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Once Navy - Always Navy

Items on this page submitted by Captain J.W.F. Briggs RN
Commanding Officer of HMS Ulster 1967-69

Note: On promotion to Commander, he was appointed CO of HMS Tartar where he relieved Captain Cameron Rusby RN!

Click on images to enlarge, once enlarged in
most cases you can zoom in to make image bigger and text readable

July 1969

July 1969

March 1969

Ulster - Amsterdam 1969

February 1969

Lt Cdr Briggs instructing Sir Bernard miles in use of compass.

Lt Cdr Briggs was Senior Officer of four frigates, quite rare and big responsibility for a 2, although he had been appointed Commander at the time.

Jackstay transfer with HMS Murray (CO Lt. Cdr Andrew Marx) of the late Alexandra HARBUD, (God Mother of Captain Briggs daughter) during 2nd Frigate Squadron Families day, Sandown Bay Area

March 1969

Booklet explaining Ulster's role as a training ship

Inside front cover

Inside back cover

Back cover

Cutting from magazine showing last Type 15 (Ulster) to be scrapped.
(see 'Death of a lady' on site )



Click HERE for HMS Ulster poem
Click HERE for Ulster three WWII actions
Click HERE for letter from LRO(T) Ulster to CY OF Tartar explaining Commander Briggs idiosyncrasies

Captain Briggs & Patsy Ridgeway

Just after I posted Captain Briggs material on the website, I was contacted by a Patsy Ridge who was doing her ancestor research.

A nice partial ending to Patsy Ridgeway's research of the 3 pilots (Babington, Briggs and Sippein) on the Friedrichshafen raid, Babington became Air Marshall, but on retirement dropped the "Babington", retired to his roots and became Sir John Tremayne Tremayne, High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1954!  She has not been able to ascertain if he married or had children, so finding Capt Briggs was a real bonus!

As a family, she feels those 3 pilots are forgotten heroes. Although their bravery was recognised at the time with several awards (Sippe was given the Legion D'Honneur, DSO, OBE and Croix de Guerre), their names have since disappeared into the mists of time. She and her family are determined that, 100 years on, they will once again be acknowledged as the courageous pioneers of aviation warfare.

Captain Briggs father was  Edward Featherstone Briggs, and Patsy’s grandfather was Sydney Vincent Sippe, who bombed the Zeppelin factories in 1914. The three pilots, Babington, Sippe and Briggs (who was shot down and became a prisoner of war, then escaped back to England) were highly decorated for their endeavours, then lost in the mists of time!

I believe that two of the pilots started their flying careers with the Royal Naval Air Service.


Some comments from 1968-69 crew:

Shipmate Mick Inshaw sent me two dits below after the Navy News item from Captain Briggs and I forgot to post them.

Yes he was known as Basher Briggs. I remember once we were of Sandown Isle of Wight; I was EM of the sea boats crew.

He stopped the ship ordered the sea boat away and we had to get him a bucket of sand and an ice cream all duly returned to ship. He then refused to pick us up, and sailed off to Pompey leaving us to make our own way back, good fun had by all.

Did you also see the letter from Captain Briggs he was my captain. I remember the incident very well. He was a great chap used to have all empty cans taken to the bridge,  he would then throw them over the side and shoot at them with two German luger pistols he owned.


Shipmate Paul Schorn comments on subject.

Thanks for that will go get Navy News this morning. Yes '' Basher'' Briggs was my first Captain on Ulster, Mad as a hatter, used to stop the ship and fire at sea gulls with his shot gun, or any other thing he saw floating on ocean, used to come to work each day, when in Dockyard, on his beat up old LD Lambretta, wearing greatcoat and Leather helmet. BUT, he never used a Pilot or Tug when coming into Portsmouth, always did it himself, very good when he was on the bridge.

When he left we had another chap, schoolie I think, he lasted a couple of days after Caisson Incident, then we got 'Gentleman Jim' Weatherall, now Rear Admiral. Will read article with interest, Paul

Clipping sent in by Dick Moon 1968-69 Commission




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This page last updated on October 29th, 2013

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  This page last modified: 30 July, 2014.  (Web space courtesy of Jim Lynch)


This page last updated 29 October 2013