Author Archive

The Indefatigable – Video with Pat Moran & Bill Smith 1936/38

Training Ship Indefatigable was a British training school for boys intending to join the Royal Navy or the Merchant Navy.

Until the middle of the nineteenth century the British Merchant Navy had no recognized training schools for boys entering the service. Education consisted of boys about 15 years old going to sea “to be led, guided, bullied and socialized into the culture of the sea”. There was no distinction between training for AB, and the training of future masters. Through experience it was possible to rise to the position of Master without any formal training. Beginning in the mid- nineteenth century various forms of navigational and seamanship schools were created to remedy the problem.


Dedication to: IOBA Founder Pat Purser

Dear all,

It is with sadness and deep regret that I inform you of the passing of IOBA Honorary Member Pat Purser.

I could write pages of eulogy regarding Pat, and I am sure many of you will wish to publish your own thoughts and stories, which we would welcome, of this wonderful man.

I would like to summarise my sentiments by reminding you of the note I read out when we voted Pat into the Association as an Honorary Member back in 2008.

“It would be remiss of me not to say a little more about Pat Purser. It would be an understatement to say that the IOBA would not be what it is today without the tremendous enthusiasm, and dedication shown by him in the dark days of the schools liquidation. For those of you who have had the opportunity to read Pat’s memoirs from that time, you cannot fail to be amazed at what was happening behind the scenes, such incompetence and mismanagement on the part of the schools governing body clearly resulted in its early demise. I know that Pat would be the first to admit that the writing was probably on the wall for some time, but with a responsible Board, the end of the Indefatigable as our school, could and should have been far less painful. Pat, battling against such adversity, was instrumental in setting up what we have today, his motivation and tenacity has lived on in our membership”.

Although Pat had been absent from our reunions for a while, it was a great pleasure for all of us to see him return in 2008, and I am just so grateful that we were able to hear wonderful stories of his days at the Indefatigable and his unstinting efforts to save the School and the formation of our Association.

The funeral will be held at 13.30 on Wednesday 1st February at Bangor Crematorium.

Yours with great sadness.

Bill O’Leary



Pat Purser and Barry Priddis



Saturday 24th March 2012 – 7.30 p.m
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

With the IOBA Chairmans approval, Steve Humphries (75/76) IOBA Secretary,was invited as one of many VIP guests to the ‘Titanic 100th anniversary memorial concert, representing the Bridge Boys & Crew members of RMS Titanic. The Indefatigable Ships Bell was used in the event, which was at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.  Marc Hardman (1961) paraded the IOBA Standard once again.

The event was an excellent PR move for the IOBA, where the shows organisers included the ‘Indefatigable’ in their Souvenir Programme, giving us great publicity and acknowledgement.

Three of the Bridge Boys on RMS Titanic and many of the sailors in the crew were trained on board TS Indefatigable moored in the river Mersey.  All three Bridge Boys were ordered to stay on board, as the Titanic sunk!  To this account the ‘Titanic Heritage Trust’ are considering having a memorial set up to the Bridge Boys of RMS Titanic.

The Ismay family, owners of the White Star Line and RMS Titanic, instituted the “Ismay Prize” of £20 to be awarded to the best Indefatigable Cadet of the year. £20 at that time would have been more wealth than the family had ever owned.

Steve would like to thank ‘all’ who helped him move the Bell to and from the event, and to ‘Marc Hardman, Russell Jones & David Owen’ who so proudly showed off ‘the bell’ on the night in question. Sir Michael Bibby Indefatigable OBA Honorary President and his Wife were at the event too. We hope to see them both at the Indefatigable 150th Celebration in 2014!



2011 Reunion Photos

We thought you might like to see some photos taken by Richard Barclay depicting his and Kevin Hogg’s flight to the 2011 Reunion. There are some great areal photos of the school.

Click here to see Richards photos

Richard and Kevin, thanks for sharing!

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