmes who holds a very good collection of information on most Coastal Forces boats may be able to supply you with more information once he sees your post.

Briefly then: ML 269 was a Fairmile B Motor Launch, constructed by William Weatherhead of Cockenzie, UK on 28.07.1941. It was passed to the Free French (as the Beniquet?) between April 1942 and August 1942 and then transferred to Burma under the charge of the RNVR in October 1945 before being put up for disposal in December 1945.



Re: ML 269

Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 11:22 pm
by RogerP
Hello from OZ,

I am a supporting member of the Fairmile Association here in Australia and one of our members who lives in NSW served on ML(GB) 269 while in Burma in the Arakan area. I've just had a look in the book "The 13th & 14th Fairmile Flotillas in Burma" which mentions 269 quite a bit and has a crew photo which includes your grandad and Ken Joyce the chap I mentioned.

Send me an e-mail to -- and I will pass it on. I've just spoken to Ken, a lovely Scottish gentleman and he remembers John very well, is he still with us? Ken says he would be very happy to hear from you.

Re: ML 269

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:54 pm
by Thayes
Hi All

My wife's grandfather (Gilbert aka Jim Christie) served on the 269 in Burma and only today I was going through his pictures with him. SkipHaddon, would your grandad have been known as ginger Haddon? If so Drop me an email on as I have some great pics for you.

Roger, would Ken mind if I shared some of this info with him? I know it's a long while since the original post but thought you may find this interesting.



Re: ML 269

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:12 pm
by Brian Holmes
ML_269 William Weatherhead, Cockenzie 28/7/41

For operations off the Arakan coast 10/44 - 4/45
MID LSea William Morgan John C/JX168168

Known Crew
TSLt Harold Willey Rowland RNVR HMS Liberia (minesweeping trawler) ML 269 First Lieutenant ML 233 29/5/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1378 13/9/43 – 4/6/45 TLt 26/8/44 HMS Orlando (RN base, Greenock) Born in Sheffield 1920
TLt C C J Brown RNVR (Commanding Officer)
Lt P Royal (Commanding Officer) 1945
SLt J I Harley
SLt A Penny
PO Earnshaw
PO Walker
LSea William Morgan John C/JX168168 (Later Petty Officer)
LSea Spruce
AB Bentham
AB Christie
AB Clare
AB Haddon
AB Joyce
AB Lewis
AB Nanson
AB Perry
AB Reuss
AB Smith
AB Spiers
AB Wilson
Sto Blamire
Sto Norman
Tel Don
Tel Gilbert

Wartime Activities
1/42 At Fort William
1/4/42 Free French = Beriquet
20th ML Flotilla (Based on Weymouth)
Convoy escort, patrols and Air Sea Rescue
8/42 Returned to Royal Navy Crew transferred to 23rd MTB6/44
Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
20th ML Flotilla Based on Portsmouth
ML 123, ML 146, ML 147, ML 151, ML 198, ML 205, ML 246, ML 247, ML 269, ML 297, ML 902 and ML 903
Navigation Leaders at Juno Beach
14th ML Flotilla
10/44 - 4/45 Operations off the Arakan coast

Post War Fate
10/45 Burma RNVR
12/45 For disposal

Re: ML 269

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:43 pm
by Thayes

Thanks for this, fantastic info that is already being discussed. The photo of the crew shows my wife's grandfather in the 2nd row 1st on the left.

Re: ML 269

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:45 pm
by RogerP
Hello Terry,

I've just forwarded this thread onto Ken Joyce and I'm positive he'll get in touch if he hasn't already done so. Nice photo's of '269' as well, one day I plan to do a model of '269'. All the models I've done/doing of Fairmile B's have all been quite different, especially weapons fits and colour schemes, all very interesting.

Roger in Oz.

Re: ML 269

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:42 pm
by Thayes
Cheers Roger.

Ken and I have exchanged emails already, much appreciated.


Re: ML 269

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:29 pm
by kenjoyce
ML 269 survivors have gone from three, Alan Penny, Eddie Perry and me, to five with the good news that Ginger Haddon and JIm Christie are still wih us. Eddie Perry had traced seven of us and we had all met either in Preston, Plymouth and South Wales. Harley, Spiers, John and Earnshaw had died.

To correct what is printed in this Post, we didn't leave Milford Haven until October 1944 and only warmed up for a few days on the Arakan before taking Rangoon on 2nd May 1945,

Bill John, who had been a PO coxswain, joined us in Milford Haven as an AB. He had been fighting the War since 3rd September 1939 and was one of the finest men you could meet. The CO, Peter Royal, had him rated as a Leading Seaman in India and when the Japs surrendered he kept Bill on board instead of sending him home, as he deserved, until his PO rating was confirmed. Our boat had been involved in every action that included the 13th and 14th flotillas. The very successful actions at Kokkowa and then Yandoon would in the Channel have resulted in some DSCs, DSMs, and a handful of MIDs but the German war had just finished and Burma lived up to its reputation as the "Forgotten War' . Peter Royal rightly decided that the most worthy person for the miserable MID given to 269 should go to BIll .( Peter Royal had an MID from the St. Nazaire raid)

Ken Joyce

Re: ML 269

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:25 am
by Pioneer
Hello 'kenjoyce'

Welcome aboard, we hope that you enjoy this Forum.

If you have any further info - photo's or reminisces - please feel free to share them with us.

Best Regards

Re: ML 269

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:11 pm
by Mark Lazenby
Hello Family of ML 269,

I found this site following some research by my brother Ian in to our grandfathers time in WW2. First Lieutenant Clifford Lazenby served on ML 269 between August 1943 and February 1944. He briefly commanded ML 571 before returning to ML269 in October 1944 until he left in January 1945. Unfortunately information is sparse, as he never said a great deal. We understand that ML 269 was severely shot up in one engagement and he subsequently suffered with shell shock. If anybody can shed any light on his time we would be very grateful.

He joined the RNVR as an Ordinary Seaman and served on motor gun boats operating the Oerlikon cannon. He narrowly avoiding injury when they engaged with a German E Boat. He was subsequently selected for officer training and went on to serve on ML 269 & 571.

He had a long life and was well respected by family and friends. As a family we are proud to have known and loved him. Thank you grandad, and thank you to all his fellow servicemen.

Margery Lazenby (wife), Brian & Jill (kids)
Mark, Ian, Angus, Victor (grandkids)

If any of you are looking for a good read we can recommend The War Of The Gun Boats by Bryan Cooper.

Re: ML 269

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:28 am
by Admin
Hello Mark

For you for your enquiry, and welcome to the forum.

Do you know if the injury your grandfather suffered was during the period the boat spent out in Burma, as detailed in this edition of the Coastal Forces Heritage Newsletter: Issue 14, May 2014: White Ensign Flown by ML 269 During the Last Action by Coastal Forces in World War II, or did this happen earlier during the war? If your grandfather was out in Burma with the boat then you might try sending another of our correspondents, Ken Joyce, a former member of the boat's crew a Private Message using the forum's system. Just give us a shout if you need help in sending one.


Re: ML 269

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:19 am
by kenjoyce
Hello Mark, the Admin post has just got in before I could send a reply to you. I am sorry to tell you that Lt Lazenby was not on ML 269 between us leaving Milford Haven in October 1944, heading to Burma where our boat was turned over to the Burma Navy in October 1945. You will still have more research ahead of you to cover that period.
ML 269 could well have been in actions before this time but of course I only know that we were was involved in two gun actions in Burma. In the action at Kokowa we received a direct hit on the 6 Pounder Gun Shield that you could put your fist through but maybe because it was in line with the pedestal none of us were hit, thanks be --- At the action near to Yandoon we were hit by only one mortar shell that resulted in Ronnie Clare being seriously wounded below. In both these actions there were casualties to 13th Flotilla crew. I only have details of ML 904 where two fellows were wounded and BIll McNemany killed.
I sometimes wonder if McNemany's death on 16th May 1945 is recorded in our records ? His passing is shown on the Portsmouth Memorial.
Keep searching, Ken Joyce

Re: ML 269

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:45 am
by Pioneer
A/B W. McNemeny's death is recorded in our database also if you make your selection by Casualties - Unit - ML - 904. Note the slight difference in the spelling.

Re: ML 269

Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:00 am
by sandybc
To All on this thread
I picked up your messages because I am researching the Arakan Campaign. I am working with some guys from N.Z and a veteran who was a Captain on a Fairmile B. I am also working with a veteran who served on ML 194. After D-Day (Omaha Beach) ML 194 was modified and set off on a journey to Singapore to assist in the surrender of the Japanese. It's a fascinating story.
I thought you would like to learn of our project restoring a Farimile B - RML 526. The current First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas is our senior patron along with the grandchildren of Sir Noel Macklin, designer and founder of the Fairmile company.
She will be shortly moving from Rye East Sussex to Portsmouth historic dockyard. Once in Portsmouth, the first phase of the restoration work will begin. RML 526 has an exciting life ahead of her - if you would like to learn more please visit our website:
or feel free to get in touch via this forum.
There is to be a Crowd Fund appeal late March where there are some very interesting 'rewards' for donations made. This may also be of interest to you.

Look forward to hearing
Sandy BC

Re: ML 269

Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:59 pm
by johnk
Hello there,

Just posted on your FB page, caught by chance your latest news on 526 there, which is great of course, to see another of our surviving CF craft going to be restored, with recent re-launch of hull of MTB 219, along with as ever MTB 102, HDM Medusa, MGB 81 won't list them all! but no dis-respect intended, my hat if I wore one, would and is off, I can only manage arm chair support, time taken with a non CF but in my humble opinion, great vessel in Paddle Steamer Medway Queen...all the best.


Re: ML 269

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:05 pm
by BenMoxey
Hello all

In the midst of doing a family tree and I've just discovered that my grandfather was seconded to the ML269 on D-Day as a navigator for the event itself. He had previously been an Observer in the Fleet Air Arm (so why he was sent to the ML was beyond him). He remained on the ML269 until August when the boat went for refit - possibly before being sent to Burma it seems.
He passed away in 1985 but had the foresight to record his thoughts of the landings, of which a small portion was posted on the BBC ... 3944.shtml recently.

Does anyone happen to have any information or even photos of the crew around early 1944 before the landings?

Re: ML 269

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:25 am
by David Carter
Ben Welcome to our website. There are some photos of ML 269 posted February 2013 - follow this thread backwards. David

Re: ML 269

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:07 pm
by skiphaddon

Since my original post in 2010 I sadly forgot about this post until now.

I'd like to thank everyone for the information regarding ML 269 and my grandad ginger Haddon (john Haddon).

Unfortunately he passed away a couple of weeks ago at the good age of 92. I recall with fond memories all the times he would point to the picture of ML 269 he had on his living room wall and tell me stories about his time serving during the war.

Re: ML 269

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:52 pm
by BenMoxey
Hi skip

Sorry to hear about your loss

Re: ML 269

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:34 pm
Just wanted to record that my wifes father is Henry (Harry) Wilson, he is now 95 and a survivor of ML296 deployed in Burma. Ive found the posts very interesting as i am in the process of obtaining Harrys records during the war. Ive briefly made him aware of the posts and Im now looking forward to being able to talk with him with the knowledge you have all posted.
Harry is in the photo previously posted front row 1st on the left (we also have this photo) and his signature is on the other photo.
Im happy to ask any questions anyone may have and relay any information that may come from our conversations.
Im also wondering who the survivors are now and whether they are in contact?
He was also on HMS Cowdray & HMS Thyme during WW2.

Re: ML 269

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:38 pm
by David Carter
Hello David I am glad to hear your father-in-law is active and well. The London Branch of the Coastal Forces Veterans Association still meets regularly on HMS Belfast. Many of them were born in 1924 as well. We would be delighted if he would like to join us. Even if he cannot get to HMS Belfast, we have a regular newsletter to keep members in touch. Let me know if he is interested and I will contact you/him. David Carter (Secretary)

Re: ML 269

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:57 pm
by skiphaddon
Hi David. It’s good to hear that Harry is still with you all at the age of 95. We lost my grandad John Haddon (ginger Haddon) in September 2017 he passed away peacefully in his sleep at 92yrs old. We all still miss him greatly but have a lifetime of amazing memories. We owe so much to their generation. If Harry has any stories about my grandad or ML269 that he would be happy to share I would love to hear them.

Kind regards.

Re: ML 269

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 7:25 pm
Hi both Davids, thanks for your reply's, i sat down with Harry on Monday and went through the the previous posts and i had received the details of his war record, so had a great day filling in on the details of the ships and training.
It really stunned me when he said he had no fear of death during those days, he said he didnt even consider the possibility, men were made of different stuff in those days!
He said he remembered Ginger and several others, also escorting Canadians in landing craft at Normandy on D Day (operation Neptune), seeing one of the first flying bombs and early radar on ML269.
He was on ML269 from 3rd Feb 44 to 30th Oct 45 and recollected going through the Suez canal - Red Sea - Gulf of Aden - Indian Ocean and across to Burma.
Also during their time patrolling the Burmese rivers they were hit midships and the sailor standing next to him was badly injured and taken off the ship, but he never heard if he survived.
He recollects STO Bramire from the ML269, who introduced Harry to his future wife, the mother of my wife.
I will ask him what he remembers of Ginger specifically, we got through quite a lot of info, also about other ships (HMS Cowdray and the Arctic convoys), we were both a bit weary as a consequence.
I would love to get him down to HMS Belfast, but we are near Durham, and as the local shops are a bit of a challenge at the moment, its unlikely. the newsletter sounds great and it would be great to receive that. he has macular degeneration now so reading is virtually impossible, but if you can send details i can read it to him.
I can be contacted on, as ive only just got back to the forum, and im likely to answer my email more promptly.
Many thanks and Regards Dave

Re: ML 269

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 2:08 pm
by David Carter
Hello David Fry. I have sent you an e-mail a couple of days ago asking for your address, so that I can send you a newsletter and other information. If you haven't received it, let me know and I'll try again. Regards David Carter

Re: ML 269

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:37 pm
by Moxey
I have just been relistening to a recording my father made on the 40th anniversary of D Day of his experiences on-board ML269 in the run up to the invasion, D Day itself and the ops until the ship returned to Southend in August. The tapes was transcribed to BBC website link below. My dad's name is Jack Moxey and at the time he was a S/It if anyone has any other info I would be very grateful to hear from you as my father passed away a year after making the recording ... 3944.shtml