Royal Fleet Auxiliary 5th Annual Awards Ceremony

Two female members of the RFA have received the RFA Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for 20 years’ service.

Chief Officer (LS) Jane Struthers and First Officer (LS) Kelly Taylor received their awards at the RFA’s annual awards ceremony at HMS Nelson.

A total of 40 awards were handed out at the ceremony across a range of categories, from the Richard Jones Trophy for cadet of the year to long service and good conduct clasps.

RFA Head of Service, Commodore Duncan Lamb, said: “At this, the fifth RFA Annual Awards Ceremony, I never cease to be humbled and amazed by what our marine and systems engineers, chefs, stewards, logisticians, communicators, navigators, seamen and medics achieve; how they maintain operational focus in the most challenging of conditions.”

Third Officer (Systems Engineer) David James, received the Richard Jones RFA Cadet of the Year Trophy for his consistently high performance, displaying natural ability, enthusiasm and determination both at college and at sea throughout his training.

Currently appointed to RFA Tiderace, 3/O James said: “I am very proud and honoured to receive this award and after completing my Cadetship I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge of serving as a Third Officer Systems Engineer onboard RFA Tiderace.”

Commodore RFA Annual Award for Outstanding Achievement, was presented to Second Officer Alex Townsend, for his outstanding work as OC Afloat Support at the Defence Maritime Logistics School (DMLS), at HMS Raleigh.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship of the Year for 2019 was RFA Tidespring.

I am exceptionally proud to be one of only two women to receive a 20-year Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my career with the RFA which has given me many opportunities to broaden my horizons. I look forward to the future and continuing to do a job I love.

Chief Officer Struthers

Collecting the John Coles Memorial Trophy on behalf of the ship, Captain (E) Richard Maddock, said: “I am delighted to receive this trophy which reflects the hard work, application and dedication of the RFA Tidespring team over the past 12 months.”

For consistently performing to a high standard throughout her Defence Stewarding Course, the Keith Rice Memorial Trophy for Steward of the Year was awarded to Apprentice Steward Toni Cupit.

There were six more awards of medals for 20 years RFA service and eight awards of clasps for 30 years’ service.

Awards of clasps for 40 years’ service given to Captain (X) Peter Selby, Captain (E) Nick Fox and Captain (E) Terry Edwards.

The final presentation was made to the family of SG1A Bernard Gray who passed away earlier this year.

A bespoke presentation case which contained the RFA Flag and RFA Service, Golden Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee and Afghanistan Medals was given to his family.

His widow Susan said: “Whilst we are still very sad at the loss of Bernie, we are pleased with the presentation made by Commodore Lamb on behalf of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. It’s a good and fitting reminder and tribute to a career at sea that he enjoyed so much.”