RFA Trophy’s and Awards
RFA Historical is proud to list the many Trophy’s and Awards that the RFA Service, or individual ships have won or been presented with over the years of its existence.
The majority of these prestigious awards have been made to ships that have excelled in one area or other thereby showing that the RFA is a front line service with truly professional seamen within its ranks.
Some of the awards were won by individual seamen for outstanding performance, some for sporting achievement and one, the Beira Bucket that was awarded for sporting prowess in unusual circumstances.
Details will be added as material for this part of the site becomes available
The Wilkinson Sword of Peace was instituted in 1966 by Messrs Wilkinson Son Ltd. Each year the company sponsored the award to the unit of each of the armed services that had been judged to have made the most valuable contribution towards establishing good and friendly relations with any community, at home or overseas. As part of the Naval Service, Royal Fleet Auxiliaries have received a number of these awards, sometimes individually, sometimes shared with other units.
The Jordan Trophy was presented to the RFA by Lieutenant Christopher Jordan, Royal Navy, who was the first RFA Defensive Weapons Officer for the service between 1983 to 1987. Senior officers attached to the MOD after the Falklands war quickly realised that the RFA needed a defensive weapons capability and more importantly, a professional to teach the ships crews how to use the weapons effectively.
At one time the Landing Ship Logistic, RFA Sir Tristram had a ships trophy in her officers lounge that was unusual, to say the least. The item in question was a “Fox” in a glass case that had been presented to the ship at some time in its long career. To set the story straight though, it must be stated that the animal in question was actually a vixen that had been stuffed and mounted. In the mid 1970’s, some waggish officer had inserted a pair of Action Man’s boots into the nether regions of this animal, that is until someone complained.
RFA Bayleaf was presented with a Silver Shield for an act of bravery on the part of her Rescue Boat following her receiving a Mayday call from a Taiwanese cargo ship that was reported to be sinking nearby, following a Typhoon in the area.
The James Coull Memorial Award is administered and presented by the Trustees of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Association; it is awarded to the serving officer or rating who makes an outstanding contribution to the good name of the RFA Service.
On 2 February 1998 the Helicopter Training and Primary Casualty Receiving ship RFA Argus raced to the rescue of the Spanish ship “Delfin Del Mediterraneo” which had sunk in a storm, 248 miles south west of Cape St. Vincent at 34° 34'N – 13° 04'W. The ship launched her helicopters and despite waves of up to 40 feet, managed to rescue twelve Spanish sailors from the ship. Two other crew members were lost.
The Bulawayo Cup was originally one of a series of trophies presented to HMS Bulawayo by the citizens of Zimbabwe’s (then known as Rhodesia) second city, when the captured German tanker “Nordmark” was commissioned into the Royal Navy and eventually re-named HMS Bulawayo.
The Courtney Bilkey Memorial Shield is presented to the RFA Trainee Chef achieving the highest results during training on course at HMS RALEIGH.
The RFA Centenary Wedgwood Bowl was donated by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Limited and presented to Commodore R C Thornton RFA, at the Dover Maritime Festival on the 24 March 2006, by the Minister for Shipping, Dr Stephen J Ladyman MP.
Donated to the RFA by his parents in memory of their son Mark Petrie, Leading Hand Deck, who unfortunately lost his life in a tragic accident while serving aboard RFA ORANGELEAF in 2005. It is presented to the most outstanding Seaman Grade 2 Trainee on each course at the Seamanship School at HMS RALEIGH.