Archive for March, 2017

T.S. DEFIANCE win the 11th Indefatigable Trophy.

Indefatigable Old Boys, are invited to attend the following event and ceremony.

T.S. Defiance (3)



It gives us the greatest pleasure to congratulate ‘T.S. Defiance (Newhaven and Seaford SCC)’ on being awarded the Indefatigable Cup in its eleventh year, the Indefatigable Cup for 2016 (awarded 2017).

For SCC Unit HEAD-COUNT:  Please indicate to me (Steve Humphries) if you wish to attend this event <>.

Venue: Old Church Chapel Street, Newhaven, East Sussex. BN9 9QD

Date: Friday 2nd June 2017

Time: Arrive at 18:30 – In time to carry out formal parade and Inspection for 19:15. till approx. 22:00 (times TBC).

Dress Code: Mess Uniform / Suit.

IOBA Chairman (Andrew Butler 77/78) will be travelling to the Unit to make this very special presentation to Heather Wells CPO (SCC) Commanding Officer of ‘T.S. DEFIANCE the ‘Indefatigable Cup‘, known once as the ‘Merseyside Navy League – Swimming Gala Trophy’, and a monetary award on behalf of the IOBA.

The Unit made sustained progress throughout last year 2016, with an effective training programme and the taking part of District and Area events. This has required huge effort and commitment and they thoroughly deserve the award.

The Sea Cadet unit was awarded a Burgee by the Captain of the Sea Cadet Corps ‘Captain Phil Russell RN’,  the Burgee is the highest award that can be awarded to a Sea Cadet Corps Unit in recognition of the hard work of the Volunteers, Cadets and UMC.

Citation:  After a poor year in 2015 achieving only 59 points and no award, TS Defiance has pulled together and concentrated on establishing themselves again, delivering high quality training and fun for the cadets. They have worked incredibly hard and have made substantial gains across the board. The standard of dress and bearing is always a good indicator of unit performance. The Cadets are proud of TS Defiance, they are smart and represented the District at the Drill and Piping Area Competition. A significant step forward in boating hours has been achieved with an increase of 22% to 36 hours / cadet, which is excellent. Paddle-sports accounts for approximately half the hours with the remaining spread evenly across rowing, sailing and power. The unit has appointed a new Boats Officer and gained improved access to the river, which will continue to have an impact. It is especially pleasing that the unit has worked extremely hard to achieve qualifications and has doubled its success rate. It is also encouraging the unit is to engage the DofE and BTEC award processes and has signed cadets onto both schemes. Recruitment is good and increases in both BJ and Juniors has been achieved equating to an overall increase of 11%. The unit recognises they are still at 78% capacity and have an active programme of developing the Cadet experience in parallel with increasing overall numbers to achieve their goal of 100% + capacity next year. Having an extremely effective and productive training officer, the unit has maximised the use of District, Area and National training assets which broadens the horizons of the cadets, achieves qualifications and improves the overall cadet experience. The unit is also actively involved in the local community and attended fetes, festivals, appeals, dinners and the normal parades and ceremonials. A good cross-section of events that maintains the interest of the cadets and is valued by the community. The infrastructure of the unit is rather old and difficult to maintain, however there is a solid plan being driven by an energetic Chairman who has a clear vision for the unit. The unit has benefited from good leadership and management both from uniformed and UMT personnel, who have worked well together. Overall, TS Defiance has worked incredibly hard to ensure a solid foundation for the future has been achieved. Their improvement from 59 points last year to 78 ( Burgee awarded) this year is truly remarkable. With a clear plan for the future, their journey is by no means at an end and they are very strongly recommended for the TS Indefatigable Cup award being the most improved unit in the Southern Area.


Affiliated to: HMS Defiance.

T.S. Defiance (2)


Indefatigable Old Boys Association (IOBA): Secretary & Archives

© 2017

Stranded in the Suez Canal between 1967 – 1975

Reunion for Seafarers stranded in the Suez Canal 1967 – 1975


Reunion for Seafarers stranded in the Suez Canal 1967 - 1975

Merseyside Museum commemorates Suez Canal anniversary:
Merseyside Maritime Museum is looking for former seafarers who were on a stranded ship on the Suez Canal between June 1967 and June 1975 to attend a special 50th anniversary reunion at Merseyside Maritime Museum on Thursday 1 June 2017.

14 merchant ships were stranded in the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal at the start of the Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt in 1967. They were trapped there for eight years until Egypt reopened the canal in 1975. Four of the ships were British flagged, including three from Liverpool shipping lines: MS Melampus and MS Agapenor from Blue Funnel Line, and MS Scottish Star from Blue Star Line. The fourth British ship was MS Port Invercargill of the London-based Port Line.

Though the original trapped crews were replaced after a couple of months, over the years around 3,000 seafarers served on the ships, helping to maintain them and their precious cargos, right in the middle of a war zone. The period was the height of the Cold War, the ships may have come from both sides of the Iron Curtain, but as Ben Whittaker, Curator of Maritime History and Technology explains, it didn’t stop them forming their own ‘United Nations’.

“The ships were going nowhere, over time camaraderie grew between the crews irrespective of their country of origin. Inspired by the part of the Suez Canal they were stuck in, they established what was to become a unique community; the Great Bitter Lake Association”.
“They shared supplies and equipment, as well as created a full programme of sports fixtures and other social activities. The seafarers even produced their own hand-made stamps, which are now sought after collectors’ items”. The move to appeal for ex-crew was inspired by author Cath Senker, whose forthcoming book on the subject features material from the Blue Funnel Line Archive which is held at the Museum, as well as images of objects from the museum collections related to the Great Bitter Lake Association. These include a commemorative plate and home-made trophies that were awarded to the winners of the competitions held on board the ships during the 8 year long saga. Ben says; “We want former crew to get in touch and join us on 1 June to share their stories and reminisce. Many members remember their time in the Suez Canal as one of the most significant of their entire lives. Through the internet, many of them have now renewed contact with each other, and interest in this unusual story has been revived. With Liverpool ships and men part of the story, Merseyside Maritime Museum is the right place to hold the reunion”.
If you or a family member were on one of the stranded ships on the Great Bitter Lake during the Six Day War and want to share your story and be part of the reunion, contact Ben Whittaker. Telephone 0151 478 4401 or email <>.

 ROGER PERKIS No.45 1966 +


Indefatigable Old Boys Association (IOBA): Secretary & Archives

© 2017

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