Captain Grahame G A Deuchar DSC RFA

This article is the result of the third in-depth research programme which has been undertaken into Senior Officers of the RFA


Captain Graham Deuchar DSC 

Captain Grahame Deuchar DSC RFA

Grahame Deuchar was born in Balham, South London in December 1884 and after his usual schooling, went to sea, as an Apprentice in the 1,380 ton three masted Barque “Indian Empire” between 24 June 1901 and 26 March 1905

Indian Empire

Barque Indian Empire

After a short period of leave he signed on the 1,086 ton steam ship Combermere on 17 June 1905 as an Able Seaman and remained onboard until 28 December 1906.

On the 13 February 1907 Grahame Deuchar presented himself at Dock Street, London E1 to sit for his 2nd Mate’s Ticket – he passed all the elements of the examination and his 2nd Mate’s Ticket was issued two days later on 15 February 1907

DEUCHAR 2nd Mate ticket

A further period of leave/unemployment followed before he signed on the 2,228 ton steamer George Fleming as the ship’s 3rd Mate on 14 March 1907 remaining with the ship until 28 October 1907

The 6 December 1907 saw 3rd Mate Deuchar signing on the 3,140 ton steamer Royston Grange where he served until 6 June 1908 sailing on the ship owners River Plate service

Royston Grange 02

Steamship Royston Grange

On the 10 August 1908 Grahame Deuchar again presented himself at Dock Street, London E1 on this occasion to sit for his 1st Mate’s Ticket – while he passed the eye sight test he failed the Navigation Exam. As such he was not allowed to sit the seaman ship exam. Two weeks later he sat the whole exam again and passed all the elements. His 1st Mates ticket was issued on 28 August 1908.

DEUCHAR 1st Mate ticket

His service at sea in the Merchant Navy continued on various ships. On 1 April 1913 he was appointed as Third Officer on RFA Burma a post he held until 3 July 1913



RFA Burma


After a short period of leave he was promoted and appointed as 2nd Officer on RFA Mercedes from 27 August 1913.

RFA Mercedes

RFA Mercedes

He remained in the RFA until 13 April 1915 when an application for appointment as a Temporary Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve was successful.

On 29 April 1915 his appointment was Gazetted on 4 May 1915 and he was appointed to HMS Vernon for a Modified Sweep Course. On completion he was appointed to HMS Attentive III and in command of HM Trawler Fuji

On 16 November 1915 Temporary Sub Lieutenant Deuchar appeared before a Disciplinary Court charged that he had wilfully disobeyed the lawful command of his superior officer. The offence was found proved and he was sentenced to be severely reprimanded

Disciplinary Court

On 4 February 1917 Temporary Sub Lieutenant Deuchar was given command of a group of net drifters for Area XI

Just over one month later he was appointed in temporary command of Armed Trawlers in Area XI

On 23 March 1917 Temporary Sub Lieutenant Deuchar was promoted to the rank of Temporary Lieutenant, Royal Naval Reserve an appointment which was Gazetted on the 13 April 1917. He also passed the examination for Master – Foreign Going at Dover on the same day

DEUCHAR Masters Ticket 

The next day his command, HMT King’s Grey, was mined and damaged near the Royal Sovereign Light Vessel at 50° 42’N, 0° 27’E. The mine had been laid by the German Submarine UC-72. One member of the ship’s crew was killed

On 27 June 1917 he received a ‘Mention’ for service in the Auxiliary Patrol from 1 February 1916 until 23 December 1916

Temporary Lieutenant Deuchar RNR during the Court of Inquiry on 6 November 1918 into the Mining of HMT King’s Grey on 24 March 1917 received the appreciation of the Court for his conduct on that occasion

On 11 April 1919 Temporary Lieutenant Deuchar RNR was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for services in the Auxiliary Patrol from 1 July 1918 until 11 November 1918

Temporary Lieutenant Deuchar was demobilised from the Royal Naval Reserve on the 17 April 1919 and on the following day he was appointed as Captain of RFA Isla

Once again Temporary Lieutenant Deuchar re-entered the Royal Naval Reserve on 18 August 1919 and was appointed to RFA Sunhill until 25 October 1919

On 31 March 1920 found Temporary Lieutenant Deuchar Royal Naval Reserve being demobilised from the Royal Naval Service and once more, the following day, he rejoined the RFA. Captain Grahame Deuchar DSC RFA was appointed as Master of RFA Turmoil (1)



RFA Turmoil

Following on from RFA service Grahame Deuchar joined the Auxiliary Division, Royal Irish Constabulary on 23 June 1921 during which time he was wounded by rebels when a car in which he was travelling came under fire. The Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary (ADRIC) was set up to conduct counter-insurgency operations against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and as such was a paramilitary unit

In January 1922 he found himself being discharged from the ADRIC with that service being demobilised on the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty.

There is now a gap in Grahame Deuchar’s known career until the steamer Remo of 209 tons belonging to Messers. Henry Burden & Co of Poole sailed from London on 28 October 1925 for Southampton and Poole. When just east of Greenwich and off the Jenning Tree Light she was in collision with the Canadian steamer ‘Canadian Raider’ of 3,384 tons. Both ships were sailing down river in foggy conditions. The Remo sank taking with her Grahame Deuchar together the 2nd Engineer George Almer and J W Phillips. The Master and four other crew members were rescued


Canadian Raider

SS Canadian Raider


On 11 November 1925 he was buried in Ladywell & Brockley Cemetery, Lewisham in South East London in his family grave – this is now sadly, very badly overgrown.


DEUCHARs grave

Captain G Deuchar’s grave