By Andrew Padmore

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'RAF AIR SEA RESCUE CRAFT No.124' page

I notice on your website you have a photo from Chris Young of craft no. 126. My late father, Terence Padmore, was a navigator on craft no.124, which looks identical. I would very much like to find out more info about him/craft during the war. He did divulge snippets of info & I know he was stationed at Lowestoft, Liverpool & Isla at various stages during the war. Thats all I Know! I enclose a photo, & I do have more of the crew.

Andrew Padmore

Further pictures including the crew. Courtesy of Philip Manchip

This page was added by Andrew Padmore on 19/02/2011.
Comments about this page

Hi Andrew, I live at Lowestoft and would very much like to use your picture of the ASR craft 124. I look after the website www.lowestoftmaritimemuseum.org.uk and have a friend who worked for the British Power Boat Co when the whalebacks were being produced. During the war he served on them in the RAF and was based at Newhaven. My email address is:-  (email address removed site rules sorry).

FAO Andrew

IF you wish to get in touch with John  we can forward John's email address to you.

John -- Editor


By John French
On 09/03/2012

My father was chief engineer on boat 586 based in Bay shore , Long Island, N.Y. from 1944-5. He's the only surviving crew member now at 94.

By Gary
On 29/12/2012

My Father was also on 124 in the engine room.  He has a similar photo.  I also saw other photos of the crew of 124 at the museum in Flixton when I visited two years ago.  My father will celebrate his 95th birthday in two days time, 2 September 2014 and he is still in good health.

By Paul Leigh
On 30/08/2014

Hi. My father was the FS Engine Fitter at Gorleston and therefore the  senior engine specialist.  He was responsible for the serviceability and the maintenance of all the boats Napier engines.  His name was Leonard Manchip known as Chippy by the crews. He served at Gorleston from the units inception until the end of the war when he was posted to Gibralter as WO. I was born in Gorleston just before VE Day. He was according to him assigned to HSL 124 unless otherwise engaged. I have donated 2 photographs to the Flixton Museum showing my father with his crew in one and my mother with the crew in the second. On a recent visit the second with my mother was no longer exhibited. During that visit I presented the museum with a water colour showing boats moored at the unit, the artist was an officer serving at 24 unit. 

By Philip Manchip
On 31/12/2019

Hi Philip, greeting from Australia.  My father Jack Leigh worked alongside your father in the engine room of HS124.  I have a few photos of the crew and some of the HS boats which I gave to the Flixton Museum on a memory stick.  Jack rarely talked about his time on the boats.  Sadly Jack Leigh passed away on 22nd April 2018 at the age of 98.  I still have relatives living in the Gorleston area. 

By Paul Leigh
On 15/06/2020

Hello Jack great to see your comments regarding our fathers service together at 24 Unit Gorleston. My father did talk about his service but my memories are sadly limited. If I can find the photo‘s of him and his colleagues at Gorleston I’ll put a copy on this site just in case your father is amongst them. I am also now living in Oz up in the Adelaide Hills, I have a son who lives in Townsville as well. I would be very interested in seeing your pics! My father passed away back in 1985 aged 74. I return to Norfolk including the Norwich area each year, not this year for obvious reasons. I was born at 15 Russel Avenue in Gorleston but no longer have any connection with the town. I do still visit on occasion and have eaten in the carvery at the Cliff Hotel which you probably know was home to the crews during the war. There is a memorial garden on the terrace and various artwork hanging in the restaurant area. Best wishes, Phil. 

By Philip Manchip
On 27/08/2020

Hi Philip, I have had a few trips back to Gorleston over the past few years and my wife and I stayed at the Cliff Hotel on one of the visits. I still have cousins on my Mum's side of the family living around Gorleston which I have visited.  I live in Kyneton,  Victoria and we visit the Barossa Valley about twice per year.  I would love to catch up with you.  I would be happy for the editors of this site to send you my email address so we could communicate.  I have a photo of myself and my daughter standing next to the memorial garden.  Best wishes Paul

Your email has been forwarded to Philip as you requested. 

John --  Editor

By Paul Leigh
On 11/11/2020

I have some interesting information about the Napier Sea Lion engine, which powered this craft, HSL 124.

By Roger Collier
On 29/01/2021

Further to my recent post, you may all be interested to know that Napier Sea Lion engine no.288 which was the centre engine on the launch, is very much alive and kicking and in a high profile way!

More to follow if anyone is interested?

Yes keep going Roger     John - Editor

By Roger Collier
On 30/01/2021

Right. When I was a young man I owned a Brickworks at Marks Tey, near Colchester. Among the many rambling buildings was one used for steel stock and machinery spares, and in one corner, supporting long lengths of pipe and angle iron was a large crate which by all accounts had been there for years and was supposed to be empty. c.1970 to access a leak in the roof we moved the steel and realised the crate contained something. The lid was prised off, and to my amazement revealed..A NapierW12 engine, meticulously wrapped in adhesive tape to every part.  Somehow Peter Morley heard of this find and asked if he could buy it to power a Bentley racing car, and he eventually managed to shoehorn the engine into a modified chassis. He raced this now famous car at vintage events for 30 years before selling it and it is still going!!

In Jan 2021 amongst a pile of old documents I found the original engine Logbook, 80 years old, which I have given to the new owner. From this I was able to see that it was the centre engine of HSL 124,  No.288, fitted in 1941. It shows everything about the engine's performance, history, repairs, movements, running times and fuel consumption etc, and it revealed that it was sold from Debach Airfield near Woodbridge, Suffolk, at auction, in 1947. I think my father must have bought it

What a career this beautiful engine has had.

Roger Collier.

Brilliant story Roger, thank you for sharing it with us.

John - editor

By Roger Collier
On 01/02/2021

Thanks for the information on the engine Roger, great story and glad it is still running.  I wonder if my late Father, Jack Leigh signed any part of the engine logbook as he worked in the engine room on HSL124?

By Paul Leigh
On 02/02/2021

Hello Paul, no I'm afraid can't see your father's signature although some are not clear. All the signatories appear with the notation F/Lt which I presume means Flight Lieutenant.

Yoir father must have done some good work! If you look at Napier Bentley on Wikipedia etc you will see and hear more!

All best,  Roger.

By Roger Collier
On 02/02/2021

Hi Paul I trust that you still visit here? Never did receive your email unless it went via junk mail. Yes I’d still like to meet up maybe in Adelaide. I’ve just added pictures of 124 moored at Gorleston I presume and 3 photos of the crew with my father, the smallest with ‘chip hat’, and my mother. Fingers crossed that your father is amongst them. Regards Phil. 

By Phil Manchip
On 21/02/2021

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