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I am looking for any information about my Dad John Kane and my Mum Joyce Kane nee Box. They met at Whale Island when Dad was doing Radar training for the Navy and Mum was a WRN. Dad served on HMS Holderness. They are both dead but any information would be much appreciated. Thanks
Thanks for the message Sharon, I can only contact you if you leave information in the VISITORS WEBSITE box. This will not show on the post as I moderate all posts before I display them. If you look on the front page of the website down towards the bottom is an address to contact asking for a Service History. Use that and follow the menu on the link. Chris
Dear Chris,

I came across your incredible website while researching for my Naval History MA. I am writing a dissertation on the East Coast bases that supported the Coastal Forces during the Second World War. Thank you for your kindness in answering my questions, sharing some great images and checking your Father's diary for what he said about his experiences alongside. It has been so helpful.

Very, Very Many Thanks

Growing up there were two things that my dad flatly refused to do. First, he would never ever consider a holiday at a holiday camp. Second, if anyone mentioned Skegness as somewhere to go he flatly refused to go there. Despite asking him to state why, he never would and even my mum had no idea. In the end it was just never mentioned. A few years back when looking through some old papers we found his Certificate of Service in the Royal Navy. His first recorded ship was HMS Royal Arthur and when we researched it found it was a holiday camp in Skegness. After fifty something years we now know the answer lolol. Bless you dad.

Lynne, if you want do further research into your fathers service history follow the link at the bottom of the "Home Page" (first page), the link is in blue.
Regards Chris
I know it is a while since my last comment. Could Ii ask you Chris if you managed to get the info of how to look for info on my dad Geoffrey Frederick Bass born 25/4/1925.He served on the MTB's I understand. No idea which one, I also believe he was a Gunner. If anyone out there knew him it would be great to get the info. He might have joined around 1940 and think he told a fib of his age to get in. He was from Kettering Nottinghamshire. He passed away in South Africa in 1989.
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
At the bottom of the front page on this website is a website address. This is to get information to apply for a full history. It does cost something (I’m not sure what the cost is now) You also need to be a relative to get the information. If you are successful and have a problem with some of the terminology in the information give me a call, I may be able to help. Good luck with your research.

This is an amazing and wonderful record of the things that happened in extraordinary times. I served in the last operational coastal forces in the late 1960's and twenty five years later the nature of the ship's companies, their humour and ingenuity was unchanged. This reflects the true character and raw courage of the amazing service rendered by the "gentlemen trying to be sailors" of the RNVR. By a quirk of fate I also commanded HMS Curzon briefly in 1971, undertaking post refit acceptance trials in Gibraltar and delivering her back to Shoreham. I think I was the only two stripe CO to have a Commander, Commander (S), Commander (E) and Commander (L) in the wardroom and certainly the only one to have to make comment on their fitness for duty following an exuberant run ashore.
Hi I’m hoping you can help I’ve come across a trophy from 1964 hayling island GC navy air command wylie cup can you tell me anything about it please?
Keri, the only contact information you have left is your name making it difficult for me to contact you. My knowledge only extends to Coastal Forces during WW2, Can I suggest that you contact what ever of Navy Air Command that still exists or a local RNR Division, sorry not to be of any help.
Hi My Dad, Davie McLauchlan was Class 162, Unfortunately he has just passed away at 93. I have been trying to find out information on his Navy Career. Can you recommend the best way to search for this. Thank you David
Have a look on the front (Home Page) page of this site. I've put a link to the Royal Navy Research site. It doesn't cost very much to get a full history of someones Naval Service.
Regards Chris
I was a member of HMS Sussex from 1963 - 1964 as a Writer. Would like to make contact with anyone who was there at the time.
John, I have published your request. If anyone replies I haven’t got a way of contacting you unless you send me some contact details. I won’t publish them. Chris
Thankyou for sharing this information. I am the grand daughter of AB Joe currie o/tell who was on the mgb118 as part of the 9th flotilla.

Thanks for the email Laura, I have received a request for your email address but as you didn't leave one could you contact me as there are some relatives of another "118" person who would like to contact you. You can use this comments page as all of the posts are moderated before they are shown, I will be the only person who knows your address. Then if you are agreeable I can send it to the other people. Chris
Correct, that is Les Yock. He lived next to my grandparents in Curl Curl until he passed away. A lovely man. My mother is still in contact with his family.
I believe one of the photos where you have identified "Yockers" may well be my 2nd cousin 2x removed Lieut. Leslie (Les) Ernest Yock born Palmerston North, New Zealand but grew up in the northern suburbs of NSW Australia. Son of Hilda Adel Meyers and Sigmond Joel Yockmonitz AKA Bert Yock.
Julie if you leave me your email address I can contact you. It won't be seen by others as I monitor all posts and remove identifying addresses etc. if required.
My father Geoffrey Bass born 25 April 1925 served on the MTB's not sure which ones, or the date he enlisted. I know he received the Atlantic Campaign medal and a couple of others but that is all. He gave an incorrect date of birth to get into the navy and to serve in the war. He has since died but I would love to know more of his time at sea, if there is anyone around to tell. All the best Estelle email
I will contact you with an address to get the information you want Chris
Last visited this website in July 2009; 8 years later I'm still very interesting and well put together site! I hope to meet up with Alistair Logan, the current owner of MGB 118 (moored at Hayling Island), this weekend (11-12th March 2017) at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard...there is a 'WW2 Weekend' and MTB 81 and HSL 102 are open to the public. I would be very interested to see '118', as I lived on Polish MTB S-8/MTB 427 in Southampton for 5 years and have spent the last 38 years collecting information, photos and stories of these wonderful boats....roll on the new 'Coastal Forces Museum' in Gosport!
Tim Deacon (e:
By pure chance I have just obtained a photo of S204 "L" ang which surrendered at Felixstowe and is shown on your excellent website.
I have emailed a copy to you.
Best Regards
james S

Thanks very much. I have received the photos.
Nice site, my father was the SPO on MTB 07 of the 2nd MTB Flotilla that escaped from Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941. Their task was to return the legendary one legged Chinese Admiral, Chan Chak, to Free China at all costs. After landing behind enemy lines the flotilla was scuttled and the crews formed a guerrilla force guarding the Chinese Admiral.
Thanks for the information Richard
Just to let you know in the proses of restoring hull of mgb 118
I have found considerable shell damage to here port side which has been repaired by the admiralty. Also found and removed several live rounds ( 9mm ) probably from a revolver found lodged inside starboard midship frame below . damage to one of the pull up steel blackout shutters located at the front starboard quarter of what was the radio shack , probably shrapnel . Don't forget I'm still looking for any history or photos ect Regards. Alistair
Trying to find information on Henry Rylance from South Shields served on mtb,s from 1943-1945 at whale island...the last year on experimental radio controlled craft..

There is a link on the Bibliography and Link page on this site, I have inserted it below. Relatives can usually get a full service history for a modest fee. Ed
Does anyone have any information on mgb 118/mtb437 prior to 1974
MGB 118 is now under new ownership, still as a houseboat, on Hayling Island. All remaining superstructure has been removed and her decks have been sheathed in fibreglass or epoxy.
A new, more houseboat style superstructure is being added, but its not altogether out of keeping and she'll still look more boat than house.
My partners father claimed to of served on MTB 449 and 451 however his memory is failing due mainly to age . We are hoping to find whether he served on both vessels and whether anyone might still be alive who might know him His name is Dennis Donne and I think he was an able seaman
Any info gratefully received by email

Many thanks stve
Hello, I was pleased to have found photos of the crew of MGB 118 this boat was later converted to MTB 437 In April 1944. 2nd Flotilla was commissioned with the Dutch who fought the war in the Channel area. On September 5 1944 the Dutch MTB service was decommissioned eight months after it had been founded. MGB 118 is still here living on Hayling Island, still floating, just, and belongs to myself.
I have just visited your Website. I too have the photo of the crew of MGB 118.
My Uncle Brian Oliver Barker, AB.(who I am named after) is crouching second from the left front row.
The photograph is part of a collection left to me by Father who served in the Royal Navy from around 1932 to 1946. He served on the Cumberland/Suffolk/Eagle/ LSTs C12, 414, 424. HMS Delhi and Renown.
I hope this is of interest.
Thanks for the message Brian. I have amended the the wording by the photo. Ed
My Dad, John Black, served during the war and invasion on the MTB's.
Remembering all the brave 'boys' today and tomorrow with the children at the school where I am Head Teacher. Thank you all to our often unsung Naval heros during those dark days of the invasion.
Congratulations on building such a great web site! I sincerely believe that the Coastal Forces were very much ignored after the war - typical RN for believing in 'The Silent Service' ethos! I have worked at a couple of heritage sites recently just for a pastime really. It has struck me that the shops at these world renowned sites stock numerous books on The Battle of Britain, the fighter boys who flew the Spitfire and Hurricane etc etc. I am a great admirer of these wonderful aircrew and the planes they flew during WW2. But there should be more about the RN's role in WW2. So if you are visiting Dover Castle (English Heritage) or The White Cliffs of Dover (National Trust) or any other appropriate heritage site, then please ask where the books on The Dover Patrol or Coastal Forces in general are. Many great books are still in print and easily available on the web. Make a little fuss and they might get the message!
Beautiful memento. Great to pay tribute to their parents. Great information. Congratulations.
- Jacek Olkowski captain of PLNavy
This site is also a tribute to the 8th MTB Flotilla S5 to S10 Ed
looking for any and all information relavent to M.G.B. 57. 4th Flotilla.
I have in my possession an album from a naval officer and his travels, I would love to locate family members for the men and women in these photos.. if anyone can provide me with info on how to do so please let me know.. I'm assuming they are pictures from the late 1930's into 40's. There are crew pictures, One labeled "Crew 745 at Brixham". As well as remains of the 29th flotilla, V.E. day at Yarmouth, Newton Abbott Hospital, "The Boys at Cornwallis" , ML, MTB 735, MTB's in Ostend Harbour, MTB's in Yarmouth, War damage to Ostend, and the Brightlingsea wrens.. Please help, I would love to know more history on these pictures..
Thanks for the email, as I said in my reply try the links on the page on this site. I will complete the meta tags so that this message can be searched (Googled)
Hi, my father was in Trincomalee during 1944 to 1946, his name was Lawrence V Steer and was a Petty Officer with the Royal Navy. He sadly died some years ago but had talked about his time in `Ceylon` and had written a diary of day to day activities. I wondered if there was anybody out there who would have known my father perhaps although now would be a good age!

Thanks very much for the comment. If there is anyone who had relatives in Ceylon during the war please let us know. It is possible to get his complete war record to find out times dates etc. Ed
Hi, i wondered if you could help me. I am trying to find a picture of the ML Cheviot Wind. My father was on her 1941/1942. AT this time she was stationed at Mistly. My father was with the RASC No.2 motorboat coy. and was on estuary duty, river crouch and blackwater. The launch was i believe 44 foot long twin screws and had 2 petrol engines. She was built by Bunns of wroxham. She made it through the war as i have imformation up to 1993 and then it goes cold. I would love to get a picture of her from during the war and all so after the war. my email address is---- many thanks , Richard
Try putting a message on this board using the address here Ed
As a serving member of the Fleet Air Arm of the RN I have to say how impressive this site is. Packed full of information this site is a credit to you for building it and certainly the service that Rod tendered to his country. A 'tour de force'. Bravo!
2 if I remember right, the compressed air was needed to start the engines, there were no starters. Neither did they have a reverse gear, if the ship had to go astern the engine was stopped, the valves were altered, the engine restarted with the air and it would then be running in reverse, when required to go ahead the whole procedure had to be repeated. On one occasion we had a trainee Officer on the bridge endeavouring to leave Greenock harbour, it was one of the times when things go from bad to worse and there were a lot of starts and restarts which consumed nearly all of the air despite the compressor running and charging up the bottles. There was a worry in the engine room as to whether we would actually run out of air in which case everything would have come to a stop, but we didn't.
This entry should be read last of the two. Ed
What a fascinating history of coastal forces and your fathers part in them. I was peacetime and post war Royal Navy as a stoker, the name changed to engineering mechanic but the job remained the same! I was very interested in the connection with Walrus, 50 plus years ago I was a stoker in the Clyde division RNVR and one of our training tenders was Blackburn a sister ship of your Walrus. This vessel was 'overmanned' on training weekends or cruises so a messdeck had been made in the hold out of scaffold pipes with canvas as walls or bulkheads in the naval language, we slung our hammocks from the piping, it was pretty cold in the winter and hot in the summer. She had 2 Crossley diesel engines with a generator and an air compressor which was needed to charge the air bottles, 2 if I remember.
This entry should be read first.Ed
I posted a message but clearly wiped it off. My father Geoffrey (Frederick) Bass from Kettering was also with the MTB's dont know which Flotilla though. He received a medal Atlantic Star and 2 others. Spent a good bit of time in Iceland i believe. Not sure but think he was a gunner.
Loved reading your articles, so informative and always wondered what one of those boats looked like.
Would love to know if anyone remembers him with any info, he was demobilsed in CapeTown in 1946 he passed away in 1989 in South Africa. Email address

Sorry for the delay in answering Estelle but I'm on holiday in France at the moment. I will send you details of how to get hold of your fathers service history when I get back on Friday (or more likely on Saturday!) Chris.
Sorry it is Estelle again, if you need my email address it is
Interesting site, my father was with the 2nd MTB Flotilla in Hong Kong which escaped on Christmas Day 1941 with the legendary one legged Chinese Admiral Chan Chak KBE. The flotilla was scuttled deep behind enemy lines off the Dapeng Penninsula Mirs Bay China.
More on
My father sadly passed away today.
His name Albert August Abrahamsen.

I wish to make contact with anyone who knew him well...
He lived in Mablethorpe.

My contact number is

I hope to hear from any of his friends.
Further to Brian Robetson. I have checked my crew list and he was not one of mine. You can find on which boat he was if you write to the Director of Naval Personnel, Disclosure Cell, Room 48, West Battery, Whale Island, PORTSMOUTH, PO2 BOX. They will require your Dad's Service Number and some proof that you are related i wish you well. Let us know if you have some success and maybe I will be able to tell you more. Good luck - No in-fighting!
Queery by Bryan Robinson - Regret I have no recolection of this uncomplementry question
Great website. My father Jack Robertson was with the 35th Flotilla as an Able Seaman from 1 April 1944 to 13 October 1945 so very interesting. Is it true it was known as the fighting 35th principally for fighting amongst themselves?!!

Brian Robertson

Haven't heard that one, I will ask Terry Mills about that! Ed
Your web site was recommended to me by Terence Mills of the 8th flotilla and I congratulate you on the eye catching style, the comprehensive data and the many photographs. Please excuse the fact that an advertisement follows but it is information that is closely related to this web site. The Society for Nautical Research (South) is organising a Conference at the Royal Naval Museum Portsmouth on Sat 9 Apr on the Gunboat in 20th century. Three of the six papers will be on Coastal Forces activities in WW2 and we also hope to have three Coastal Forces veterans speaking of their experiences. All are welcome - email me at if you are interested.

Thanks for the information, Ed.
Surfing the the broadband - I came across your most excellent dedication to your Father.
During the War I was a Lieut. RNVR and was appointed to the post as First Lieut. on HMS ROC, sister ship to HMS Walrus. I am just a little younger than Father - now in my 86th Year !!
We were the first of these vessels built and were told that great care must be taken when we left Portsmouth to sail to Colombo - it took us three months. I came from Tank Landing Craft - after they had finished with me in France - the assualt and back-up - they sent me to HMS Roc. We looked forward to Walrus arriving in Colombo and we had a Party with your Father and his crew.

I could tell you very much more if you want to know all about these little ships. My very best wishes to you.

Geoff Smale

Thanks for the comments Geoff, I have added a further image to the Walrus Visitors Book page. I hope that you will consider adding your details to the "Unit Histories" website
Regards Chris (Ed)
My father served at HMS Beehive as a Motor Mechanic 4th Class (initially) RNVR and was on MT 71 (which is now preserved) when it and several other MTB's made an unsucessful attack on the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau as they made the Channel dash. He was awarded the DSM during an action off the Dutch coast in October 1943. He later became an officer and was based at Lowestoft. He was posted to Ceylon after the war ended in Europe and returned to civilian life in 1946. He passed away on the 24 Sept 2010. I have several photos if you are interested.
Ref: Post No. 21:

You're very observant! That's his signature!

Interesting how many people on this site are now checking out details about their fathers war-time experiences! Like so many of their generation they didn't feel the need to talk about their war-time experiences to anyone (except for amusing or self-deprecating stories).
Great site, my Father only died a few days ago he was on ML & MTB boats in the Med and has many photographs from that period. He was a Stoker. His certficate of service mainly shows his bases rather than vessels although some are mentioned including ML 283 (his longest period of service to one vessel), MTB 525 & 529, MTB 623 and his final MTB 750. He also gave me other numbers before his death which Im researching, I am hoping the MOD records office in Portsmouth will have more information.
My My Father served from February 1943 until December 1949, his name was Tom Allen
Fantastic site, I have been looking for some time for information regarding MTB's and MGB's stationed at Lowestoft. I visited the small coastal museum there several years ago and didn't find much help. My father William Morgan served there as a main gunner from 1943 to 1945 and his service record states that he was with boat MTB 349 from 4/12/43 to 29/3/45 and with MTB 505 from 30/3/45 to 24/5/45 being payed off at HMS Drake 25/5/45 to 27/5/45. Sadly my father died when I was young and I never had the chance to learn about his wartime life. One of your photo's of the bridge of boat 478 at speed has 3 crew members on deck and the small man with his hands on hips looks very much like my dad although the photo is quite small. It would be nice to think so. yours Bernie Morgan.
Great site! My father Barrie Roberts passed away last year and I found loads of photos of his MGB (#447) and others and thought I'd do some research. Great to see so many photos of him here. I know that he was assigned to protecting the convoys in the North Sea prior to joining the MTBs.

Is the signature on the "LEY ONS" menu (VE Celebration page) in the topright hand corner your fathers? Ed
I found this very excellent site via a link posted in
My late father spent most of "his war" in Coastal Forces one boat he was on which he mentioned was "249"
Recently via the CF notice board I was contacted by "Tex" Baseley from my father's "old crew", if anyone who knew him or the crew of "249" please drop me a line.
Some of the names mentioned to me.
"Butts" Green (Signalman) , "Jock" Moran , Stoker Hayden , "Tex" Baseley , Percy Baines and "Spewey" Peigh.
Cox Aex Mckew bob "Scous" Hill, Jim Revoles (?) , "Asdic" Drew and "Rocky" Granger.

Sadly my father passed away in 1996.
Jim S
Hi further to my last post
I would welcome any info on MTB 628 as my brother Barry Jones who is now passed on, served aboard that boat/
If I recall it was named the "Shark Flotilla, because i the had sharks teeth painted on the lower part of the bow
Bill Jones
I am writing my autobiography, and was pleased to come across this site with so much info.
I was a member of the crew that took possesion of MTB 482 with the big Radar on top, the skipper was Lt Smail, and what a wonderful skipper he was.I am 86 now, and have searched the internet, for more info on the crew, but have not had a any luck.I Would welcome any more info on MTB 482
Thank you for the wonderful site and all the info re the 35th Flotilla.
Bill Jones Chilliwack B.C. Canada
I ENJOYED VIEWING YOUR WEBSITE,AS MY LATE FATHER OF THE SAME NAME SERVED ON MTB`S FOR THE (RN). He was a gunner,your site gave me a fasinating insite into what life must have been like for the brave men who served on MTB`S DURING The second world war.

Many thanks, William Davidson.