This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
To write to your favourite
ship, simply address your
letter or parcel to:
Jack Tar
HMS So-and-So
(Parcel) force for good
BFPO 123
The relevant BFPO
numbers are:
204 HMS Albion
205 HMS Ambush
208 HMS Archer
210 HMS Argyll
212 HMS Ark Royal
214 HMS Astute
215 HMS Atherstone
221 HMS Blyth
222 HMS Bangor
229 HMS Biter
231 HMS Blazer
241 HMS Brocklesby
243 HMS Bulwark
248 HMS Campbeltown
251 HMS Cattistock
252 HMS Charger
253 HMS Chatham
254 HMS Chiddingfold
255 HMS Clyde
256 HMS Cornwall
261 HMS Cumberland
270 HMS Daring
271 HMS Dasher
272 HMS Dauntless
275 HMS Echo
276 HMS Enterprise
277 HMS Edinburgh
278 HMS Exeter
279 HMS Endurance
280 HMS Explorer
281 HMS Example
282 HMS Express
285 HMS Exploit
288 HMS Gleaner
289 HMS Gloucester
292 HMS Grimsby
300 HMS Hurworth
305 HMS Illustrious
309 HMS Iron Duke
318 HMS Kent
323 HMS Lancaster
324 HMS Ledbury
327 HMS Liverpool
331 HMS Manchester
334 HMS Mersey
335 HMS Middleton
338 HMS Monmouth
339 HMS Montrose
345 HMS Northumberland
346 HMS Nottingham
350 HMS Ocean
357 HMS Pembroke
358 HMS Penzance
361 HMS Portland
362 HMS Puncher
363 HMS Pursuer
366 HMS Quorn
368 HMS Ramsey
369 HMS Ranger
375 HMS Richmond
376 HMS Roebuck
377 HMS Raider
378 HMS Sabre
380 HMS Sceptre
381 HMS Scott
382 HMS Severn
384 HMS Scimitar
386 HMS Shoreham
387 HMS Smiter
389 HMS Southampton M
AIL equals morale, as
● Sacks appeal... HMS St Albans’ sailors sort out stacks of mail in
every sailor knows.
EVEN in an age of global telecommunications, Dubai during the frigate’s 2006 Gulf patrol
390 HMS Sovereign
391 HMS Spartan
One of the most common
mobile phones, e-mail and the internet, nothing
Picture: LA(Phot) Kelly Whybrow, FRPU East
395 HMS Somerset grouses in a ship on deployment
touches the heart of a sailor on deployment more
While mail for Germany goes in December at 186,000kg (183
396 HMS Superb
398 HMS Sutherland
is about the mailbags that
than a letter or parcel from home. So how does your
by road container service, that tons).
399 HMS St Albans mysteriously hop from foreign missive get from postbox red to pusser’s grey?
destined for Iraq, and Afghanistan This was not just families
401 HMS Talent
402 HMS Tireless
port to foreign port, always SARAH FLETCHER visited the HQ of British Forces
(including ships operating in the sending cards, presents and letters,
403 HMS Torbay annoyingly ahead of or behind
Post Offi ce to learn the answer.
Northern Gulf) is usually delivered but an outpouring of gifts, parcels
404 HMS Trafalgar
405 HMS Trenchant
the ship’s arrival.
by the RAF. and missives from the British
The mail for individual ships
406 HMS Triumph Like many things in life,
public keen to show support for
World War 2 remarked that his As Fleet Mail Offi cer, Lt Van
407 HMS Trumpeter
generally goes by commercial air.
especially logistics, it’s a service
the boys and girls at the front.
408 HMS Turbulent
troops could march for three or Den Bergh’s aim is to have the
In 2006 and 2007, BFPO sent
409 HMS Tracker
that is only noticed when it goes
The senders may not know
four days without food on the mailbags waiting on the jetty when
to deployed ships, more than
412 HMS Tyne wrong. The fact that it goes right
anyone in Iraq, or Afghanistan,
strength of a cheering letter. an RN ship comes alongside in a
418 HMS Vanguard
47,000kg (103,000lbs in old
419 HMS Victorious
so much of the time is no mean
but they want to show their
A good mail service is foreign port. Given the frequency
money) of mail to 74 different
420 HMS Vigilant
feat of organisation on the part of
appreciation with letters, cakes,
particularly important to the Navy, of programme changes, it is
overseas ports.
421 HMS Vengeance
the British Forces’ Post Offi ce and
chocolate, sweets, soap and shower
explained Lt Mark Van Den Bergh, impressive that he and his team
423 HMS Walney
If a major naval deployment is
426 HMS Westminster
Royal Mail.
Fleet Mail Offi cer at BFPO. achieve this as often as they do.
coming up involving several ships
430 HMS York The MOD has recently invested
Such generosity does wonders
“I think out of all the Services,
431 RFA Wave Ruler
“Sorting out mail perhaps
and RFAs, Lt Van Den Bergh can
£30m in its new state-of-the-art,
for morale, but it inevitably slows
the Navy is the most used to
432 RFA Wave Knight isn’t the most exciting job
take a team of Army posties out in
433 RFA Argus
fully-automated postal centre,
down the system.
moving around and sailors
in itself, but the people
support of the system.
434 RFA Bayleaf which moved last November from
“They will send aerosols,
understand how important it is to In 2004 he took a team to
435 RFA Black Rover
Mill Hill to RAF Northolt, in West
who work here realise how although we’re not allowed to post
436 RFA Cardigan Bay
get your post while you’re away,”
important it is,” said Lt Van
Norfolk, Virginia, for the Exercise
438 RFA Diligence
them (aerosols are pressurised
he said.
Den Bergh.
Aurora/Rapid Alliance deployment
439 RFA Fort Austin Here, a staff of 150, uniformed
containers and therefore classifi ed
He explained: “The Army have of 21 ships and elements of
440 RFA Fort George
and civil servants, handle 22 He added: “And in these days
as dangerous air cargo), so every
441 RFA Fort Rosalie
been in Germany for years, but 3 Commando Brigade along with
442 RFA Fort Victoria
million items of Forces’ mail
of mobile phones, emails and
year BFPO auctions hundreds of
they live out there and tend to Army and RAF participation,
443 RFA Gold Rover annually. e-blueys and every other modern
aerosols among its staff and gives
remain in one place. When they go involving over 5,500 UK forces
446 RFA Largs Bay
The importance of a good
form of communication, it’s nice
the proceeds to Forces’ charities.
447 RFA Lyme Bay
on exercise, they have Field Post personnel.
448 RFA Mounts Bay
Forces postal system has been Offi ces. The RAF are usually based
to remember there’s still nothing
Last year we had 8,000,” said Lt
He and his team drove 1,200
449 RFA Orangeleaf
recognised since the 18th Century in their air stations. Only ships are
quite like getting a letter.”
Van Den Bergh.
miles in one day from Washington
and a British commander in the constantly on the move.”
Out of the three services, the
The other well-known snags to
to Mayport to deliver the mail
Navy presents the most challenges
to HMS Invincible, going via
the system are red envelopes for
to the BFPO system.
Charlestown for a mail-drop to
Valentine’s Day (the automated
“Their programmes change
HMS Cornwall.
system does not like reading red
frequently, and some foreign ports
“I was determined they were
or gold ink) and senders who
are not completely secure and
going to get their post, because
add a country to the address. The
reliable, so the ship may wish to
I know what a morale boost it is.
machines are designed to ‘read’
Replica models, measuring 10.5” long, hand cast in metal and hand painted, mounted have the mail sent elsewhere. It
They were pretty pleased to see
the last line of the address, which
requires a lot of organisation and
on a wooden plinth 12” x 3” with brass nameplate. HMS Southampton, HMS
us,” Lt Van Den Bergh explained.
should only be the letters BFPO
sometimes ingenuity,” explained
“We also offer to take on mail
followed by the number.
Newcastle, HMS Birmingham, HMS Glasgow, HMS Manchester, HMS Gloucester,
Lt Van Den Bergh.
deliveries for other countries
The BFPO is constantly on the
He has a staff of two RPOs
during large international exercises,
lookout for improvements to its
HMS Sheffield. Also available HMS Belfast 1943 and HMS Edinburgh 1940.
and a leading logistician working
because we have the capability and
service. The e-bluey, a message
directly for him. Running the day-
the experience to do it.”
sent by email but printed out
to-day logistics of the Navy effort
The biggest change to the
as a letter, has been particularly
is the Ships’ Air Programmer, Tilly
BFPO’s workload in the last fi ve
popular since it was introduced in
years has been Operation Telic
Many navigators and posties in
(Iraq) and Herrick (Afghanistan)
Another popular innovation
ships know Tilly by name, even if with 23 per cent (the enduring free
has been the ‘photo-bluey’ – a
+ £8.00 p&p
they have never met her, as they packet service has now raised this
photograph sent by email which
talk to her when they ring BFPO to 30 per cent) of all BFPO mail
can be printed and delivered,
UK Only
to discuss their mail requirements destined for these countries, rising
potentially within about 45
and give programme changes. At to 48 per cent during Christmas
minutes. The system needs
the old offi ces in Mill Hill she had surge.
a colour printer to work, but
a wall covered with postcards sent Prince Harry criticised the mail
these are currently restricted to
from ships. services to Afghanistan when he
Operations Telic and Herrick.
Tilly has worked at BFPO for returned after his deployment, but
Although most Armed Forces
35 years and probably knows more the challenge of moving mail to the personnel now have mobile
about the movements of the Navy front-line in an operational theatre phones, there are areas without
than most people at Fleet HQ. should not be underestimated. coverage, or when they can’t be
To order your model send your name, address and daytime telephone number,
“The job we do here can seem The surge in festive deliveries used for operational reasons.
along with your cheque or credit card details to:
routine, but it gives you a lot of is huge, and every Christmas the But with a ‘photo-bluey’ a sailor
Skytrex Ltd, Unit 1 Charnwood Business Park, North Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 1LE satisfaction knowing it works,” she BFPO takes on extra staff from or Marine could be looking at
Tel: 01509 213789 Fax: 01509 230874
said. the three Services to help with the their child’s birthday party on the
Tilly and her staff run a travel seasonal workload. day it happens.
offi ce for ships mailbags, booking The average monthly weight ■ FOR more details about BFPO
them on to commercial fl ights to of mail shifted through BFPO in and its services, visit www.bfpo.
destinations all over the world. 2007 was about 67,000kg, peaking
0024_NN_Jun.indd 124_NN_Jun.indd 1 116/5/08 15:17:356/5/08 15:17:35
Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52
Produced with Yudu - Publish online for free with YUDU Freedom -