The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Home Ships Built in Leith 1939 to 1945 HMRT REWARD - Yard No 336 - Bustler Class Rescue Tug - Royal Navy - Built 1944

Leith Shipyards

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HMRT REWARD - Yard No 336 - Bustler Class Rescue Tug - Royal Navy - Built 1944


Bustler class rescue tug


 As HMS REWARD still armed

(photo credit unknown)

Owners   Royal Navy
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Ocean Rescue/Salvage Tug Launched    31/10/1944
Ship Details          
Length Overall    205' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    190' 0" Weather    
Beam    38' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     19' 0"      
Draught    16' 11"      
G.R.T.    1136 tons      
Complement     42 Officers and Men      
Engines    2 x 8 cylinder Diesels (Atlas Polar)
producing 3020 bhp
Props    1      
Speed    16 knots      
Armament    1 x 3" AA Gun, 1 x 2pdr pom pom, 2 x 20mm AA guns      
Other known names   1962- ENGLISHMAN, 1975- HMS REWARD    
Current Status   1976 scrapped.    

Content on HMRT REWARD will be added as and when available. 



This stamp shows the rescue tug HMS REWARD in the company of with HMS BELFAST and HMS RAPID

refueling of the Seychelles during World War II

Ships History

Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, in the case of a ship for the Royal Navy this meant she also had to be commissioned as fit for purpose, once commissioned she was then considered ready for action and would take her place in the fleet.

 His Majesty's Rescue Tug REWARD was the sixth such "Bustler Class" tug to be built and launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb as Ship No 336.

 REWARD was to survive the war and continue service with the Royal Navy until being chartered out to United Towing in 1962 for a year and re-named, she was then taken back into service by the RAF and was based at Portsmouth until the early 1970's when she went to Malta.

In 1975 she was taken back by the Royal Navy and renamed HMS REWARD and converted to oil rig protection duty, during Aug 1976 she was involved in a collision on a foggy night in the Firth of Forth with the German (of all things) container ship Plainsman.

REWARD sank in 15 mins and her crew were taken off by the Plainsman, she was lifted by the heavy lift vessel Magnus III and was beached in Inverkeithing Bay. Found to be a total constructive loss she was then scrapped. 

We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.



REWARD now beached after being lifted from the bottom of the River Forth

(Photo by courtesy of RfaPlymouth)



(Another nice view of REWARD above from RfaPlymouth)


Tales from the Ship

Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.

Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.



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0 #5 Tony Guttteridge 2017-03-29 15:13
I worked on the Reward when she was in dry dock at Chatham Dockyard in 1963 as an electrical fitter apprentice. I think she was in the same dry dock that at present houses HMS Cavalier in Chatham Historic Dockyard. May even have been the place where HMS Victory was built.
0 #4 steve gibson 2017-03-18 09:49
served on board 1975-76 my final draft before leaving RN. i was navigaters yeoman had some great times carrying out fishery protection.skip per was Angus Samford LTCom
0 #3 Dennis Walker 2017-03-17 19:52
My service number is C/SKX 892178. Served as ME1 on Reward during 1954 and 1956. Would be pleased to hear from anyone who also served on her during this time.
+1 #2 bill cowie 2013-10-08 19:59
served on reward based in malta from 1960/62. all the senior rates & leading hands were british all the seamen & engine room junior ratings were maltese. we brought her back to chatham in feb 62 & paid off the same month she was transferred to the rfa(i think ), the last time i saw her was in aden in 1965
0 #1 steve gibson 2013-04-29 13:02
served 1975 -1976
nav yeoman

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