RFA Fort Beauharnois

30th September 2013, 06:33
This is really a long shot but I know there are still some guys active on Ships Nostalgia who sailed way back in the 1940's.

My father Robert Thomson was 2nd engineer on RFA Fort Beauharnois when he died in Kure , Japan in May 1947 at the age of 27. He was buried in the war cemetery there.

I was only 3 years old at the time so barely remember him. Just wondering if there is any possibility that someone on the forum has any memory of this or even heard about the circumstances..

My father survived an Arctic convoy trip and 9 month in Murmansk in 1943 and my mother always believed that those harsh conditions in Russia contributed to his early death.
Look forward to any comments.

30th September 2013, 08:26
Have a look at www.historicalrfa.org
They have very comprehensive lists of deceased RFA Officers

30th September 2013, 10:30
I cannot go back to the 1940s era, but in about 1960/61 my Mother and I followed my Father to Malta and Aden in RFA Fort Beauharnois. He was in command of HMS Messina.


30th September 2013, 11:16
I sailed on RFA Fort Beau as a Junior Engineer from about Sept 1961 until she was sold to a Greek company in June 1962. The ship was de-stored in Malta and I was one of the remaining crew organizing the de-equiping. I do remember stories from the Chief Off( who was getting near to retirement at that time) of an Engineer being killed in an Engine Room accident. However I do not recalled any of the circumstances.

I do have somewhere in my kit a scroll of the origins of Fort Beauharnois. If I find it I can send you a scanned copy. A happy ship good crew (Indian), superb food. Slow ships but an easy steam.
Tony Carey

Hugh Ferguson
30th September 2013, 11:39
The name is very familiar to me but I cannot remember any detail. She was manned and managed by Blue Funnel, which is the company in which I served in from 1943. She and the Fort Duquesne were taken up for the Fleet Train, but neither had joined by the time war ended, and so were readily available for the Pacific theatre.

30th September 2013, 18:14
Thank you all for your postings. I am in touch with historical RFA website and hope to perhaps get logbook details of the incident in due course

Hugh MacLean
30th September 2013, 18:48

Second Engineer Robert Muirhead Thomson is recorded in the Deaths at Sea Register as having died on 13th May 1947 at Kure, Japan, from a Coronary Thrombosis.

More details, if they have survived, may be recorded in the ship's Official Logbook which should be held under the ship's official number, 175376, at Kew in piece BT 99/7223 (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C6030325)


30th September 2013, 21:17
Thank you so much Hugh for these details. I have now ordered the log book details from Kew and will let you know what I find

Hugh MacLean
30th September 2013, 21:34
I should say, Bob, that Kew will probably come back to you with a not very helpful comment about not being able to copy the file due to it being classified as a research request. Best option would be if you were in a position to visit Kew (I note your flag) which may not be an option or get someone to visit on your behalf. We will see what they say.