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Royal Fleet Auxiliary Awards 2017

6 September 2017
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) recently held their Annual Award Ceremony at HMS Nelson, Portsmouth to recognise the achievements of their personnel, who serve on operations throughout the world 365 days a year.

A total of 38 awards were made across a spectrum of categories ranging from Cadet of the Year to Retirement Vases and covering a timescale from 1953 -2017.

Commodore Duncan Lamb, Commander Royal Fleet Auxiliary, said of the Third Annual Awards Ceremony: “The strength of the organisation is in its people. RFA personnel are spread globally as we are such a sea going organisation and it is difficult to get us, and our families, all together.

“We are here today to reward our people as we appreciate what they deliver on a daily basis.”

We are here today to reward our people as we appreciate what they deliver on a daily basis.

Commodore Duncan Lamb RN

The first award was presented to Third Officer (Seaman) Martin Adams, who received the RFA Cadet of the Year (Richard Jones Trophy) for outstanding performance during training.

Martin attended St Bernards High School in Rotherham and joined the RFA when he was 21 to travel the world, having previously been a ski instructor and lifeguard. Martin has just completed his three year cadetship at Fleetwood Nautical College and is waiting to join his first ship.

He received the award for maintaining the highest standard throughout training. His parents Nuala and Paul Martin, also from Rotherham, were there to see him receive his award at the start of his career.

In contrast, Medical Technician Mark Ellis received his 20 year RFA Long Service Medal.  Mark had already received the Royal Navy’s Long Service and Good Conduct Medal after completing over 20 years in the Royal Navy.

He decided to join the RFA when his Navy career ended after talking to a friend in the RFA. Of his second career, he said: “There is not so much saluting in the RFA, but both the Royal Navy and RFA have been very enjoyable in different ways. The RFA has a broader population to look after, from 16 up to the mid-60s, which is more challenging than the younger Navy population.”

Mark, from Grantham in Lincolnshire, plans to enjoy his last 18 months or more in the RFA and will look forward to his retirement, along with his partner Maureen.

The 2017 Fuellers Award was presented to Leading Hand (Deck) Faith Phillips. The Livery Companies Award is for outstanding motivation and achievement on a RFA.

Faith received her award for her time on RFA Wave Knight during its deployment to the North Atlantic and the Falkland Islands. Faith, acting as a Petty Officer, ran the small deck team on board and was tasked with rebuilding the ‘replenishment at sea’ equipment.

She was also active in assisting the Bermuda Police with the marshalling for the America’s Cup. Although Faith received the award for her efforts, she said: “Although I got the award, it was a team effort.” 

Faith, originally from Chatham, but now living in Falmouth, Cornwall, joined the Royal Naval Reserve at 16 having grown up on the river Medway. After being called up as a Reservist in 2003 and serving on a RFA during this time, she decided to join the RFA.

In particular during her career she has enjoyed all the places she has visited and the friendliness of her comrades.

The RFA Ship of the Year Trophy, awarded to the ship that makes the most significant contribution to Afloat Sustainment, was presented to RFA Wave Knight and accepted by Captain Nigel Budd.

The final award was a long overdue Korea Medal, awarded to Mr Ronald Blundell, Second Engineer Retired, for his service in 1953/54 on RFA Wave Sovereign.

On leaving the RFA he had an illustrious career working on the Dreadnought class of submarines and as a test engineer for Vickers. On accepting his medal Mr Blundell commented that although during his career he was gassed whilst testing liquid oxygen tanks, he noted that he was pretty good health wise!

In his closing speech Commodore Lamb thanked all those who helped with the organising of the award ceremony and mentioned that he is looking forward to next year’s event.

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