Print Page | Close Window

Motor Launches of WW2

Printed From: BMPT Forum
Category: General Discussion
Forum Name: The Trust
Forum Description: Discussion about the Trust
Printed Date: 27 March 2019 at 12:22am

Topic: Motor Launches of WW2
Posted By: motorboat 247
Subject: Motor Launches of WW2
Date Posted: 11 April 2005 at 8:12pm

My Dad served  in the RASC 247 coy motorboats in Africa and Italy during WW2. In his pay book it  has laocation as  M.L.196  I`m assuming ML stands  for motorlaunch but is there a launch with the  number   196  or might there  be a website  which might list this



Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 11 April 2005 at 8:50pm

Hello Kevin

I'm going to stick my neck out here: There was an ML196, (A Fairmile "B" class) that was built in 1941. It was sold out of service in 1947 (By then re-numbered 2196) to the Norwich Sea Cadets who named her "Lord Nelson". Whether that is the same craft that your Dad served on I couldn't say but maybe someone can enlighten us further?


Pioneer - Forum Moderator

Posted By: motorboat 247
Date Posted: 12 April 2005 at 10:21am

Hi Pioneer

Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated  I`ll see if your info leads me anywhere. Ive set  down  a little more background  information. Perhaps it might jog a few memories

The RASC fleet Originally the War Department Fleet (some called it the "frogotten Fleet") went from 70 vessels in 1939 to 1,400 in 1945 The called for volunteers from all arms and mostly took people with some sea experience. Dad  was in the merchant navy since he was 14 a so logical move for him.

In 1940 the force was known as No`s 1 and 2  motor boat companies and stationed at Salcomb and Falmouth they had 40  launches each. By end  of 1942 they had 3 companies and No 2 coy  was  re numbered 247 They were assigned to operation Torch in North Africa They worked  with the CMF including supplying special forces (SBS and SAS ) in Yugoslavia corsica Albania, Sardinia, greece and Italy

In Oct 1943  247coy  formed 3 water transport companies 797 798  and  801  Dad was posted to 797 coy in Jan44 before returning to 247 in Sept 45

HQ was established at Torre del Greco near naples And Bari  797 also serviced the Adriatic out of Ancona also operated small craft out of Venice

If anyone has any further information on any of this I would be ever grateful for any snippets of information

Many thanks


Posted By: Dan Page
Date Posted: 03 January 2013 at 10:04pm
My grandfather, Thomas Herbert Page was also in 247th Motor Boat Company, serving in the CMF. I have pictures of Tunisia and him and his mates on a beach in Salonika. I would be willing to share these to see if you know anyone on there.
We are awaiting his service record so that might yield some extra info.
Daniel Page

Posted By: Dan Page
Date Posted: 03 January 2013 at 10:06pm
Sorry forgot to say he served on the ST Alvaiazere, hopefully spelt correctly.

Posted By: motorboat 247
Date Posted: 16 January 2013 at 3:35pm
Hi Daniel
great to hear from someone after all these years. Idf be delighted to take a look at the photos. Ive  got  some myself  somewhere.  I`ll dig them out.  ive  gots  lots of  info on the italy  campaign too if yoru  interested.

Posted By: pagey
Date Posted: 01 February 2013 at 10:21am

hi kevin,

  i see you have met daniel,  my son. we are doing family research between us,. i have  some imformation on my fathers war record and have sent of to glasgow for the full record, (i hope) but it could take up to a year to get it. the imformation i have is that he was attached to 51st heavy reg. (ra) BEF 1939-1940. and that he was company sergeant major with 247 motorboat coy, that is all i have apart from the photos i have of tripoli, scicily greece and italy, i do know he was in yugoslavia from what he told me when i was a kid. Daniel will upload the photos for you to see as i have no skanner. i did reply to you on WW2Talk a few weeks ago. regards Richard Page

Posted By: Dan Page
Date Posted: 14 April 2013 at 3:45pm
Thomas Herbert Page on left with an unknown colleague. 247th MBC.

Posted By: Dan Page
Date Posted: 14 April 2013 at 3:48pm
T H Page front right

Posted By: motorboat 247
Date Posted: 14 August 2013 at 7:07pm
Hi Dan and Daniel
Sorry Ive not  replied as  yet  with  any photos.  I was  excited to find someone  who`s  dad  had  served  with the 247 coy but time has  flown by.
I`m  having trouble uploading the  images  I have, perhaps i could send them via email If you could send me an address via" rel="nofollow - I will send.
as mentioned I have  done quite  bit  of  research on the  subject  and I dont  know  where  to begin with  any info. i do know  you may  be  disappointed  with what they  send  from army  records. sometimes its  just  basic  information.  I  got  more  from the national archives  records office at  Kew.  tbhey  have the  war  diaries  there of 247 and the other  motor boat companies.  It  might  be  worth a  visit.  I have  brought  photocopies  back  with  me  but never really had the  time to sift  through them in detail.
If  you have any  general  questions I`ll be  glad to try  and  answer them. Im from the liverpool  area not  sure  how  far  away  you are  but  we  can correspond  in  email
Best regards

Posted By: Grant
Date Posted: 04 January 2018 at 2:08am
Hi all, have just come across this forum, my Grandfather George Charles Bramham was a Water SGT with the 247 coy R.A.S.C Motor boats, I have quite a few photos of him with some of his men etc, i will endeavour to post them soon.

Dingding 247

Posted By: johnk
Date Posted: 04 January 2018 at 8:52am
Hi Grant,

Many thanks for this and welcome to the forum, be great to see pics of your Grandfather in service there, all the best.


Posted By: BernieD
Date Posted: 09 January 2018 at 12:00pm
My father also served in 247 Coy and I wondered if anyone could help with a question I have. The War Diary entry for 24th April 1944 reads “Cutters H268 & H269 on passage from Torre del Greco to Reggio machine-gunned whilst crossing Salerno Bay by American Air Force. No damage or casualties!” I have tried to find more info or pictures of H268 or H269 with no luck and I wondered if anyone could help.

I also have some pics of water transport and people (unidentified) which I could post (when I find out how to attach an image...) if anyone is interested.

Posted By: Grant
Date Posted: 15 January 2018 at 7:55am
Hi all i too seem to be having trouble uploading images, my grandfather George Bramham water sargeant 247 coy is on left of pic facing one of his men, not sure who other men are or where pic was taken if going off the writing behind them on the wall could well be France?

Dingding 247

Posted By: BernieD
Date Posted: 15 January 2018 at 11:17am
Hello Grant

I can’t help with the picture location and others with more knowledge/experience may contradict me, but from the War Diaries (available in the National Archive in Kew) this company was operational in Sicily and Italy. My father was posted to 247Coy  in January 1944 and I have a few pictures of him (unusually, with annotations on the reverse!) in both of these places.

Whether 247 was in France until the Dunkirk evacuation I don’t know, but you may get more info if you post this on the “WW2 Talk” website.


Posted By: Grant
Date Posted: 16 January 2018 at 12:27am
My Grandfathers trawler capsised at sea off Greece, from what i understand he was on a mine sweeping mission, this is a letter of recommendation for bravery, quite incredidle how it was asked for the boots to be returned! He never spoke of this event

Dingding 247

Posted By: Grant
Date Posted: 16 January 2018 at 5:00am
Another pic of 247 coy RASC (not sure where pic was taken) Grandfather has written on back left to right George Bramham Isle Of Wight, Harold Greer Isle of Wight and Paddy Bowman (Irish) I have other pictures of Grandfather in Palermo Sicily, looking at the columns behind this pic could be from there

Dingding 247

Posted By: BernieD
Date Posted: 16 January 2018 at 10:39am
Hi again Grant

I have a number of pics of War Diary entries showing the various reports and witness statements, including one from your grandfather, on this incident. The documents suggest that this ship was carrying supplies from Piraeus to Kalamata and was lost in heavy seas. Do you have the entire diary, or would you like me to send the pics I have? If so, send me a private message with your email and I’ll gladly forward them.


Posted By: Grant
Date Posted: 17 January 2018 at 7:58am
I dug up the original photo and yes it has details written on the back it says its at Bouzin Court nr Albert, Somme France 1940
My grandfather has also written 2 mens names on the back of pic aswell but not sure which men they are but he writes.... with George Peters L/CPL and Solly Solomans 
I shall endeavour to dig up more pics if i can recall where ive stored them

Dingding 247

Posted By: Corkerrys
Date Posted: 02 February 2018 at 9:47am
hi everyone 

i am researching a casualty on the Ellel war memorial near Lancaster. his name was John Stanley Burrough. his old school was Lancaster Royal Grammer school:

the below has come today from The LRGS archivist :

"Born 22nd June 1917. He attended Greaves Central School before entering LRGS on 29th September 1928. On his record card his father is stated to be an upholsterer, and his address was 11, Gloucester Avenue, Bowerham. He left LRGS on 28th January 1936 when in Form VI Modern, and went to ‘Foreign Office/Williamsons’, which you will have to interpret as best you can.
In the Old Lancastrian’s Newsletter of May 1945 he wrote that he had been serving in Motor Boats in the Mediterranean for two years, which begs the question whether he would still have been there in July when the war in Europe was officially over.
As for the prize, it was instituted in memory of him by his parents, is the Lower VI Form French prize, and survives to this day. It would be interesting to learn of the circumstances of his death, but I don’t suppose we will ever know."

 Burrough served in 247 Company (Water Transport)  RASC, he died on 3 July 1945...any help gratefully received!


1945 - 1947          Italy: Venice

First name(s)

John S

Last name


Service number



J Lance-Corporal


Royal Army Service Corps

Posted By: Corkerrys
Date Posted: 02 February 2018 at 10:13am
i think this is related to my post ref J S Burrough who died on 3 July 45, can you please get in touch



Posted By: Corkerrys
Date Posted: 02 February 2018 at 1:55pm
e mailed you many thanks

Print Page | Close Window