Welcome to Historical RFA
Gibraltarian John George Joyce joined the RFA in 1939 as a seaman serving on RFA’s Prestol, Viscol, Thermol and Mixol during the war years and after the war on other RFA’s. George came ashore from the Service in 1955 when he was the Bosun on RFA Eddybeach.
After his time at sea George joined the Victualling Yard in Gibraltar for a further 25 years retiring in 1970 when he was awarded the Imperial Service Medal.
For RFA Broomdale 1944 was a very bad year with explosions, torpedoes and expressions of displeasure!
On 14 April she had been moored alongside at Bombay when the s.s. Fort Stikine, an ammunition ship, exploded in the harbour and caused death and serious destruction over a wide area. Broomdale suffered damage.
On the 25 January 1942 in a blizzard the Naval Armaments Vessel Isleford ran aground in Wick Bay, Scotland and was lost. The entire crew of 14 plus one DEMS Gunner were all drowned.
NAV Isleford was one of the predecessors of the RFA’s Ammunition ships of the 1950’s to the 1980’s.
On Merchant Navy Day 4 September 2011 the Caithness Branch of the Merchant Navy Association unveiled a memorial to those lost on the Isleford and her crew after a service in the town's kirk.
The Allied naval bombardment of the Dardanelles forts in February 1915 had disclosed the fact that the Turks had concealed their batteries on the peninsula very cleverly, and that airplanes and seaplanes had their limitations as directors of gunfire. Apart from troubles with their engines, there was always the self-evident axiom that an observer moving rapidly through the air cannot spot as accurately as an observer sitting in the basket of a stationary balloon. The Naval Commanders at the Dardanelles sent out an urgent signal for observation balloons, urging that they should be dispatched from England at once, so as to arrive in time for the landing on the Gallipoli peninsula.
We have all heard of Ballistic Missile Submarines, Guided Missile Destroyers and Frigates, but how many of you have heard of a tanker with a ballistic unguided missile capability, not many I would wager.
In early 1987 RFA Olwen had two very special tubes fitted to her flight deck; each tube was around 30 feet long and 21 inches in diameter and gave the ship the appearance of an old Battleship with the tubes looking like main armament. One of the tubes had been mounted on a base plate that was cut into Olwen’s flight deck and the other was on a portable platform. The tubes were steered on two axes and had to be aligned to the ship’s centre line to operate effectively.
Allen Mardon Baggott was born in London on 13 April 1884 and went to sea as a Steward on various ships. His home was in Itchen, Southampton
He signed on the RMS Titanic at Southampton on 4 April 1912 as a first class steward for which his monthly salary was £3 15sh 0d. Previously he had served on the Oceanic.
He boarded the Titanic at Southampton at 6am on 10 April 1912 shortly before she sailed with her first port of call being at Cherbourg, France and then at Queenstown, Ireland on 11 April 1912 before the ship commenced the crossing of the Atlantic with 2,240 people onboard.