RFA Sir Lancelot




Reproduced with permission of the MOD


RFA Sir Lancelot



Subsequent name:                           Lowland Lancer, RSS Perseverance, Glenn Braveheart,  Ark

Official Number:                               305889 

Class:                                              SIR LANCELOT CLASS Landing Ship Logistics

Pennant No:                                     L3029

Laid down:                                       March 1962
Builder:                                            Fairfield S & E
Launched:                                        25 June 1963
Into Service:                                     16 January 1964
Out of service:                                  31 March 1989
Fate:                                               Scrapped


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:   In December 1961 the following announcement was made: War Office Military Supply Ship: “A 6000t ocean-going twin screw military supply vessel has been ordered by the MOT from the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co Ltd., at Govan, who are to develop the final specifications of the ship, which is expected to cost about £1million. Building will start around February 1962 and the ship is expected to be in service late in 1963 or early in 1964. The design calls for a fast troop and vehicle carrier capable of discharging onto beaches. She will have bow and stern loading facilities for tanks and military vehicles, ramp loading hatches, cargo handling cranes and provision for carrying and launching pontoons. A helicopter will be carried aft, and on completion she will have a Merchant Navy crew and will be managed by the British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd” In March 1963 it was announced that tenders were to be invited for a further two vessels at a cost of £2 million each and all three would then replace thirteen former Tank Landing Ships and would be part of an eventual Class of five or six ships, all of which would be named after Knights of the Round Table. The final three vessels were ordered in April 1965, and in December 1968 it was announced that as from January 1970, the management of these six vessels, as well as that of one ex-LST, would be transferred to the RFA


November 1959 staff requirement specification was completed

August 1960 the design was approved by the Army Chief of Staff for a prototype to be built

29 June 1962 laid down as LSL 01

25 June 1963 launched by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Govan as Yard Nr: 818 named SIR LANCELOT for the Ministry of Transport. The Lady Sponsor was the Lady Padmor

16 December 1963 to 20 December 1963 builders trials

7 January 1964 the ships builders issued their certificate –


Sir Lance Build cert


16 January 1964 completed and placed under management of British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London

27 January 1964 arrived at Pembroke Dock


St Lance BI Livery

Sir Lancelot in BI livery


7 February 1964 at Marchwood

7 February 1964 to 30 March 1964 trials at Marchwood and at sea

5 March 1964 press, open and demonstration day. The ships Master was Captain E C Ploughman


St Lance Westland landing on

Helicopter Trials – a Westland Helicopter landing on


14 March 1964 The Sphere newspaper gave its readers an image of the ship –


The Sphere 14 3 1964 Press Image Lancelot


18 March 1964 the Birmingham Daily Post reported –


Bminham Daily Post 18 3 1964 Press


April 1964 post acceptance trials in the Middle East

14 June 1964 arrived at Malta

1 December 1964 sailed Malta for the UK

30 July 1965 berthed at Singapore from Hong Kong with 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Scottish Borderers on board for Jungle Warfare training in Johore

11 August 1965 berthed at Singapore – berth 19

1 September 1965 berthed at Singapore – berth 38/39

25 November 1965 berthed at Singapore – berth 39

22 December 1965 berthed at Singapore – berth 19

2 March 1966 berthed at Singapore – berth 45

8 April 1966 berthed at Singapore – berth 33/34

22 April 1966 berthed at Singapore – berth 19

20 June 1966 sailed Singapore with 62 officers and men of B Squadron 16th/5th Queens Royal Lancers together with eight Centurion tanks

9 July 1966 berthed at Singapore – berth 6/7

2 August 1966 berthed at Singapore – berth 5

27 August 1966 berthed at Singapore with some 250 British and Australian troops which had been collected from Sibu, Sarawak


SIr Lancelot BI


26 September 1966 berthed at Singapore from Jesselton with 250 members of 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment who were returning to the UK by air from Singapore

21 October 1966 berthed at Singapore – berth 19

1 December 1966 berthed at Singapore – berth 19

20 December 1966 berthed at Singapore – berth 19

29 June 1968 together with mv Sir Galahad (1) (before RFA service), HMS INTREPID, two SRN6 hovercraft, 10,000 members of the Armed Forces and 100 Aircraft involved in Exercise Lath on the East Coast of Malaysia 

3 January 1970 management transferred to the RFA

6 January 1971 sailed Singapore with 300 tons of relief supplies for the victims of the West Malaysian flood victims which had been donated by the Government and people of Singapore

7 January 1971 berthed at Kuantan to off load the relief supplies

25 January 1971 her Ship’s Badge was officially presented to her

23 March 1972 arrived Malta to load stores and equipment

30 March 1972 sailed Malta for the UK

30 October 1972 berthed at Simonstown Dockyard, South Africa 

November 1972 RASed with RFA PLUMLEAF (2)

11 June 1973 to 18 June 1973 alerted to provide assistance to the Sultan of Oman’s Forces beleagured at Simba in Operation Simba along with RFA STROMNESS

30 August 1973 sailed Malta for Cyprus with 41 Commando, Royal Marines

2 October 1973 arrived at Malta from Cyprus with RFA SIR GALAHAD (1). Both ships carried members of 41 Commando, Royal Marines

3 January 1975 sailed from Sea to Devonport Dockyard

27 January 1975 sailed from No: 7 wharf, Devonport Dockyard to sea

19 February 1977 in collision with the Algerian-registered DJURDJURA off Calshot Pillar Buoy in Southampton Water and had to return to Marchwood Military Port for repairs

10 March 1978 Captain Shane Redmond RFA appointed as Master


Captain Shane Redmond OBE crop

Captain Shane Redmond RFA


9 March 1979 berthed at Grand Harbour, Malta to assist in the run down of British Forces on the Island

22 March 1979 Major Ian Martin and 100 members of Salerno Company, 41 Commando, Royal Marines who had marched from RAF Luqa embarked

30 March 1979 sailed from Grand Harbour, Malta the day before British Forces left the Island for good with Salerno Company, 41 Commando Royal Marines

21 August 1980 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

6 October 1980 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

8 November 1980 berthed at Chatham Dockyard

25 November 1980 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

12 December 1980 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

19 December 1980 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

4 April 1981 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

24 April 1981 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

18 November 1981 at Portsmouth

2 April 1982 berthed at Marchwood Military Port from Zeebrugge

5 April 1982 sailed Marchwood Military Port for service during  Operation Corporate – the Falklands Conflict – with 305 troops and 3 Scout helicopters embarked

7 April 1982 the Amphibious Landing Force assembled at sea . The other ships were RFA’s SIR GALAHAD (1), SIR GERAINT, SIR PERCIVALE and PEARLEAF (2)

19 April 1982 arrived Ascension Island

29 April 1982 sailed Ascension Island in company with RFA’s SIR GALAHAD (1), SIR GERAINT, SIR PERCIVALE, SIR TRISTRAM and PLUMLEAF (2) and HM ships FEARLESS, INTREPID and ANTELOPE

30 April 1982 at Ascension loaded 500 tons of fresh water from the STUFT ship Fort Toronto

8 May 1982 entered the TEZ (Total Exclusion Zone) around the Falkland Islands

21 May 1982 entered San Carlos Water with the Amphibious Landing Group

May 1982 became the Special Forces HQ in San Carlos Water

24 May 1982 was twice hit by 1000 lb bombs in San Carlos Water, but the bombs did not explode but caused damage from a fire in her troop accommodation and she was abandoned. All 240 personnel aboard were taken ashore to Red Beach by LCU’s and spent the night in a disused refrigeration plant

25 May 1982 her personnel were transferred to RFA STROMNESS and she was again bombed in San Carlos Water but again the bombs failed to explode, although they did cause damage to the Sgt‘s Mess and the Galley on the port side

26 May 1982 ship’s Company transferred to RFA SIR TRISTRAM at sea

27 May 1982 four Volunteer Bomb Disposal Team return to the ship to secure the bomb

29 May 1982 bomb was removed and lowered into the water


Sir Lance tally


3 June 1982 ship’s company returned aboard to continue repairs

5 June 1982 was repaired and power was restored

1 July 1982 at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

18 July 1982 arrived back at Port Stanley

26 July 1982 sailed Port Stanley to Portsmouth via Ascension Island on completion of Operation Corporate duties. On way dumping 25 tons of Argentinian ammunition in deep water

18 August 1982 arrived at Portsmouth

22 August 1982 at Portsmouth

27 October 1983 at Marchwood Military Port

9 January 1984 at the River Tyne

31 January 1984 at the River Tyne

21 February 1983 at Devonport

16 August 1983 at Falmouth

27 October 1983 sailed from Marchwood Military Port

29 October 1983 berthed at Hamburg, discharged troops and vehicles. Sailed from Hamburg

31 October 1983 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

4 November 1983 sailed from Marchwood Military Port

9 November 1983 passed Tenerife

15 November 1983 anchored South West Bay, Ascension Island

16 November 1983 after refuelling from mv Lucerna sailed from Ascension Island

22 November 1983 light jackstay transfer with RFA FORT AUSTIN

29 November 1983 arrived at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

7 December 1983 sailed from Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

19 December 1983 anchored South West Bay, Ascension Island

1 January 1984 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

3 January 1984 sailed from Marchwood securing to No: 3 Buoy at Portsmouth later berthing on South Railway Jetty at Portsmouth

6 January 1984 sailed from Portsmouth

8 January 1984 berthed at Smiths, North Shields, River Tyne

21 February 1984 sailed River Tyne for engine trials & compass swing returning to the River Tyne the same day

22 February 1984 sailed River Tyne

24 February 1984 berthed at Portsmouth

27 February 1984 sailed from Portsmouth anchoring off Portland Port the same day

28 February 1984 berthed alongside at Portland Port

4 March 1984 sailed from Portland Port anchoring at Spithead

10 March 1984 anchored at Trondheim later berthing at No: 2 Pier. Even later sailed from Trondheim


13 June 1984 at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

16 January 1985 was presented with her Falkland Islands 1982 Battle Honour at Portsmouth by Captain C.G. Butterworth, the Chief Marine Superintendent at the time

18 March 1986 at Plymouth after passage from Norway – off loaded Wessex HU5 Helicopter No: XT449 – cargo

3 February 1987 at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

24 July 1987 at North Shields, River Tyne

9 December 1987 sailed Marchwood Military Port to Agadir, Morocco loaded with Chieftain tanks from Bovington

agadir87 1

Off loading at Agadir

agadir87 2

One of the off loaded tanks outside the Harbour Master’s Office at Agadir 
The above two images donated by and copyright © Dave Malley

21 December 1987 arrived back at Marchwood Military Port with the tanks

5 September 1988 at Marchwood Military Port

5 December 1988 at Marchwood Military Port

12 December 1988 at Marchwood Military Port

12 February 1989 at Marchwood Military Port and Captain Pat Thompson RFA appointed as Master


1a Pat Thomson

Captain Pat Thompson RFA


31 March 1989 arrived Marchwood Military Port for the final time for disposal

21 April 1989 at Marchwood Military Port

1 June 1989 was purchased for £339,500 by Lowline (Rambler) Ltd (Lowline Ltd, Managers)  London

13 June 1989 was handed over to her new owners at Marchwood Military Port and was renamed LOWLAND LANCER

6 June 1990 carried out feasibility trials using the linkspan at Weymouth for a proposed Cross-Channel ferry service. Was damaged aft when a gust of wind blew her quarter against the quayside. The ferry service did not prove a success

2 July 1990 Captain Robert C Osola was the ships Master

19 January 1991 sailed Cardiff for St Helena as a temporary replacement for the liner RMS ST HELENA which had incurred major damage to her starboard engine during a voyage from Cape Town to Cardiff. The damage necessitated a new starboard engine being fitted at Falmouth


Lowland Lancer zx

After sale commercially as Lowland Lancer

1992 operated as a floating casino, based at Cape Town under the banner of Southern Offshore Leisure and took gamblers outside the 3 mile limit as gambling at that time was illegal in South Africa

October 1992 was purchased by the Government of Singapore Department of Defence for operation as a Transport in the Singaporean Navy

21 November 1992 arrived in Singarpore

5 May 1994 commissioned in the Singaporean Navy and renamed as RSS Perseverance (L 206) – Commander by Major Son Guan Huat

12 August 1995 involved in Naval Exercises with the Pakistan Navy in the Singapore Straits and the South China Sea

December 1997 used in the recovery operation of the MI 185 Silk Air air-crash in Palembang

5 January 2000 sailed East Timor with 91 members of the Singapore Armed Forces on board

20 September 2001 decommissioned for conversion into a submarine support ship manned by a civilian crew but still under Singaporean Navy control. She proved to be slightly too large for  this role.

December 2003 purchased by Glenn Defence Marine (Asia) Pte Ltd, Singapore for S$1.65m and refitted and converted for a further S$3m for service on security duties around the port of Singapore

January 2004 supporting diving operations in a search and rescue effort after patrol vessel RSS Courageous collided with a container ship.

2 March 2004 berthed in Port Klang with a mixed crew of 46 – 25 Nepalese, 10 Myanmars, 10 Filipinos and a Bruneian

24 May 2004 registered in Panama and renamed GLENN BRAVEHEART

2 February 2005 detained in Hong Kong by the PSC Section in that country for ISM RELATED DEFICIENCIES: resources and personnel, RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS: reserve source of energy, other (radio), ITU publication not available, FIRE SAFETY MEASURES: fire-damper

4 February 2005 released from Hong Kong

ISM RELATED DEFICIENCIES: resources and personnel,
RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS: reserve source of energy, other (radio), ITU
publication not available, FIRE SAFETY MEASURES: fire-damperISM RELATED DEFICIENCIES: resources and personnel,RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS: reserve source of energy, other (radio), ITUpublication not available, FIRE SAFETY MEASURES: fire-damper

2008 renamed ARK by her owners

12 March 2008 beached Chittagong for demolition by Bangladeshi breakers


Sir Lancelot under the ship breakers torch at Chittagong

© Robert Smith 28 March 2008




Was named after one of the 35 Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend who was carried off by the Lady of the Lake as an infant and she instructed him in the duties of knighthood until he was 18. He and Queen Guenievre fell in love and had an adulterous affair. The Queen was sentenced to be burnt at the stake but was rescued by Sir Lancelot. He became the father of Sir Galahad