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PERSONAL HERBERT LOTT AWARDS


© Godfrey Dykes 2004

  To start with, here is an example of an individual award made to a man whose efficiency stood out from others involved in similar employment. This one was made to Preston. E. Willson, a Senior Rate communicator, whilst serving in the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle with the second one showing the fourth and fifth columns
Tuggs HL Award  Tuggs HL Award


  This next one I pulled off the Internet just a few minutes ago (2 Dec 2004) . Brian Mundy was a Chief Shipwright in the Royal Navy, a specialist on TON Class 'sweepers'. He took his RN pension and then emigrated south to join the South African Navy (SAN). Brian was/is very active with organisations like the RNA Capetown Branch, and other community activities and interest, and when reminiscing about his time in the Navy he sent this little ditty about his Herbert Lott award. Before I print it, please be aware that I am reliably informed that Brian has rather understated the reason why he was chosen for his reward:-


  There are other examples on the Internet of Herbert Lott awards being made to those who have come top of the class on long and demanding training courses. Their names are put on award boards and are printed in DCI's issued to the fleet. Here are a couple of examples the first coming from the internet
and these of a more personal nature.
  
  In the case of the honours board which was a once a year course, I was also the technical instructor for the course of 1972 and of 1973.


   The Herbert Lott Trust is also geared up to reward innovative thought, whether it be of original thinking, or, in the light of experience, amendment/alteration/I can do better than that thinking. All of these 'thinkings' were (and are) assessed thoroughly by competent authorities, and their due processes seem to take for ever to the 'thinkers'. Frustrating though that delay might be, one had to bear in mind that the various committees considering the merits of proposals have other duties and of course, other proposers to consider. Moreover, trials had to be conducted, and ships had to be programmed to conduct or take part in such experiments. In an over-worked fleet where assets/resources are stretched, operational commitments take precedence over trials, and the lack of resources is sometimes the cause of a long wait before a decision is taken.
   Each year, there are many 'inventions and modifications' proposed and of those accepted, and therefore rewarded, few actually affect the overall performance of the Navy. However, during my career, one invention did come very close to doing that, and the invention became widely known and understood throughout the world. Herbert Lott's idea of rewarding personnel who proposed inventions to increase the efficiency of the fighting end of the Navy was never better employed than when the VTOL aircraft ski-jump inventor was rewarded for his brilliance in proposing what in effect is an extremely short micro mini runway stuck on the front of aircraft carriers of all navies, which solved the problem of weight of fuel versus weight of armament where both can be maximised to increase the range and on-task striking power of the Harrier (and others) aircraft. Such inventions are rare, but whatever is proposed and gets past the proposers Commanding Officer, is given a full and fair airing by the awards committee whether that be MOD(N) or Herbert Lott.
   Whatever follows is humble by comparison. I can't offer the story of original thought from concept to operational acceptance of the ski-jump, but I can tell you about another much less impressive invention and how laboured that was.
   By the beginning of 1977, I had an idea that a specific piece of our naval communications equipment could be altered to support the AIO (Action Information Organisation - the OPS ROOM) where hitherto, it had supported the MCO (Main Communication Office). The piece of kit was designed to allow a ship to transmit a message simultaneously on more than one radio transmitter (more than one frequency) whilst allowing an input from only one of the associated receivers to come back to the MCO for monitoring purposes as shown in this diagram . With a small change in wiring and the provision of a simple switch the following set-up could be used by the Captain and his team to fight the ship and to avoid jamming of communication channels during this period
   I went to sea on an Admiral's Staff in 1977 (FOF2} onboard the cruiser HMS Tiger. I took with me my modification built into Tiger and into the warships which accompanied us to Australia and back for the Queens Silver Jubilee cruise, known to the R.N., as the Group 6 Deployment, and whilst at sea, we used my modification to good effect. However, it wasn't until 1984, some near seven years later, and I, now a civilian, that I received some credit for my modification to existing radio communications equipment. What follows is a series of letters which were exchanged between various authorities starting with HMS Mercury (where I was serving when I first thought of the idea) up and until the letter which came 'out of the blue' (for I had long forgotten about the Navy and was making my way as a civilian with high hopes, which I can tell you, came to fruition}.
This is the first couple of paragraphs of my modification dated early 1977
Then, after I had come ashore from HMS Tiger, many letters were written culminating in the awards proper as shown in this pdf document, namely a total of £1700.00
HL Letters


   I received several other awards, and on one occasion, I nearly brought my Captain (Captain of Signal School - CSS) and another Captain (Director of Naval Physical Training and Sport) face to face over the issue of the Voluntary Sports Subscription Scheme (VSSS) being under funded. Seemingly, the idea was 'bounced off' other Captains in the SMOPS Organisation, Dryad, Vernon, Excellent, and they all liked the idea. I was told that many in the Navy thought the idea was worthwhile and thought that it should be adopted. However Director of Naval Physical Training and Sport didn't like it . After the Navy News published an article I received lots of mail in support, but by this time the Commodore of HMS Centurion had come down on the side of Director of Naval Physical Training and Sport and the case was lost. My efforts didn't go unnoticed and I was eventually awarded a substantial sum of money. The following pdf shows all these letters
VSSS Letters


   Now back to the Herbert Lott Fund. This chap is a good pal of mine and the details of his award are worthy of a place here. I say award, where I should say awards, because he has won so many that at one time there was a genuine fear of the Fund collapsing because he took so much out of it! All is self evident.
   The Picture above shows FCRS (RCI) (today, in 2005, known as a Warrant Officer) M.J. CHALLINOR. BEM., receiving two cheques to the value of £360 from Captain D.A.P. O'Reilly Royal Navy. The cheque for £250 being awarded from Public Funds (Patents) for Mr Challinor's work concerning frequency separation and frequency range of Integrated Communication Systems. In addition, an award of £110 from the Herbert Lott Naval Trust Fund.
What follows is the text of why he received the awards taken from the Communicator Magazine.