The Red Duster The Merchant Navy Crest


A tribute to the British Merchant Navy - they also served!

The Ellerman Hall vessel ss CITY OF CAIRO torpedoed on 6th November 1942

About This Site

white ensign

The Author

My name is Hugh MacLean, I live in Inverness in the North of Scotland and I am now a retired BT telecoms engineer.

Prior to joining BT, I served in the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Reserve. I joined HMS GANGES for basic training on 10th February 1976. I served on various ships including the aircraft carrier HMS ARK ROYAL, the frigate HMS DIOMEDE and other smaller minesweepers. I also had the pleasure of serving with the Merchant Navy as a member of naval parties onboard the vessels mv LYCAON and mv OIL ENDEAVOUR.

On 1st October 1982, I left Ascension Island aboard the troopship mv NORLAND heading for Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. I was to join mv LYCAON part of Naval Party 1900.

mv LYCAON was 11,800 tons and was a STUFT (Ships Taken Up From Trade) vessel requsitioned by the Government for service during the Falklands War (April - June 1982). She carried ammunition for the invasion force and also for the military garrison after the surrender. My return journey from Port Stanley to Ascension was aboard another chartered troopship mv CUNARD COUNTESS.

Courtesy of David Page

MV Norland at San Carlos Falklands 1982

mv NORLAND San Carlos, Falklands 1982

MV Cunard Countess

mv CUNARD COUNTESS - Troopship 1982/3

I served on mv OIL ENDEAVOUR in 1984 as part of Naval Party 1015. She was also requsitioned by the Navy as a support vessel for Royal Navy minesweepers who were tasked to clear mines from the Suez Canal.

Courtesy of Tony Jones

MV Lycaon


MV Oil Endeavour


I come from a family with close ties to the sea. My grandfather served in the Royal Navy during World War I and also the Merchant Navy after that war. My father, as detailed in this site, served in the Merchant Navy for twenty-two years. Two more of my brothers spent time at sea; my brother Don served for twenty-two years in the Royal Navy and my brother Gerry served on merchant vessels in the North Sea oil industry.

This Project

This web project came about largely due to my interest in computing and the Internet. I decided to try and learn the language of the web: XHTML and CSS. I checked out some tutorials on the web for a while and then, at Christmas time 2004, a present from my children: "Eric Meyer on CSS" by Eric A. Meyer and "HTML in easy steps" by Mike McGrath were the catalysts for bringing it all together.

This is my first site and all hand coded. I took the advice of all well-known authors to try and learn the code rather than use web-authoring tools. This site has been tested in most modern browsers and I would welcome your constructive comments and advice.

The Future

My goal for this site was to somehow pay tribute to my father and all the passengers and crew who served on this ship. And by doing so, I hoped to add to other websites out there who campaign and lobby for true recognition for the Merchant Navy the "forgotten fourth service".

I would be grateful for any photos, accounts, stories, tributes and memorabilia pertaining to this ship that I may display on this site. All contributors will be recognised on the site.