Surfers & Shipmates...
The only solution to the recent SPAM is for me to receive emails with your comments and add them myself. Please therefore send me your comments via the form below and they will be added as soon as I get them. Please include your name and eMail address so that I can respond if necessary, and please be assured your eMail address will not be included in the comments then added to the Guest Book page.

Yours Aye... Norrie Millen

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Des McKay - Gmail me please

Hi there,

I joined the Ulster in about 1966/7.

Progressed to the Ulster after initial training (at 15) at HMS St Vincent and electrical training at HMS Collingwood.

Foreign runs ashore I recall were Malmo (Sweden), Hamburg, Belfast (some fighting ashore, ratings were instructed to wear uniforms on the 1st night, after the ‘fisties’ we were allowed to wear civvies!).

Spent plenty of time around the Scottish coast and lochs (Fort William etc) with navigation training officers.

Seems such a long time ago now.

Bob Clift,

Norrie     just to let you know that Oxford county Navy Veterans association  Woodstock  has set up a new web site  please offer any suggestions as you go through  I would like your opinion Thanks   Danny Sutherland  

Was AMP HMS Hartland Point or Triumph on Singapore station 1964 to 1966.  Found this site researching ships tied along side Triumph.  Several others were with Killisport at the time unfortunately pennant numbers are not visible.



Hello Norrie,

I was looking on the internet for some photos of my old ship 'Ulster' and came across your web site.

I served on the 1960/61 commission (the one after you) as an LME (or Killick Stoker if you like), and have attached a ships company photo taken in Hamilton, Bermuda around about that time.

Sadly, I don't possess any more photos of our commission or the ship itself, which is a shame as I am sure that there must be some still around out there.

I liked the photo of you standing by the LIMBO though, that brought back some memories.

Its a pity that our commission never kept in touch like yours.

I live in Torquay, which is a coincidence, as I note that you hold your reunions here.

Best wishes,



Do you remember Faslane 68/9.  We were QMs and neighbours.  You were a PO and I a LS.  Seems a long time ago.  Just been in contact with Mike Ingram (ex Ulster) who is an RNA colleague of mine.




Now then Norris (Pity he cannot spell my name) me old shipmate have just joined the above association, of which I believe you are a member, we all got together at Blackpool for the AGM on 24th APR, Anne and Andrew spoke about you and said you were unable to attend due to unforseen circumstances. Since I last had contact with you I have come back to the UK from Jersey in the CI, to live near Joddrell Bank in Cheshire, we are now back on the internet and since we have lived here I have had contact with Mike Kapusinski {Kappa} who was in our mess on the Loch Killisport, he has also joined the LCFA and with any luck I intend to go down to his neck of the woods to meet up with him sometime at the end of this month or start of June. I think you wrote somewhere sometime that the trip on the Killisport was one of the best you had, well it was the same with me and although the memory fades I still wonder what happened to all those good oppo's that I made. One day I hope to meet up with you again even if it is at the next 'Lochie' meeting. Do you still live in Canada?

Any way nice to be in touch again, hope all is well with you



I would just like to tell you how much I enjoy your site.  My father was a leading hand on the Ulster in the Med.  We immigrated to the U.S. in the late sixties.  My father passed in 1998 but I know he would have enjoyed this site.  I have a pen and ink of his that he drew of her and would be happy to make a copy for you if you are interested.  If you receive this message please let me know your particulars and I will send it to you.  Take care.

John Everidge

First ship

Ulster was my first ship after leaving Ganges in 1956. We spent the first 3 months on board moored alongside Swiftsure in Rosyth doing NOTHING until we finally went to sea for the "Summer War" of 1957 and took part in what was probably the last "steam past".

I left the RN after 10 years with no regrets having been treated like shit by the officers. What finally decided me to get out was HMS Bermuda 1949 - 53. South Africa was great but the ship was a hot metal tin box and the final straw was water rationing on the equator, all except the officers who actually had fresh bath water!

The picture should be me as Rum Bos'n. The barrel leaked so we had to use a metal one!

HMS Ulster


My Dad, Alf Broadbent was an Able Seaman on HMS Ulster from 1942/43 until the ship was Kamikazed in the Pacific.  The ship was repaired in an American dry dock in the Leyte Gulf and he was demobbed in Sydney, Australia where the ship was laid up.

Have you any photos of the crew during that period that you could email me.

Thanks a lot.

Karen Mann

Missing Crew

OA/5 Arthur Noel John Pearman D/M 943573 Always known as Noel or Shorty, at the time I served on HMS Ulster.

I joined the ship in Bermuda in January 1959 and left the ship in August or September (I think) the same year, from Montreal.

I was returning to Plymouth to finish off my training as an OA.  I was accompanied by the seaman who collected our mail.  He I believe, had finished his time and was going home.  We sailed on an Italian Liner and took for ever to cross the Atlantic.

From the crew list I only recognize COA Ken Barnes.  Stroke you Know.  I last saw him in 1965.  He had retired and was working in Devonport Dockyard.  That would make him about 84 years old now.

There was also an OA3.  I think he slept in the diving store with the diver.  I don't recall his name but he was a very slight build and very tall.  His responsibility was the 21 inch fish and the anti-submarine mortars whose name I do not recall.  Two mountings of three mortars mounted aft that rolled and pitched as opposed to train and elevate.  They fired the bombs over the bridge and about 1,000 yards ahead of the ship.  The timing and fusing was such that the target was caught, sandwiched between two triangles of bombs about 50 or 100 vertical feet apart that viewed from above made a hexagon pattern.

Kindest regards to you and any others of the crew still around,


Richard John (Dick) Fuge

I came across your website this evening while browsing the ships my late father served on during his service in the Royal Navy (1934 -1960).  He was a Chief Petty Officer on board Ulster when she went to the West Indies in 1958.  I was only 10 at the time but remember him sending us lots of letters.  I also remember listening with my mother to a farewell radio broadcast before the ship left for the West Indies.  I noticed that my father's name was missing from the crew list on your website, obviously an oversight, or possibly he joined the ship after the crew list was made up.  Interestingly enough I came across HMS Ulster about 1971 when she anchored off Tobermory on the Island of Mull.  By that time I was a police constable stationed at Tobermory.  She was obviously an old ship by then but it gave me a thrill to see her, the last ship my father served on before he retired, although he spent the last year of his naval service in charge of the Fleet Club at Rosyth.

Webmaster Note:  Turns out he was previous commission to us.

HMS Ulster - Commissioning Booklet

I like your site and remember Cameron Rusby when he was SNOWI.

I am working with the webmaster of the site for HMS Wager (1944) - see - to make the site not just the story of this one ship but useful to anyone seeking to know more about HM destroyers of that period.  My father served in HMS Wager from 1944-47.

Do you have a copy of the Bernard's Naval Tailors little blue Commissioning Booklet for HMS Ulster?  Information and plans it contains will have some relevance to HMS Wager.


Lester May (JAWtr2, ALWtr 1967-71 and Cadet Lt Cdr (S) 1972-89)

Julie - I have mislaid your contact information, probably when I had a major HD failure. Please contact me as I have at last received some information you might find useful.  Incidentally your dad was serving on HM S/M Warspite not HMS Blake

Hi! There,

I wonder if you knew my father, Sydney Rutherford Christie? He drowned when in the Seychelles in 1975 whilst serving aboard HMS Blake. I’m just looking for information about him - what he was like - good or bad. There’s nobody else I can ask. Kind regards, Julie Christie (eldest daughter). 

Webmasters Note:
If you have any information that can assist Julie, please send me a webmail by clicking on the “Contact Webmaster” tag.

Anybody help?

Commissioning photographs

I am a former member of commissioning of HMCS Assiniboine which commissioned in Sorel, Quebec on Aug 15/56 and also a former member of commissioning crew of HMCS Kootenay which commissioned in Vancouver on 7 March 59. I lost both crew photographs in a house fire and would like to have them replaced- If anybody can assist me, please leave a message for webmaster who will forward for us to make contact.

Willie Talbot ex-signalman RCN

 Its been a long time since we were on the ULSTER. Now living in Melaka in Malaysia.
John [Jock] Bain

Dear Mr. Millen my brother served on the Ulster on the opening of the St Lawrence I have my brothers medal, his name was Peter Hutcheon [Webmaster note – He was our butcher] he came from Aberdeen Scotland. I have some photos but would like some info on my brother’s time in the navy

Peter Schofield
email:    Webmaster Note: Peter your email now invalid - please update me.
Subject:  HMS Ulster 62/64 Commission

Hi Norrie,
I was a Junior Seaman Gunner on the 62/64 commission. I wonder if anyone can remember the first night on board?

I ended up in the early hours of the morning standing on  the jetty in my underpants, Burberry and shoes with no socks. Two of us had to boundary cool the ships side as there was a major fire in the galley. Not a bad introduction to shipboard life for a Junior on his first ship. The rest of the commission was brilliant especially the year out the West Indies for a 16 year old boy. Who could wish for a better start to his naval career.

If anyone knows me, please get in touch at the above e mail address. I went on to spend 30 years in the navy retiring as a CPO(OPS)(M)

Best regards, Pete.


For the past 27 years, Falmouth RNA have organized Sea Sunday in Falmouth, on the third Sunday in July, this year on 18th July. At the recent Area 4 meeting at Bridgewater, I distributed notices and response pro-forma to those Branches in attendance. As 2010 is the "Year of the Seafarer", (and also the 60th year of the RNA) we hope to make this year's event one worth remembering. 

I note that you have now taken over as Branch Secretary of Torbay RNA.   Would you be so kind as to publicize the event on the various websites that you manage. Further details can be supplied on request, and we would welcome anyone (particularly Branch or Association Standards!) with a maritime affiliation.

Finding David Fitch (August 2010)

I'm looking for a David Fitch who was serving as a submariner out of HMS Dolphin, Gosport in 1968. I returned to Australia late 1969, and our corresponding by mail stopped after a few years. We have both since married our respective partners, raised children, etc. Jon and I are hoping to get over to Britain next year, and I would dearly love to meet up with David and his family if we can find him.

 My maiden surname was 'Winders'.

I would appreciate any assistance no matter how small.  Thanks Barbara Robson

Webmasters Note:
If you have any information that can assist Barbara, please send me a webmail by clicking on the “Contact Webmaster” tag.

Hi, just checking through the Royal Navy archives to see if there are any photographs of HMS Ulster. Got more than I expected and I have found the photographs and information very interesting. Looking at these have brought a strange but exciting feeling.

Between the years of 1974 and 1976 I was just a Sea Cadet, based in Maryport Cumbria, Known as HMS Vanguard. During this time I went on a training exercise to Portsmouth and was based onboard HMS Ulster for two weeks. One of the best times of my life. Due to unstable family issues my younger days were messed up and I did not join the Navy when I grew up, a decision that I have always regretted. If I could have my time again I would not hesitate. I loved every minute onboard HMS Ulster and all that came with it.

I assume that this is the correct ship? The ship was definitely named HMS Ulster and according to your site there has only been 2 of the same name.  I looked for HMS Ulster to show my two children the ships that I lived on, be it only for a short time. When I was based onboard HMS Ulster I also boarded several other ships, Carriers, Submarines as well as many others, unfortunately I am unable to remember these ships names.  Kind Regards: Brian Spain

David Guy - HMS Ulster 1961-3

I served the whole of the 1961-3 commission as a Writer working with Leading Writer H.R.H. (Hubie) Miller.

I have details of the itinerary for the commission produced at the time by SA(S) Mick Kellett.  I also have a number of photographs taken at the time including one in The S & S Mess featuring Birdie Avery, Mick Kellet and Doc White. 

I left the Andrew in 1969, married and settled in Chichester. 

Anyone out there who remembers me and would like to trade photographs?

Keith Crawford HMS Miner III 1960-61


Just thought would drop you a line on Miner III I joined her in July 1960 after serving on board HMS Cavalier in the Far East my first ship after leaving HMS Ganges  Has a TAS rating my job on her was officers steward and part time chef not bad for a crew of 9 or 10 Once lost most of the tins of food in Vernon Creek but the divers were practicing there over and under routine. Had 1 year on her very good  time especially when we had (believe it or not) cocktail party's on board Miner III. Well take care UP SPIRITS

Keith Crawford

Dave Rangecroft HMS Rhyl 1965-67


Fascinated by your abbreviated version on Rhyl. Would it be possible to see the full thing as my memory for dates and the commissioning book for 65/67 are in total conflict and needs clearing up. Ex M(E)1 on Rhyl for that period.

Happy New Year.
PS: If you have the commissioning book fine, if not your welcome to see it.

Dave Rangecroft

Eric (Pusser)Hills - H.M.S.Blake 1971-73

Hi! Norrie,

I too was on the Blake 1971-72 on that cruise to San Francisco, and also have the picture on your site. I'm the tallest Matelot nearest the superstructure on the starboard side of 'B' gun deck.
The reason I'm contacting you is you mentioned that on our way back from the States we were diverted to Malta to help with the evacuation of British Forces. I've recently written to the Navy News on this very subject as having searched the Internet about "
Operation Exit" (as I have now found it was called), There is plenty of information about the Bulwark which relieved us but nothing abut Blake. Strange isn't it?.

I was a Greenie and also played in a group at that time. Also do you remember that when we left Pompey on our way to Frisco they played Scott McKenzie "San Francisco"?

All the best,
Eric (Pusser)Hills

Des (Paddy) McKay - H.M.S. Ulster 1967-70

I served 15 months onboard HMS Ulster between '67/'70,during that time we visited Flussing, (Holland)Hamburg,(Germany) Ystad, (Sweden), Belfast and my home town Bangor in
Ulster, we were also involved in the Icelandic cod war and the Torrey Canyon disaster. I would love to hear from any shipmates I may have served with.  

Aye Aye, Paddy.

Dear Sir/Madam.

I recently came across this website regarding the  National Defence medal. I have resided in Melbourne Australia since November 1977, were I joined the Royal Australian navy.

 I served in the RN from March 1952 till Sept.1976, I got a piece of Official Paper by DR J Stephen expressing the Admiralty Board's appreciation of my Long & Faithful Service.

I also received a monthly Pension of 109 Pounds sterling. which did not rise with CPI or anything else for a further 15 years, even now its not really up to standard with wages or civil pensions.

My point of this letter is that although I only served with the R.A.N. for 2 years as I was medically invalided out, I was awarded the Australian Defence Medal, that was issued to every serving member of the services, who completed 4 years service, (or Medically & Honourably discharged ) this also included all National service men/women who served in a War Zone's, i.e.:- Papua New Guinea, Solomon Is. East Timor  etc.

The award of this medal made us all proud to have served & we all wear it with pride on all service occasions.

What an Honour it would be to be awarded a British N.D.M. to wear alongside my A.D.M.

Unfortunately My Federal M.P. (Mr Simon Crean) would love to back us up, but cannot. I only hope that the Lads are successful in swaying the UK M.P.'s (out of their Doldrums)

I remain, yours Faithfully & Fraternally Wilfred Gerard Livingston. ex Master at Arms. P/MX911532.

Webmasters Note:
The writer also expressed in a covering email; that even the Germans and Italians get recognition as indeed do New Zealand.  He further wrote that even US forces receive a medal even for service in the United Kingdom! (Now there is a dangerous hot spot!!)


Due to the overwhelming success of the 100th anniversary Royal Canadian Navy watch,  Navy League of Canada commemorative campaign-- which ran in 2010 -- we have just received our final shipment of a very limited quantity.

This is the last opportunity to purchase the only 100th anniversary RCN commemorative watch created in the world. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip both received RCN anniversary watches presented by the Canadian Navy while they were in Halifax for the Centennial Naval Review this past summer.  The watch makes the perfect gift for an individual who loves the Canadian Navy and its remarkable heritage.

The Navy League RCN anniversary watch is valued at $200.  It has Seiko movements and a Speidel band is being made available for only $65 (plus shipping and handling).  The campaign is fully authorized and a substantial portion of the proceeds are going to Navy League of Canada programmes.  The watch can be viewed at

Robin Devine - President Time is Ticking Inc
for the Navy League of Canada
Telephone:  416 925 5520

I joined HMS Ulster around 1966/7, cannot remember exactly without looking in my documents. But we were mostly day running out of Portsmouth as a navigational training ship in which the Captain was Briggs, and spent six to twelve months upon her before joining HMS Kent.
There were two sad occasions for me whilst aboard Ulster, one was the passing of the killick of my mess 'Bud' Colin Abbot who was rated to Petty Officer later on in the commission, who sadly died, and is buried at Weston Mill cemetery at Plymouth (military section). Colin was instrumental in me going for higher rate, and if it was not for him I would have remained a scabby AB. No doubt there will be those who will wished I had - cannot please them all.

The other sad occasion was whilst in dry dock at Portsmouth, I think it was 'Frenchy' Quinell from Dover who slipped on his flip flops and went through the guard rails into the dock bottom.

There was also the time when HMS Ulster's Telegraphs got jammed into astern prior to me joining the ship, and smashed into steps at devonport which needed a new stern which came off my first ship, HMS Urchin - what a coincidence.

If anyone from Ulster remembers me and wants to have a chat, please contact the webmaster who has my email address.
Other than that, I enjoyed my time on Ulster.

Sid Anning

Robert 'Bob'/'Jock' Lindsay

I'm searching for information regarding my Dad, Robert Lindsay - Bob / Jock, who served in between 1958 and 1981. I believe he served on a number of different ships - the Ulster being one of them. Any memories / details of his service would be greatly appreciated. Please contact myself, Suzanne at (Contact Webmaster for email address)  Thank you in advance.

Webmasters Note: Robert was not 1958-60 crew, any other Ulster commission help?

 HMS Ulster and visit to Grand Turk
I was an SSAB on HMS Ulster in 1971.  I now live on Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands which I understand the ship visited. Any copies of photos of visit to Grand Turk and South Caicos would be appreciated by local Museum. 
Contact Webmaster for email address

Paul Day

Whilst on HMS Ulster

Hi Norrie.
HMS Ulster was crash boat for HMS Illustrious and later HMS Eagle, when Illustrious was decommissioned.

I have memories of manning the falls for the Whalers to pick up pilots that had ditched in the Ogwash, both Illustrious and Eagle were training pilots and a few missed the deck. That was not so bad during daytime, but not so clever when night time flying and us being dragged from our hammocks, to hoist the Whalers back aboard. I only ever knew of one lost pilot, and that was in the Med whilst working with HMS Eagle, we did get him from the water, but unfortunately to late.

Ulster was also a training ship for Dartmouth Cadets so we had a few of those aboard as well. I enjoyed our time spent at Dartmouth, lovely little town, the college sports grounds were where we had some recreation, I know I played cricket there.

Raymond Lloyd 1951-52 Commission

HMS Ulster 1969 71

Found your site browsing for anything on Ulster, I served as the Nav Yeo onboard Ulster from 21stApril 1969 to 25th October 1971, left just before she decommissioned. She was a grand old Lady and I had some great times onboard.
Our Skipper when I joined was  ''Basher Briggs'', a rather eccentric chap, who came to work each day on his old Lambretta scooter, wearing an old fashioned leather helmet. Our 2nd Skipper was Commander Weatherall, now Rear Admiral retired, he lives near Bishops Waltham, I bumped into him 2 years ago by chance, I was metal detecting on a farm near his house and he came over and asked me how I was doing, I recognized him straight away after so many years, we had a cuppa and talked about old times onboard.
I changed branches in 1972, to Reg branch, ended up as MAA on my last ship HMS Argonaut, before I was paid off.
I have attached some photos for you, you may have seen them already.I will give some thought to your reunion in October, sounds really nice, that's if its okay to come?
The Picture in the Wheelhouse is me, with Sir Bernard Miles, used to do the old Guinness advert, his familiar saying was, 'And by golly, it does you good'
Kind Regards,

Paul Schorn

Navy escort when the ship was damaged

Dear Sirs,

 I am Scott Kieper, the son of Capt. Francis W. Kieper U.S. Navy. I have the flight log books from WW2 from the vpb-111 Navy Air  Squadron. My Father was the PPC on a B-24  mission that flew cover for your ship as it was being towed for safety and repairs, after it was attacked. I thought that it may be of interest. Scott Kieper Ct., USA.

Scott Kieper

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This page last updated March 4th, 2017