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‘Wonderful tribute’ to sorely-missed RFA Capt Rob

An RFA colleague reflects on Capt Anders' life
24 August 2021
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Family, friends, former colleagues and senior officers joined RFA Mounts Bay for a memorial service off Portland to remember a hugely-popular former commanding officer of the support ship.

Mounts Bay was Captain Rob Anders’ final command of several RFA vessels, during a life dedicated to the sea, his family and Warrington Wolves.

So the ship was the obvious choice for a service celebrating his life – ended just before Christmas at the age of only 49 by a brain tumour – before his ashes were committed to the deep.

Joining Capt Anders’ widow Phillipa and the couple’s children Nell and Will, were the head of the RFA Commodore David Eagles, his predecessor Commodore Duncan Lamb, and Director of Naval Force Generation, Rear Admiral Martin Connell.

As Mounts Bay left Portland Port, RFA Chaplain, Reverend Andrew Corness led a service of thanksgiving, with a moving eulogy delivered by Cdre Eagles, highlighting Capt Anders’ devotion to his family and very successful sea-going career.

Head of the RFA, Cdre Eagles, said “I am honoured to welcome Phillipa, Nell and Will onboard RFA Mounts Bay, a ship which Rob commanded with such distinction.

“She forms the most appropriate of backdrops for us all to remember him by and commit his ashes from. I am particularly pleased to be joined by Rob’s wider family and friends along with Admiral Connell in this act of remembrance.”

The events onboard Mount Bay have provided us with lasting memories and my kids and I are so humbled that today has been made possible

Phillipa Anders, Capt Rob Anders' widow

As Commanding Officer of Mounts Bay in September 2019, Capt Anders’ was the first ship to arrive on the scene of devastation in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian had battered islands with winds of up to 185mph, causing the worst natural disaster in the area in living memory.

In the days which followed, more than 6,000 people were helped by the ship’s team – RFA, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Engineers and Royal Logistics Corps and Fleet Air Arm – in some of the worst hit areas of Great Abaco Island and surrounding region.

As well as a busy professional life and duties as a husband and dad, Rob was also a keen Rugby League fan, a member of the Executive Board of RN Rugby League and an avid supporter of Warrington Wolves, ‘The Wires’ flag was flown from the yardarm of Mounts Bay throughout the ceremony.

“The events onboard Mount Bay have provided us with lasting memories and my kids and I are so humbled that today has been made possible,” said Mrs Anders.

“A truly wonderful tribute to a much-missed husband and dad.”

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