HMS Centaur R-06
Message Board

Apr. 20, 2021

I am looking for details of my father Patrick N Moore, PO;  81 Squadron, who was on board HMS Centaur in 1960-1963 and wondered if anyone knew him or has any pictures of him as I don't have any at all of him as a young man. I would be grateful if anyone could help.

Helen O'Flanagan

Feb. 19, 2021

Are there any crew's lists that I can look at for the time approximately 1955 to 1965. I'm looking for my dad, not sure of the spelling of his name as I think he may have given a false one as he was a naughty boy, he got my mum pregnant with me then disappeared, but we think his name was Michael (Mick) Alden, Olden, or similar.

Karen Case

Aug. 29, 2020

My Father was Kenneth Charles Ware. He served on HMS CENTAUR. I am unsure of the year but I know it might be in the 1950's or 1960's. He was a Chef on board the ship as I have a picture of him Saying on a box SVSO SINGAPORE HM NAVAL BASE SELATAR FOR HMS CENTAUR. If any one as any relevant information  please let me know.

Many thanks,
Jacqueline Latham

Mar. 9, 2020

I also served on Centaur during 1963-65, I was the poor lad who had to issue the rum, amongst other things. It was CHRISTMAS Day we landed those bodies, as I was on duty at the time, the youngest in my department, just turned 17. A great two years followed, but still trying to find my friend from Ganges (61-62) who also served with me on Centaur and again on Hecate, Alan David Winch from Sittingbourne, get in touch my old mate.

John Hume

Apr. 29, 2019

You tell me the year that HMS Centaur took part in Navy Day at Portsmouth? It was the last time I saw my father in uniform, PO HF Stevenson, and I was nine at the time -September 1960.

Martin Stevenson

Nov. 10, 2018

I was on the first commission of HMS Centaur, picked her up in Belfast. I was an REM, Radio Electrical branch. I would like to know if anyone has a crew list 1953-1955.

Les Kirkden

Oct. 31, 2018

Regarding the item 15 and Centaur's visit to Karachi, this took place in 1956 early in that year. I among many others took parties of young people around the ship which they seemed to enjoy. We had some strange questions and I remember one young boy asking how the aircraft managed to fly out of the hangar with the wings folded. Centaur was a very happy ship and one of the best I crewed. It was a very sad sight when many years later I saw Centaur being prepared for scrapping at Portsmouth moored by the railway jetty.

John Evans
(Naval airman - nick name : Dai)

Oct. 7, 2018

My father, Laurence "Lofty" Jarvis served on HMS Centaur during his national service. I know he was on board for the Far East Trip 1955-56 and also visited Gibraltar. Dad died in 2007 but left behind many photos of his time on this ship and HMS Swiftsure, a light cruiser. I would love to hear from anyone who may have known him.

Jennifer Van Lens (Née Jarvis)

May 29, 2018

It may sound odd that I as a German show an interest in aircraft carrier HMS Centaur R-06. Together with my parents, I a toddler then "may" have got a private guided tour on board HMS Centaur by a senior officer when the vessel was berthed in Karachi harbour, Pakistan in 1959 or early 1960. The "guided tour" aboard an HMS aircraft carrier certainly took place. I remember that. Sixty years later I am not entirely sure whether it was in fact aboard the Centaur. My question therefore is: Did HMS Centaur or any other British aircraft carrier for that  matter call on the port of Karachi in 1959 or early in the year 1960? If so, when?

With kind regards,
Bernhard Dietz
Würding Germany

Feb. 19, 2018

My dad is 80 this year and he serviced on the HMS CENTAUR from /1959 he was a electrician his name is Colin Watkins. We would love to surprise him with any pics of his time serving as he has no photos not even a photo in uniform as lost we would love to have anything at all photos, letters from seaman he served with. It would be greatly appreciated.

Lesley Cotterell

Oct. 5, 2016

I thought that I should perhaps send you this as it is relevant and I have still got mine.

General Service Medal with Radfan Clasp (25th April - 31st July 1964)

Awarded to members of 815 Naval Air Squadron, sailors on HMS Centaur, and soldiers that fought the campaign mounted by British personnel, with Federation troops, against the Egyptian/Yemeni backed Radfan tribesmen. Their main objective was to attempt to close the main road from Aden to Yemen's frontier town of Dhala. However, the campaign mounted by British personnel, with Federation troops, quickly and effectively defeated the tribesmen. The medal being Solid Silver it is evidently worth £42 online.

Arthur Millie

Feb. 28, 2017

I recently lost my Dad, Thomas Ian Williamson, who served on HMS Centaur in Dec 63 and was part of the recovery mission for the SS Lakonia, that caught fire off the coast of North Africa. I know a little about my Dad's time on Centaur. I remember him telling me many stories about his life on board, including the boiler room accident. However I was young at the time and do not remember a lot of his stories. Does anyone recognise his name? I'd love to fill in the gaps to preserve his history for my own children.

Many thanks,
Charlotte Williamson

Reply 1
Aug. 16, 2017

I just happened to spot item 12 and thought that I could at least give the writer some info on her posting below. I did not know him personally as I was a Petty Officer in the Radar Group, but did find the attached in my copy of 'The Fourth Commission of HMS Centaur' book in which Williamson T. I. is listed on page 66's Junior Rates 2nd column. Unfortunately the Seaman Branch has no other photos other than those on page 65 (also attached) unlike other departments, but it does have a 'photo diary' of 30pages for the Xmas 1963 to Xmas 1974 trip which simply records all the events. Should she wish to have these I am willing to scan and send them to her so please give her my email address as I will need an email address to send if she wants.

Arthur Millie
Ex REA 2

(The whole cruise book can be seen here.)

Nov. 4, 2016

My grandad served on the HMS Centaur and was among the crew of those who carried 99 bodies off the a cruise liner near Africa. Just wondering if there is anyone who can recall my grandad's name and knew of him ...Tony Mawson.

Thomas Bowker
Nelson, Lancashire, UK

Mar. 9, 2016

My father is about to turn 80 and I am trying to put together a memory box of his life. His name is Gerald Alder and he served on HMS Centaur from 1954 to 1956 - he was a chef. He has talked about serving out of Malta and cruising the Mediterranean. I have tried to locate his service record, but been unsuccessful. Does anyone know where I can get any information regarding the time he served in the Navy.

Kind Regards,
Jackie Connolly

Aug. 31, 2014

I was wondering if you have a list of the men serving on HMS Centaur around 1960/61/62?  I am trying to retrace my father's journey in the Royal Navy. Anything you have that you think may be helpful would be very much appreciated. My father's name is Roger George Beck.

Thank you,
Pam Steuerer
West Palm Beach, Florida

Jan. 1, 2014

I was in the Royal Marines Band on board HMS Centaur when the tragic escape of super heated steam occurred in the engine room killing several of the crew down there. A space that was adjacent to the RM Band mess was used as a temporary mortuary and I remember how sad we all felt at the time at the loss of those men.

Laurie Loveless
Ex- Royal Marines Musician
RMB 3673

Nov. 3, 2012

Researching ditching of westland wessex xp148of 815 sqn of Aden on16/4/1964 i have flying log fore this aircraft but any comments will ad to research

Mick Braund

Oct. 4, 2012

I was on H M S Centaur when she sailed in December 1963, we were only out of harbour a few miles and the Captain came on the tannoy, we knew there was some thing up, as you do not bring a ship out of refit without real trials, well we got trials. I was in the boiler room when they said that a cruise liner was on fire off north Africa and a sea way 1,000 miles long and 1 mile wide was cleared for us to get there as soon as possible. We eventually picked up 99 bodies and took them to Gib on Boxing day 1963, never forget that year. I had just got married. The ship, the SS Lakonia sank, that was the beginning of a very eventful couple of  years. Conflicts were never heard of in this country in those days.

I wouldn't change them for the world though, pure magic, except when you lost friends through illness or conflicts. Incidentally, I was the one that went aboard in 1963 straight down into the boiler room, it was the one where we lost some comrades in an accident in the boiler room, my brother not involved was a stoker like me, and I felt for the loss of the people. So made sure I would not be afraid to go into the boiler room when it was flashed up I guess I shouldn't have gone down the boiler room in my number ones though (best uniform). I got a rocket from the officer of the watch, however he spoke a few days later, 'you ok' I said yes sir and nothing was ever said again, not to me any way. I am an author but this is the truth.

ex LME Bryan Maloney
PK 978583

May 20, 2012

I don't know if anyone can help me, I am looking for a seaman who served on HMS Centaur around the time of 1960-70 we think his name is Michael Olden/Alden, does anyone remember him or heard of him.

Karen Downs

Nov. 27, 2011

I was an REM on the Centaur for the 29,000 mile Far East trip 1955-1956, which came back into Plymouth for another 5 degree angle on the flight deck.

Fred Ellis

Oct. 24, 2009

I was on the first commission of HMS Centaur 1953-1955. I was in the Radio Electrical Branch & would like to contact any Radio or Electrical shipmates from this commission especially EM Dave (Buck) Taylor & REM Nick Carter.

Les Kirkden

July 14, 2009 I was aboard Centaur the same time as "Harry"Grimshaw, I worked with him in the Main Galley, the Chief Cooks name was Bob Mathwin, If I remember rightly Harry had an accident and lost part of his finger. My name is Bert Newman (H.G.)  I was in the RN for 27 years came out in 1980 and immigrated to Australia (Brisbane) in 1981.

Yours Aye,

Oct. 30, 2007I'm searching for people who knew Cook LSI B. Grimshaw (Brian) he was with the Centaur from Aug 1958 - Oct 1960. He was onboard when the Brisbane Centenary from the pictures was celebrated and you were given the key to the city. He is about to turn 70 and I want to surprise him with stories, pictures and contacts. Thank you.

Kind Regards,
Samantha Massey

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