Palembang and Beyond Launch 14 April 2018

Due to the bad weather conditions in early March the book launch had to be cancelled on the 3 March 2018.

The book Launch of Palembang and Beyond will now be held on on Saturday 14 April 2018 at the Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, Stockbridge, SO20 8DY

The book launch will be held in the Blackburn Beverley room, starting at 2pm

This book recounts the operations mounted against Japanese-occupied territory and in particular Operation Meridian One and Two when British Avenger air crews attacked the Palembang Refineries, in Sumatra, in early 1945. The stories of Avenger Pilots Sub. Lt (A) Arthur Page, Sub. Lt John ‘Buster’ Brown, and Telegraphist Air Gunner (TAG) Norman ‘Dickie’ Richardson ‘ demonstrate the extreme danger the British Avenger crews experienced in the Pacific War. During the Palembang Raid ”Dickie’ Richardson  along with his pilot and navigator were hit and had to ditch in the sea. They were rescued ‘from the drink’ by  Prince Philip who was at the time serving on HMS Whelp.

Dr Arthur Page and ‘Dickie’ Richardson will be present at the book launch


Palembang and Beyond pcd front 200ppi RGB

Supermarine Reunion

A Supermarine Reunion was held at Solent Sky Aviation Museum,  Albert Road, Southampton to on 21 June,  2013 to celebrate the 100 years since Noel Pemberton Billing started his small marine aviation company, Pemberton-Billing Ltd on the east bank of the River Itchen, alongside the Woolston Floating Bridge in 1913. The telegraphic address chosen was ‘Supermarine’ referring to craft that flew above the water, rather than ‘Submarine’ which was  below the surface.

In 1916 Noel Pemberton Billing became an MP and his colleague Hubert Scott-Paine bought the factory and immediately renamed the company Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd, the same year as a young Reginald Mitchell joined the company. He very soon became the Chief Designer and started to build his famous design team, and one of the first he appointed was Joe Smith who was destined later to become Chief Designer. Reginald Mitchell sadly died in 1937 and the pressure was on to get the Spitfire into full production. Joe Smith was to set about developing the prototype Spitfire through 24 Marks to the fighter greatly feared by the Germans in World War II, including the Seafire, the naval version of the Spitfire, followed by the Jet aircraft, concluding with the Scimitar. Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd became Supermarine Aviation Works (Vickers) Ltd when it was purchased by Vickers (Aviation) in 1928.

Many attending the reunion had contributed their own family and personal accounts of the day to day life working in the design and technical departments, as well as the shop floors of Supermarine Aviation, Southampton for the book ‘Spitfire’s Forgotten Designer: The Career of Supermarine’s Joe Smith’, published in April 2013. However, some contributors who live abroad or in various parts of the UK will also be joining the reunion celebration and meeting colleagues they have not seen for many years. A Celebration Booklet was written especially for the occasion and is still on sale at the Solent Sky Museum  or from this site.

Have a look at our website:

Enter the website:
Click on Wrecks you will get a world map and then follow the instructions:
  • Brief history of each ship
  • Information on the wreck site
  • Statistics of the vessel
  • Dive Data and Dive Operator 
  • Some wrecks have a video so you can even join the diver on the seabed
  • Satellite map

Click on Fleet and you will see a chart with headings NameBuiltFateNotes and the ships listed in alphabetical order. The diveable ships are marked with a flag.

Titanic 100 Commemorative Event

On Tuesday April 10, 1912 a Titanic Commemorative Event took place in the Ocean Terminal at Southampton Docks in front on over 650 descendents of those lost in the disaster. As well as the descendents, civic dignitaries, community and maritime representatives and other invited guests were in attendance for this special ceremony.

Concert of Commemoration in the Ocean Terminal

After Doug Morrison, ABP Port Director had welcomed the audience, ‘Southampton’s Titanic Story’ was narrated by TV presenter Fred Dineage MBE, whose great uncle James Dineage was one of the Titanic’s stewards who lost his life in the disaster.


Royal Marines Association Concert Band and the Southampton Choral Society

The Royal Marines Association Concert Band and the Southampton Choral Society provided the musical accompaniment, with prayers and readings by Reverend Andrew Huckett, Port Chaplain.

One minute’s silence was held before 12 Noon, the exact time Titanic left her moorings from the White Star Dock, now Ocean dock, and a recording of the ship’s whistle was sounded on the berth.

The tug tender Calshot was to re-enact Titanic’s departure 100 years ago when she the sailed at 12 Noon from berth 43/44 which is situated opposite the Ocean Terminal in Ocean Dock, followed by a flotilla of other craft.

At 12.04pm there was Wreath–laying ceremony led by the Guest of Honour, The Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan.

Casting the roses into the water

Following on from the Wreath-laying ceremony decendents of those lost on the Titanic and other guests took part in casting a rose into the Ocean Dock, while some other decendents were interviewed for Television.


Fred Dineage interviewing a descendent