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Interested in the Fleet Air Arm ?

Visit web sites which will be of interest to all who served in a Carrier or a Squadron

Or in setting up a Aircraft Carrier Museum on board HMS Vengeance visit

or in

The MONAB Story

See Tony Drury's interesting web site about the Mobile Naval Air Bases of the Royal Navy at

Also, look out  for the sister web site to the MONAB Story,
`The British Pacific & East Indies Fleets Web site' at

Both the above sites form part of Tony’s larger parent site 'The Royal Navy Research Archive'
a non profit organisation hosting a variety of RN historical web pages and articles .

Contact Tony at



Did You Attend ?

This invitation, found while sorting out his mother-in-law's papers, was forwarded by Eddie Calvert
who served as an EM in HMS Indefatigable 1950-1952. He then served in Submarines.

Eddie now lives in New Zealand and is Editor of "Up Periscope", New Zealand Branch of the Sumariners Association .

Eddie can be contacted at:


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Post War Memories of John Dent
C/JX  909048

John Joined HMS Indefatigable from HMS Victory Brracks, Portsmouth
for training on 29th August 1951 and left the ship on 3rd January 1952.

During training, he sailed across to France to go on visits to the Normandy Beaches
-  the extent of his first adventure to sea.


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Parade Training





Chairman of the HMS Indefatigable Association


Return to Okinawa by Les Willis





Geordie Colling - Ex HMS Indefatigable with his Okinawa Commemorative Medal.  

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 Geordie was a member of the Association of Mariners Inc. and purchased this 50th Anniversary commemorative medal from the Association of Mariners at GPO Box 925, Brisbane, Qld. 4001                             




Royal Marine George Hedgecock 10943 - 1947

George is 85 years of age and reminisces about that time
in his life and what became of the many marines from
268 H.O. Squadron that passed for duty and were posted
to HMS Indefatigable at Clydebank.
Many of the Squad were on the first commission, Home The East Indies
and finally, the British Pacific Fleet.

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George feels that this poem, sent to him in 1944, is as apt
today as it was in 1944.

Per Mare Per Terram:

They fight on land and on the sea
And by their deeds of  gallantry
Have won a proud and honoured place
in the laurels of our race
These fine men
The Royal Marines


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Anyone wishing to contact George can email his son, Martin Hedgecock on




Ian Menzies, Lofty,
Upper Hanger Deck,

Jellicoe 207 Class
Oct 1951 March 1952

Drafted several decks down to ships company through to Sept 1953.
Did M/B crew, Tel Exchange, Side party, etc.
Reached the giddy height of A.B.

Ring any bells, anyone ?




                                                                    Alfred Smith

Alfred served in HMS Indefatigable during WW2.
He was a Chief Petty Officer and came from Wolverhampton. His granddaughter would like to know more about his service career as he died when she was very young.  She would like to be able to put something together about what he did and where he went. If you can help, please email his granddaughter Michelle at


                                                                       Gerry Nye

Gerry served in HMS Indefatigable during the Pacific Operations in WW2.
He was a Able Seaman and would be glad to hear from anyone who remembers him.  He is now 76, living in Fife, Scotland, and in good health. Anyone wishing to contact him can email his granddaughter Sally Wilkinson at


                                                               James Harris Smith

James served in HMS Indefatigable during the Pacific Operations until the end of the war.
He was a Royal Marine from Birmingham and was most probably better known as Jim. He is now 83 and not in the best of health.  His son Peter Smith would like to hear from anyone who knew his father so that he could pass on any messages or memories.


                                                               William (Bob) Hurley

Bob served in HMS Indefatigable during WW2.
Bob's granddaughter would be pleased to pass on any news or messages
for him, maybe even meet up with some pals.
If you knew Bob, or knew of him, please contact his granddaughter, Teresa Long.


Roy Webster

The late Roy Webster served with 894 Squadron in HMS Indefatigable
in 1944 - 1946 - he was probably a Air Frame Fitter. 

If you knew Roy, or knew of him, please contact Roy's son Adam at


                                                               Ernest Albert Cracknell (Ernie)

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`Ernie` Cracknell  (Centre) served with 887 Squadron and was a Petty Officer in Indefatigable.
Ernie stayed in Australia after the war and married Sharon Ewins's grandmother.

If you knew Ernie or can recognise either of the other two sailors in the photograph, please contact Ernie's granddaughter, Sharon Ewin at


                                                                            James Thomson

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James served in Indefatigable and was a Devonport rating (DJX 909716).  He will be 70 in June.
If you knew James or can recognise either of the two smart sailors in the photograph, please contact his daughter, Andrina at


Peter Ducker and Shipmates    

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Peter now lives in Elanora - Queensland - Australia 
If you knew Peter, or recognise any of the above please contact me at



Reg Agambar

Reg Agamber's son has provided these picture of his father, Reg, who served in the ship with 1770 Squadron


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Reg Agambar

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Reg and Pals

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Reg (R),
Unknown pal (C),
Charlie Stout (L)


Gordon Hillier

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Gordon served in 820 Squadron on board HMS Indefatigable (also on HMS Queen & 855 Sqdn in 1941).
His daughterAnne Richards would like anyone who served with her late father to get in touch with her.

  Gordon's 820 Squadron shipmates - HMS Indefatigable - BPF

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Ron Taplin - Fleet Air Arm

fathetaplin.jpg (11723 bytes)                    Ron with friend in Australia 1946

Ron Taplin, who was a Dubliner who served on the ship during WW2.  When he died his son Ian discovered a photo album with pictures of when the ship was in Australia.   Ian would love to hear from anyone that knew his father.

Also from Ron's album

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            2 Shipmates ashore                        'Marine Stupid and friend               S/Lt Jack or Jock Holares

Walter Kemp - FX 589599


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Walter (with his 'cuppa and a bun' ) served in HMS Indefatigable in the BPF during WW2. 
Taken when in Indefatigable, this picture subsequently appeared in the Tit Bits magazine on 12th February 1955.
Walter lived in Hull and died 19.3.1951
If you knew Walter, his daughter Kay, who lives in Canada, would love to hear from you.  Please contact her at:-

                 The Laying up of the Ship's Battle Ensign and Dedication of the Standard of H.M.S. Indefatigable Association took place on the 3rd September 1989 at St. Giles in the Fields, Holborn, London. 

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HMS Indefatigable

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Passing through the Suez Canal December 1944

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In Rangitoto Channel New Zealand 1945

Preparing Dressing Lines in Sydney Harbour -  1945

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Post War trooping Run                   

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Church Service and Divisions on the flight deck on a Post War run to the Far East 1945

(Photos kindly provided by ex Shipmate Len Wheeler)


From Richard Tilley

Have just found your website, and can add a small detail to the 25/4/46 voyage to the Far East. In addition to the Bush Brides, she also carried a few service families to Australia. My Father was SVSO grade with the Admiralty Victualling Dept, and was based in Sydney.

My mother and I (aged 7) were on board. I seem to remember being quartered port side aft by the 4.5 guns, and also having toothache and a visit to the dentist. From surviving letters I gather the food onboard compared rather more than favourably with UK rations, one abiding memory was the tea with condensed milk, for ever after known as Indefatigable tea - ugh ugh.

The Biscay crossing was quite rough except when we went astern and dumped surplus aircraft over the bow. She did not call at Gibraltar or Malta, first stop Port Tewfik, I have a couple of photos taken in the canal. Unfortuneately we were put ashore at PT, my Father had been posted from Sydney to Malta, so we did not reach Oz. I still have a felt pennant with the ship's crest printed on it

Regards, Richard Tilley.

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Lucky and not so lucky escapes

(photos provided by the proud daughter of ex shipmate Len Walden)
Len's daughter has some more interesting photos at                                See the Customs pages

Situated at the Naval Memorial Park, Rockingham, Western Australia

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Photo supplied by Mr. Jim Forgham, W.A.

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Fly past over USS Missouri in September 1945

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Anzac Day Parade - Sydney April 25 2002
Ron Gilmore leading - then two standard bearers & behind
L to R  George Winch, Tom Fawcey, Ron Archell, Wally Sole, Peter Ducker and Danny Evans

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Marine "Stupid"
Transferred to HMS Implacable before Indefatigable came home after WW2


From: "Chalky WHITE"

I joined this wonderful ship as a Boy Seaman from HMS St Vincent in late 1953 early 54. My impression on being taken out to her in Portland Harbour by MFV and entering the large hangar which was sectioned off into Mess Decks is as vivid to me today as it was then. I can only liken it to a person entering the vastness of a cathedral having not been in one before. This is remembering that I was a boy from the wilds of Surrey and had no experience of the sea let alone blinkin' great ships!!

When we were crossing the Bay of Biscay on the Spring Cruise, (Casablanca was the first Port I ever visited), my Class manned the starboard sea boat and when being lowered the after fall broke/uncoupled/or whatever, tossing all us boys into the sea. My pal Howard Nichols drifted away and was picked up by the attendant destroyer (name unknown) but I think the rest of us managed to climb back up the lifelines. I remember another mate Johnny Gore was treading on my head as we went up the same lifeline. Happy Days! As I say I still have vivid memories of this wonderful ship, some as clear today as they were so many years ago, another which springs to mind is the sea flooding into the cable deck.

Tell you what I wish I was viewing that right now!

All the Best,

Chalky, ( I was Knocker in those days of course).

(For info -  Readers may be interested to know that Chalky has produced a brilliant web site - -  about HMS Broadwater,  a Destroyer sunk by U-101 in 1941).   


As a  Postscript, through the determined efforts of Chalky, a Memorial Plaque to those who perished in the ship on the 18th October 1941 was unveiled in Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex at a service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving on the 18th October 2002 attended by HRH Prince Michael of Kent.  

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