HMS Falmouth F-113
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Messages 1 to 24

Feb. 20, 2017

Galley fire Mombassa, 1973. I was on watch, the engineer officer (name?) told me that the galley was on fire. I ran the length of the ship bow to stern crying FIRE FIRE FIRE and then attended the firefighters in the asbestos fire fighting kit. Was that you Jan?

Terry (Frankie) Howard

June 28, 2016

I was on The Falmouth twice 1975 -78 and 1978-1980. Great ship great crew. I have very happy memories. I reconise some names on this site too.

Trevor (Chalky) Hamilton

June 13, 2016

Falmouth was my first ship after Ganges, went up to Newcastle to join. Remember the collision off Portland scary! Would love to hear from my fellow juniors on board.

David Varey

Reply 1
Feb. 4, 2019

I have just seen your message on this portal, re joining a brand new HMS Falmouth at Wallsend on Tyne in 61 as a fellow Junior Seaman. As I recall, we juniors lived together up forward of the 4.5 barbette, in 2ES Mess, with the PTI as our killick of the mess. However, on being rated Ordinary Seaman, I was transferred down aft to the RP's mess, where I saw out the remainder of my time aboard.

On drafting, I was posted to HMS Lincoln, along with a number of fellow RP's from the Falmouth: Namely O.D.'s Dodger Long, Bungy Williams, Gil Watkinson and A.B.'s, Taff Jones, Banjo West and Davey Davidson. I have remained in contact with Gil Watkinson throughout the ensuing years and will be seeing him again later this month for another of our bi-monthly get-togethers.

Rest assured I will remember you to him. Since you were a Ganges boy, You may well remember fellow Ganges boys Pete Johnson (Gunnery rate), of similar age to us, with whom I spent many of my latter years in business Also Pete Broadbent, who served with me in HMS Lincoln and HMS Gurkha and was Best man at my wedding. I can but trust time has been kind to you and yours. Although more than a half century has now passed since our first shipborne encounter, the fact that it was our first seagoing draft and the subsequent collision in the Channel during Work-Up our shared experience, makes us not only old shipmates, but kindred spirits too.

Stewart (Happy) Dow

Mar. 22, 2016

I'm a history student at the University of Iceland and I'm writing about the cod wars. I read some interesting things about the HMS Falmouth during the cod war in 1976 and wonder if someone on the site could maybe tell me some things about their participation in the cod wars. I'm doing research on the Icelandic coast guard vessel Baldur which was much feared by the British frigates. The frigates Diomede, Yarmouth and Mermaid were badly damaged by Baldur.

If you could gather some information from some of the British Navy personnel that served on those ships (and other ships that came into contact with Baldur) I'd be eternally grateful.

Flosi Thorgeirsson

May 14, 2015

Falmouth was my first ship as a Writer, and we did a couple of patrols to Iceland - the last in April/May 1976.   This was when we rammed the Icelandic gunboat TYR at 20+ knots. I remember the impact  clearly, and the damage  to the bow was considerable. Out skipper, Cdr. Gerald Plumer was highly respected by the crew, and cleared lower deck to de-brief us. He expected to be sacked, or promoted he said, and  it is a pleasure to know that he was subsequently promoted to Captain. I typed the report of proceeding about the ramming, and it was interesting reading. Old shipmates will remember me as the accordionist onboard, and I'm still squeezing! Yes I remember Jimmy Cunningham, we shared many a beer, and if our old jossman MAA Vic Denholm reads this - do you remember our charity event in Falmouth harbour Vic? I left the mob in '88 and still think of those times, but no-one would believe it happened.

All the best,
Frank (Jonah) Jones

May 3, 2015

HMS Falmouth was my first sea draft. I joined when ship was at Chatham Dockyard being re-commissioned for Falklands in 1982. Had some great times and adventures, 2 Falkland tours, 2 Gulf tours and a Beleize Guard ship deployment.

Ex J MEM (M) Paul (nipper) Nunn

Mar. 2, 2015

Stanaforlant tour. Good trip, made many friends. Came back for summer leave, stopped for a 'jolly' at Southend, all leave cancelled. Sent up the ice. That is when we/they got rammed '73. My first tour. Willsy sprog RO. Kader, Mottershead, Punter, Seymour, Bennet, Hard castle (Stan staff x 2) Noble, Miller plus more check crew list.

Paul Willis

Jan. 5, 2015

I was ships butcher with Blondie the Tanky. I was in after seamans mess with Scouse Shreeves, Bungy Williams, Stripy in the ship's laundry. How many remember the Bone Club in Derry dockyard, Sunday dinners. Happy days.

Jeff Duke
Doncaster, U.K.

June 23, 2014

I was on the Falmouth in the early 70s. I recall Tats (tankie) and Jan. Not my happiest ship. I recall while up the gulf (74?) we took a flight on a Hercules into Iraq, but can't remember where. Anyone?

Bryan Morris

Reply 1
Feb. 2, 2019

Just to refresh your memory Bryan, we flew up country in Iran not Iraq and visited the ancient ruins of Persepolis and further by coach to Shiraz. The pilot of the Hercules allowed us to visit the flight deck and I will always remember the noise and how loud it was. The Shah was still in power then as it was before the revolution. I still have some photographs of Persepolis and the hillside tomb of Darius.

Michael Blundell

May 15, 2014

I was just browsing the internet and came across your excellent site. I served on HMS Falmouth from 13 Sept. 1962 until 12 Jan 1966 as a seaman, it was not a happy ship at all and I regret not getting of it in May 63 when it went from Sea Eagle (Londonderry, Northern Ireland) to Drake (Devonport). All the old hands kept saying that things are great as Captain D, extra perks and so on, they were not and never

This aside the reason I have come on here is to find out if anyone who served on HMS Falmouth or HMS Sea Eagle (Barracks) in Derry up to May 63 can remember the name of a village or area where the RN had a cottage that they use to pack us stroppy juniors of to for weekends, it had no gas or electricity and was quite close to a village that had one of these 3 in one (I think it was butchers and something else and a pub, definitely remember the pub) all under the same roof, it was only a small building. The reason I am asking is that I live in Dublin and would love to visit the area again for old times sake.

Philip Smithers
Rathfarnham, Dublin

Reply 1
Nov. 26, 2014

I served in Falmouth June to October 1962 as an RO2(s) and later in Sea Eagle as an RS(W) when a few of us alcofrolics used the cottage you refer to as a weekend escape from 'Derry. The cottage was in a village called Fahan, on Lough Swilly where Sea Eagle kept the sailing dinghies. The pub was the old railway station and the front of bar was decorated with the brass buttons off the Irish railway uniforms. It was said you could get a free pint of the black stuff if you could count all the buttons! Hope this helps.

Ian Howieson
FCPO (Ops) (EWI) Ret'd

Apr. 17, 2014

I joined the Falmouth just before Christmas 1963 and remained on her until fortunately drafted in November 1964, leaving her at Malta en route back from the Far East. I totally concur with the sentiment of Richard Bronniman. D. V. M. MacCleod was a nasty piece of work in fact the whole wardroom were not much better. Yes a very unhappy ship. I was one of the buntings on there, but saying that the comms section were a good bunch.  Ron Jahme was the CCY. My time on her certainly ruined the whole aspect of a naval career. Remember the time when two of the crew jumped over the side in roughers off Southern France and in lowering the sea boat the deck officer was more interested in the paint on the ship's side than getting it into the water asap. Comment "Mind the paintwork".  Fortunately both were rescued. It was the worst ship I ever served on.

Bert Burton RO2T

Sept. 1, 2013

I too was on HMS Falmouth during this time. Falmouth was on her way out to the far east on a 9 month deployment. Yes Jan I do remember the fire in the galley as I was one of the firesuite men at the time.
After the fire it was thought that we might return to either Gib or the UK for repairs but alas not that

Malcolm (Tatts) Tattersall,
Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK

July 7, 2013

I also served on H.M.S Falmouth as an ordinary seaman and an A.B. Seaman Gunnery rating. Joining her in Newcastle on Tyne in 1961 my first ship from H.M.S Ganges. I think we left there to carry out sea trials which were completed and we then proceeded to Devonport. On the night of the collision I was sleeping in the gun bay for some reason and as you described the storm force gale I recall rather sleepily thinking wow that was big one (this was the collision taking place).

I woke up again and saw through the hatchway hammocks being passed along and as I recall I went back to sleep. My duties on board were at that time as wardroom pantry hand and I had requested at Jimmies to be excused all other duties and I did not even have an action station. When the repairs were completed, we as I recall joined up with the Londonderry squadron.

At the completion of our draft Captain McDonald somehow arranged that all personal would be given the opportunity choose their next draft. My shipmate ships and I decided we rather liked the idea of Singapore and were drafted to H.M.S. Dampier a survey ship. I do have a 4 photographs (seen below) of the collision damage. How I came in possession of these once again my memory fails me. Thank for you for recounting this episode in my life.

Mike Haine

Apr. 25, 2013

I served on Falmouth from Sept 71-Jan 75. I flew out to Simonstown to take the place of a stoker who fell into the drydock in Gib and sadly died. Never can remember his name unfortunately. It was my first ship after training and the next 3½ years were the most enjoyable of my 29 in the mob. I joined as a MEM2 and left as LMEM. I left in Singapore in Jan. 75 and spent 3 or 4 days in what was left of HMS Terror, drinking Tiger Beer. Does anyone remember the galley fire off Africa, I think it was Oct /Nov time. Names that spring to mind are John Heaney, Mick Heaney, Jan Gudge, Ginge Cunningham and Terry(Dillon) Marshall. Hope they are still around.

Norman (Jan) Blain. Ex CMEM

Dec. 16, 2012

I joined FALMOUTH at Devonport in early 1964.  Initially I was the ships postman "Postie".  The CO was Captain D. V. M. McLeod, D.S.C. who I had previously served under onboard HMS ALAMEIN (1957-1959) when he was a Commander.  McLeod was a nasty piece of work.  ALAMEIN was not a happy ship, and during his time on Falmouth nor was she. On Christmas Day McLEOD was doing rounds of the messes.  On entering the after seaman's mess he was traditionally offered a drink. He was given a tot of Queen Anne whiskey. As soon as he saw the bottle he turned on his heel and left the mess, saying to the Coxswain;  "Find out where that came from!"   Apparently a bottle had gone missing from his cabin.  He was related to the family who made Queen Anne scotch.  Once he left the whole atmosphere onboard changed.  I lost my hook on Falmouth for throwing a loaf of bread over the side!!!!

Richard Broniman
Leading Seaman QA1 Forward Seaman's mess and
Leading Hand of the Juniors Seaman's Mess

Aug. 17, 2012

Back in the 80's I was a Houston Police Officer (just recently retired after 32 years of service). I visited the Falmouth when she came to Houston, Texas. My partner and I were working the night shift and were given a tour of the vessel. I even had to turn over my firearm to the ships watch. He said if I didn't it was an act of war; I still smile when I think of that statement. Personally I think he just wanted to play with my service revolver, which at the time was a .44 mag, six inch barrel.

We were treated like royalty by the Ensigns and had a grand time. I was given two mugs, a Falmouth plaster seal (painted), and 2 small t-shaped launch keys (I still have all but one of the mugs). The upcoming weekend my partner and I hosted an American football party for the Ensigns. I served beef ribs and a full course Texan BBQ dinner. We drank beer, ate till we were stuffed, and had great time. That time is still etched in my memory. I am sure all sorts of protocols were broken by allowing us on board, but it is a memory I will always cherish. God's speed to all who have sailed aboard her.

James E. Klein Jr.
Spring, Texas

Apr. 26, 2012

With regards to the Falmouth arriving at Devonport, I believe it was taken in 1967 possibly on our arrival home from Far East.

Malcolm Bettley

Dec. 27, 2011

I was wondering if you or anyone from the Falmouth had any pictures of the crew from around 82 or 83? My brother was LRO Deric Lomax, and he was serving on the Falmouth in 82, 83 and died during this time, he was wash over board during a storm in 83 (end of the Falklands war) and drowned. I was only 13 when this happened, it would be amazing if anyone has a few pics, or stories, or to hear from anyone who remembers him.

Many thanks,
Dilys Yale

Reply 1
Jan. 19, 2012

With regards to the above posting, I was Deric's friend, and was on duty the night he died. I am not too sure what you were told at the time, but we were at anchor at the time on a flat calm night in "Port Howard" in a state known as "DARKEN SHIP". So no crew were supposed to go out on deck as it would not only be dangerous, but would show light which was not allowed. We set sail the following morning and it was some time later that Deric was missed, we turned and done a search, but were unable to locate him. As far as I recall he was found by an aircraft flying over and recovered. I have often wondered about my friend, where he was buried and what any inquiry found. He was a lovely guy and I am so happy to have been able to send you this message. But rest assured he was not washed overboard in a storm. I have missed him over these years, I left the RN in 1990 but, am always looking at internet items about my old ships.

Take care,
Bill Patterson Ex A/B (S)

Reply 2
Jan. 10, 2013

I was an RO2 on the Falmouth the night that Deric went missing, as stated previously we were at anchor that night, I was on shift until 2am and Deric's team was due on shift at 2am. The next morning when we returned back everyone was asking where Deric was and that was when he was discovered missing. On the HMS Falmouth Facebook page I took a picture of Deric whilst we were in what they call Defence watches, it was probably the last picture taken of him.

John Rumblow

Aug. 27, 2011

First time on your sight I was looking for some pictures of my old ship HMS Falmouth, served on her between 1976 and 1978, very useful site.

Mark Schroeder
Gosport, England

May 24, 2011

I don't think that the title of 'HMS Falmouth F-113 seen arriving at Devonport, England in 1980' can be correct. You will notice that the mast framework has not been covered in, as seen on the other pictures dated '74 and '75. I noticed this because I was on the Falmouth in the sixties when it had the 'naked' masts and I use this clue to try and work out if pictures of the ship are of my era, or later. (Note: The caption on the photo in question has been revised.)

Paul Pearson

Nov. 20, 2010

HMS Falmouth was my first draft in 1973-1976 starting as a Junior Seaman then Able Seaman which incorporated my first overseas deployment (Far East, South America and Norway). I do have some photos and once scanned I will forward them on as others may like to see them.

Andy Crispin
Ex: CPO(S) Career 1972-1978 then 1982-2001

July 9, 2009

JS.SG. Kirk Raynor my first draft Dec70-March73. So many  good times. Would like to get in contact with old ship mates.

Reply 1
Feb. 28, 2010

I remember Kirk Raynor it was my first ship as well, I to saw the photographs and it brings back some fond memories. Please pass this on to Kirk if possible.

Trevor Matta

Dec. 11, 2008

Being an ex Falmouth rating , it was my first ship and as such holds a special place in my heart. However I did have an ‘anorak moment’ when I saw that the GWS radar system shown on the 1980 photo was the same ‘bog-
eyed’ system as shown in the 1960 photo!! Regardless of this minor continuity issue it was still a good ship held
with fond memories from an ‘old salt’. Thanks again.

Martin Smith
Berwick upon Tweed, UK

Nov. 8, 2007

Thank you so much for such an excellent site. I was looking for HMS Falmouth which I had the pleasure to sail on during a Nato Exercise in 1973 as a young AB Sparker. Many memories and many great runs ashore. Have a great Navy day.

Yours Aye,
M.A. (Herb) McDonald CD1
PO1 Retired, Royal Canadian Navy

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