Dedicated to Mum, Dad

and all Crewmembers on H.M.S. Dauntless, Scarab, Birmingham




Frank Sutton Taylor - Ann Mary Bridget Meehan


Courting Days - St Kilda Beach


November 1950

 Wedding Day - Wesley Church

Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

February 1951



July 1975

February 1982


My parents: Frank Sutton Taylor and my mother Ann Mary Bridget (Meehan) Taylor

The Lady who graced my Father’s home was known affectionately as Joyce 

Beloved parents –

in our hearts forever


In recent years a photo album which had not seen the light of day for many years was recovered. The contents were faded and very worn because of time. I have since started having all them professionally re-done mainly of HMS Scarab. I also made application to the Ministry of Defence and received my Father's WW II Medal entitlement which for reasons unknown he did not collect. These include: 1939 - 1945 Star, Atlantic Star with France and Germany Clasp, Africa Star, Italy Star and 1939 - 1945 War Medal. I believe that the contribution made by gunboats Scarab, Aphis and Cockchafer and the significant role they played in the 8th Army advance in North Africa and in the Mediterranean were grossly underestimated. With her small crew of 70, the men of Scarab seem to have been a very close-knit bunch, at least from the photos I have recovered.


I have since been in contact with a former crew member of Scarab, Mr. Fred (Kiwi) Lemberg. Not only did he serve with my Father but they were good mates. He advised that the crew of Scarab were ‘a great bunch with a fantastic Skipper as well. Everyone got on well.’ One of many great blokes I have met along the way was Mr Frank Bee, a real character. He is the sort of bloke you just know you would get on with. However going out for a good time, he'd be the one to get you into trouble. I liked him straight away. Another whom I met was Dr. Peter Miller who was Surgeon Lieutenant aboard HMS Aphis. Also Mr. Derek Grainger, who's dad (Albert Harold Grainger) was able to share some of his father's first-hand accounts and Mr. Gordon Smith the site author from http://www.naval-history.net/.


My travels have taken me around the world on a voyage of discovery. I have met so many very fine people along the way which has been very fulfilling. Contributions in the form of anecdotes, photographs, memoirs and diaries, the discovery of Scarab’s commemorative shield in the market town of Sudbury in Suffolk (not seen for 60 years) and the excitement that produced, a visit to the Royal Navy Archives at Portsmouth, the list goes on and continues to grow. (See Acknowledgments) I also visited Myanmar (Burma) to meet Si Thu Kyaw Thein Lwin (K.T.) who was the Navigation Officer of HMS Scarab 1946-47 when the ship was on-loan to the Government of Burma.


New details regarding my family also emerged which included my Uncle, Fredrick George Taylor's (HMS Victorious) Wartime Photo Album, and Taylor Family History, summary (new) and my Father's older brother Harry Taylor (new) who enlisted with the 40th Anti-Aircraft Brigade in April 1939. 


It is very evident that I did not know where it would take me or where I was going with this project. What started off with some very old, faded and yellowed photographs has made a tremendous impact upon my life. It has become a portal into the past, an intimate look into a time when the future, all that one held dear and survival itself was at stake. When the whole world was at war and nobody and nowhere was safe.


When I mentioned to a few people what I was doing most thought it was a great idea but many felt I would be wasting my time as WW II veterans would be very old or would have passed away. Undeterred I nevertheless felt it was a story that needed to be told, especially about Scarab as very little is written about these river gunboats that served in the Mediterranean or their contribution to the various campaigns.


Special Acknowledgment


Mr. J D (Dave) Downey of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia was my Father’s best mate. When I first enquired of him if Dad would mind me going into his war service he gave me an order - “Do it”. Dave Downey was a WWII Sergeant, a decorated veteran of the Pacific Campaign and has been a family friend for over 60 years.



With tremendous sadness we very much regret the passing of

Mr. J D (Dave) Downey


He was the best mate of my Mum and Dad, Frank and Joyce Taylor

and my long-time personal friend and mentor.

My Uncle Dave.


I will miss you in my life

With love and the greatest respect

Russell J Taylor

11 June 2016



http://frankstaylorfamilyandroyalnavyhistory.net/index_files/image007.jpg       http://frankstaylorfamilyandroyalnavyhistory.net/index_files/image008.jpg

           Dave and Winnie Downey                         Dave Downey Present Day (August 2014)







Uncle Dave's Original Sergeants Uniform









Dave Downey recent

WWII Pacific Medals + Ribbon Bar + MID


1939-45 Star

Pacific Star

British War Medal + MID  (Mentioned In Dispatches)

Australian Service  Medal 1939-45


Mentioned in Despatches


Author's Note

Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) is a military award for gallantry.











Remembered with honor






And by crikey what a magnificent story it has turned out to be.


Russ Taylor 2012





Russell J Taylor

      Design concept


Gordon Wright



Avola Bay

Sicily 1943

Operation Husky


In Memoriam


With tremendous sadness we very much regret the passing of:


Surgeon-Lieutenant Peter J. Miller. (HMS Aphis)

A.B. (Radar) Frank Bee. (HMS Birmingham)

A.B. Fred (Kiwi) Lemberg. (HMS Scarab)

Mr. Gordon Smith. Author and Founder of Naval-History.Net


Valued friends and contributors

We will miss them

With respect.

Lest We Forget



H.M.S. Scarab


Royal Navy Insect Class - River Gunboat



(A Lucky Little Ship)




The Early Years

Apr 2015


World War II

Updated Dec 2016


Operation Brassard -The Assault on Elba

Jan 2015


        Operation Husky - The Invasion of Sicily

Jan 2015


Fred (Kiwi) Lemberg

Mar 2014


With tremendous sadness we very much regret the passing of A.B. Fred (Kiwi) Lemberg.

  A valued friend and contributor. This article is dedicated to his memory.

With respect.

Lest We Forget


Kiwi’s Video Interview of Life aboard HMS Scarab


Ships Complement & Crew Photos (Oct 1943)


Ship’s Logs

Jan 2015


Warship Week  February 14-21 1942 (Sudbury, Suffolk)

Apr 2012


Sudbury Revisited  

Dec 2014


Warship Weeks (Peter Schofield)

Dec 2014


Albert Harold Grainger

Dec 2014


James McKean

Apr 2012


Len Mell

Mar 2014


Isaac (Ike) Law

Apr 2014


Harold Bainbridge

New June 2015


Ship’s Mascots

Aug 2014


The Hong Kong Refit 1939 - 1940

Jan 2014


HMS Scarab in Burma (The Final Chapter)

Dec 2014




H.M.S. Dauntless



The Early Years (1918–1935)

Mar 2012


 World War II

Apr 2012


 America and West Indies Station 1930 - 1932

A complete account of the ship's commission with photographs taken by Able Seaman W. Fox.

Three cruises, adventures and experiences in the West Indies, the West Coast of North America and circumnavigating South America.

New Sep 2015


Leslie Shiers

Apr 2012


Madagascar (Chronology of Events)

Mar 2014


Crossing the Equator

Dec 2014


The R38 Airship Disaster

Dec 2014




H.M.S. Birmingham



HMS Birmingham The Early Years (1913)

Oct 2011


World War II

Dec 2011


Clifford Reginald Turner

Updated Aug 2015


Frank Bee

Dec 2014


With tremendous sadness we very much regret the passing of A.B. (Radar) Frank Bee.

  A valued friend and contributor. This article is dedicated to his memory.

With respect.

Lest We Forget


James Herbert Hemsley

Jan 2014


Herbert George Bateman

Mar 2014


Walter Sweeting

Apr 2012




H.M.S. Victorious


Frederick George Taylor

(Uncle George)

New February 2016


Frederick George Taylor

War Service

New February 2016





Harry Taylor

(Uncle Harry)

Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers

69th Searchlight Regiment and 1st Airborne Division

New July 2017




Royal Navy Insect Class River Gunboats



Insect Class

Mar 2014




H.M.S Aphis



Peter J Miller

Mar 2014


Jimmy Jones

Mar 2014


A Sea Voyage in a River Gunboat (1927)


A handwritten account of a voyage from Malta to Hong Kong with photographs.

Recorded by Lieutenant Commander J. K. B. Stephenson of HMS Aphis.

New Apr 2015



H.M.S Ladybird



John James Johnson

Mar 2014



H.M.S. Tarantula



William “Bill” Tough

Mar 2014




China Station and The Far East



Wanhsien Incident (2014) 

Oct 2014


Wanhsien Incident – A. Cecil Hampshire’s Account

Aug 2014


American River Gunboats (The Yangtze Patrol)

Sep 2014


Judy the Dog (HMS Gnat and HMS Grasshopper)

Dec 2014









We have added the watermark “Taylor Family Collection” to our documents to stop illegal copying and to

ensure that re-mastered digital copies of our images will not become available on either eBay or the Internet.

The water mark is not on our originals. If anyone wishes to access an original please contact us.

We will be happy to assist you.





ANZAC Day Parade (1985) with fellow members of New Lynn R.S.A.

(Returned Serviceman’s Association)

Auckland, New Zealand

My Dad Frank Sutton Taylor (circled top left)








Contact Us