Frederick Charles Hamling and the Venture Boats
At the outbreak of World War II, Fred was posted to Newlyn and was charged with protecting the harbour. Whilst serving as a Chief Petty Officer Engineer both of Fred's motor launches, Venture 1 and Venture 2, and his houseboat MV Rover were requisitioned by the military. A Military Marine Survey for Venture 1 still exists. One of Fred’s duties was to tow a target out to sea for the gunners to use as practice - brave man! He was also involved in many covert night-time operations which he never spoke about. There were so many of these that it led to accusations from his wife that he was having an affair with one of the many Wrens serving with him - a source of much amusement in later life.
At the end of WWII, Venture I and Venture II were returned, but the fate of the MV Rover is a mystery. Fred returned to St. Mawes with his family and continued as a Marine Engineer at Polvarth Boatyard in partnership with his brother-in-law, Walter Hitchings. Bert, Fred's son, joined the business after a stint in the Royal Air force as National Service and after completing a Marine Engineering course at University. The Venture boats were used for many years taking men from St Mawes on their daily trip to work the docks in Falmouth and returning to make a second journey with the boys from St Mawes attending the Grammar School in Falmouth. During the summer they took holiday makers on trips around the bay.
Fred's Petty Officer rank badge and three years good conduct stripe
Fred's Stoker Petty Officer badge
Fred's medal ribbons - Top row WW I - British War Medal & Victory Medal, below is the 1939-45 Star
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