The Adventures of a “Conway” Lad

Chris Puxley first went to sea with the RFA in 1964, after completing two years on the training ship “Conway”, he joined his first ship, the old RFA Wave Knight, as an Apprentice or Cadet and he left the service in 1979 as a Chief Officer (X).

This is the story of a life at sea through the recollections of one man and illustrates the work, people and ships of the RFA, from the early 1960’s to the late 1970’s.  These memoirs provide a unique insight into another era in the Fleet’s rich and varied history.

We hope that you enjoy reading these recollections, which we will be serialising over the next few months, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our grateful thanks to Chris for sharing his story with us.

The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Sir Percivale 1978-79

“SIR PERCIVALE” Pennant No. L 3036                  International Callsign GVTA                  Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 6728642   Builder Hawthorn Leslie, (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Hebburn on Tyne.   Launched 4th October 1967                                                              Completed 23rd March 1968   Displacement (Light-ship)…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Pearleaf 1977-78

“PEARLEAF” Pennant No. A 77                      International Callsign GGHA                 Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 5272593   Builder Blythswood Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, Scotstoun, Glasgow.   Launched 15th October 1959.                                                        Completed 15th January 1960.   Displacement (Light-ship) 6,400 tons.                     …
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Lyness 1977

“LYNESS” Pennant No. A 339                   International Callsign GSPE                   Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 6706888   Builder Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend on Tyne. (Yard No. 2016).   Launched 7th April 1966.                                                           Completed 22nd December…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Tidepool 1976

“TIDEPOOL” 26th March 1976 to 28th September 1976 British Crew 1st Officer   This was my second appointment to this ship, this time with responsibilities for NBCD, damage control, firefighting, flight-deck operations and assisting the Chief Officer with cargo work…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Sir Bedivere 1976

“SIR BEDIVERE” Pennant No. L 3004                      International Callsign GSRE             Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 6617154   Builder Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Hebburn on Tyne.   Launched 20th July 1966.                                                                     Completed 18th May 1967.   Displacement (Light-ship)…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Sir Tristram 1975

“SIR TRISTRAM” Pennant No. L 3505                International Callsign GVMA                   Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 6704373   Builder Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Hebburn on Tyne.   Launched 12 December 1966                                                    Completed 14th September 1967   Displacement (Light-ship)…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Resource 1974-75

“RESOURCE” 3rd June 1974 to 7th January 1975 British Crew 1st Officer   It was my second appointment to this ship, although now with greater responsibilities.  As well as understudying the Chief Officer by assisting with replenishments and operating the…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Grey Rover 1973-74

“GREY ROVER”   Pennant No. A 269                     International Callsign GYXM                 Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 6923163   Builder Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd, (Hebburn Yard), Hebburn on Tyne.   Launched 17th April 1969                                                                      Completed 10th April 1970…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Olwen 1973

“OLWEN” Pennant No. A 122                   International Callsign GQKA                  Registered LONDON   Previous Name “Olynthus”  (Re-named in September 1967).         Lloyds Identity No. 6418572   Builder Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Hebburn on Tyne.   Launched 10th July 1964                                                                      Completed 21st June 1965…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Sir Percivale 1978-79

“SIR PERCIVALE” Pennant No. L 3036                  International Callsign GVTA                  Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 6728642   Builder Hawthorn Leslie, (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Hebburn on Tyne.   Launched…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Pearleaf 1977-78

“PEARLEAF” Pennant No. A 77                      International Callsign GGHA                 Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 5272593   Builder Blythswood Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, Scotstoun, Glasgow.   Launched 15th October…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Lyness 1977

“LYNESS” Pennant No. A 339                   International Callsign GSPE                   Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 6706888   Builder Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend on Tyne. (Yard…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Sir Bedivere 1976

“SIR BEDIVERE” Pennant No. L 3004                      International Callsign GSRE             Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 6617154   Builder Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Hebburn on Tyne.   Launched…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Sir Tristram 1975

“SIR TRISTRAM” Pennant No. L 3505                International Callsign GVMA                   Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 6704373   Builder Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Hebburn on Tyne.   Launched…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Grey Rover 1973-74

“GREY ROVER”   Pennant No. A 269                     International Callsign GYXM                 Registered LONDON   Previous Name N/A                                                                         Lloyds Identity No. 6923163   Builder Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd, (Hebburn Yard), Hebburn on…
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The Adventures of a Conway Lad on RFA Olwen 1973

“OLWEN” Pennant No. A 122                   International Callsign GQKA                  Registered LONDON   Previous Name “Olynthus”  (Re-named in September 1967).         Lloyds Identity No. 6418572   Builder Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Hebburn on…
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